Agency Owner Burnout: How Putting Yourself First Ultimately Benefits Your Clients

Riley Barry

How many nights have you spent hunched over your desk, fighting sleep to send some emails? And let’s be honest, by nights I mean the early morning hours, watching the sun rise on another hectic day.

Quite a few, I bet.

If you’ve found yourself sitting making minor adjustments to a blog post or website design at 5 am, pumped up on caffeine on a regular basis, I have news for you: it’s not sustainable.

No matter how many cans of energy drink you fit into your daily nutrition, your body can’t keep up with constant late nights and lack of sleep. To stay awake, energised, and ready for the work week, you have to get your sleep, eat healthily, and get outside for at least a little while. It’s not healthy to stare at a screen all day – even if it is your job!

Many people say it’s what they need to do for the sake of their clients. But you won’t be able to deliver any work if you’re sick – or if you do, it won’t be to your usual standards. If you genuinely want to give your clients the highest quality work possible, you have to look after yourself first. 

So let’s take a closer look at how putting your health first will ultimately benefit your clients and some simple steps you can take to improve your mental and physical health.

Why should you take care of yourself?

Believe it or not, your health is crucial to your business and to your clients. You’re not a machine, and unlike Google and the other online overlords we do the bidding of – you can’t run 24/7. So if you want to stay on top of your workload and get things over the line for your clients, you have to take care of yourself.

Look at it this way.

If you’re a website developer running on four hours of sleep and caffeine, you’re more likely to make mistakes. What’s worse, if you’re not getting the nutrition you need to stay focused, you’re more likely to get sick. If you get sick, you’ll miss work, and you might end up falling further behind than you would have if you’d given yourself the time to take a break in the first place.

But what can you do? You have to meet your deadlines; otherwise, you’ll disappoint your clients and risk losing out on future business. You can’t afford that!

You also can’t afford to get sick or run yourself into the ground.

You’re human, and your clients are human, too. If you have to extend a deadline by a day or incorporate longer wait times into your services, they’ll understand.

Deadlines are important. They keep on track and help us get work done. But if you need more time to look after yourself alongside looking after your clients, your work will benefit from it.

Photo by Eric Han

For example, instead of struggling to complete a project on time, only for the client to respond with loads of edits, take a break. Come back to the project when you’re feeling refreshed and rested, and you’ll likely make fewer mistakes and spend less time fixing errors down the line.

Pushing through saves you zero time, because the time you spend fixing mistakes could have been spent working on another project or resting. And the more edits you need, the more work you have on your plate, and the higher the risk of missing your deadline and disappointing the client – and you’re already exhausted.

See what we mean?

Let’s talk about what you can do to look after your clients by putting your needs first instead.

5 things you should do for yourself that ultimately benefit your clients

There are many ways you can improve your mental and physical health, but we’re going to focus on 5 things you can do to put your health first while also benefiting your clients.

1. Get the sleep you need to succeed

 

Sleep is vital for success. Without sleep, your body won’t have the energy to do the tasks it needs to do. You should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This should be a continuous sleep, too. Four 2-hour naps don’t count – especially if you’re at your desk!

So, instead of running on empty when it comes to sleep, try to get to bed at a reasonable time to get 7 straight hours of rest. Here are a few tips to help you keep a regular sleep schedule:

  • Set the alarm for when you want to get up and get up right away. Going back to sleep or snoozing your alarm clock can actually make you more tired.

  • Try to go to bed earlier. It might be hard at first, but eventually, you’ll fall into a routine that works for you.

  • Track your sleep using a smartwatch or even an app on your phone. This lets you see how much sleep you’re really getting – especially with the smartwatch apps.

  • Buy a new pillow. Sometimes the pillows we use aren’t giving us enough support and can ruin our sleep pattern. Make sure the pillow you’re using helps – and doesn’t hinder – your sleep.

2. Stay healthy and hydrated

 

Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated are key to keeping your body refreshed and energised throughout the week. You should always be aware of what your body needs. Sometimes that’s a load of dirty carbs, but most of the time, you should eat a balanced diet with the nutrients you need to stay focused and healthy.

But why do you need to eat regularly? Can’t you skip lunch and wait for dinner?

Photo by Josiah Gardner

 

Never skip your lunch – no matter how hectic your day is!

Did you know that your brain uses 20% of the total energy you consume in a day? This is more than any other organ in your body. So if you don’t eat, you’ll have less energy, and your mind may feel foggy. It could even cause headaches!

Having a healthy lunch with protein and vegetables is ideal, but if you only have a short time to eat, at least have a quick snack instead of skipping lunch altogether. This will help you stay productive until you can have a proper feed.

3. Take your breaks and get outside

 

Taking regular breaks is essential for your physical and mental health. It’s not good to stay at your desk for 8+ hours straight!

So make sure you’re taking your breaks when you need them. Whether it’s to grab a cup of coffee, go for a short stroll, or even to just look away from the screen for a bit. These breaks will help you decompress and give your mind a break, so you can work better and be more productive when you return.

If you don’t take breaks, you’ll tire more quickly, and your work will suffer. So take your breaks to avoid burnout and continue producing the work that benefits your clients.

4. Step away when you need to

 

Sometimes a project just isn’t going the way you want it or the way it should. In these situations, sometimes it’s best to step back and take a moment to breathe instead of forcing yourself to complete the project.

Getting out of your office and taking time to reset and collect your thoughts will not only do wonders for your mental health; it’ll also help clear your mind and potentially help you get out of your rut.

5. Rely on and trust your team

 

Behind every great company is a great team, and you should always rely on your team to jump in and help when things get overwhelming. They’re there to support you through all the tech issues, tricky clients, and frustrating projects. Think about it – if anybody would understand your struggles, it’s the people you work with.

So if you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, feel free to delegate tasks to your team and take a break.

 

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how putting yourself first ultimately benefits your clients today’s blog!

Your health is one of the most important things to your business because without you – there is no business.

If you’re looking for somebody to help you with content and relieve some stress from updating your blog or website, we’re here for you. Get in touch with our talented content writers.

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