6 signs of tradie burnout and tips to managing It

Tradies are known for working hard and working long hours. This is especially true for trade business owners, who often find themselves working on the tools all day and catching up on quotes, invoices, and paperwork at night.

When you run your own trade business, time management can be tricky and working 65 to 70 hours a week is not unheard of. The problem is that it’s difficult to keep this up for any length of time before you risk burning out. Burnout is one of many risks tradies face, and can lead to personal injury or damage to your property or clients’ property.

Working in Australia’s trades and services industry is often associated with physically demanding tasks, heavy workloads, long hours, and tradie burnout.

Burnout occurs in all career paths, but it is more common for those who have been working in the same field for an extended period.

The stress of trade work and constantly quoting jobs for clients who want it all at a bargain price can take its toll on trade business owners. When this happens, the joy of managing a trade business can disappear. That said, burnout may still persist, requiring weeks or months to recover.

As such, it is important to be aware of the early signs of burnout and take proactive measures by adopting appropriate habits and strategies. Tradie insurance such as Public Liability, Business Insurance, Professional Indemnity, and Personal Accident & Illness Insurance can help tradie business owners by reducing their exposure to risk.

Six warning signs of tradie burnout to keep an eye on

1. Extreme fatigue

This can be physical, mental, or even emotional fatigue. There is tired, and then there is extreme fatigue, when it feels like you can’t possibly take another step. Fatigue will cause you to lose motivation, focus, and even your ability to concentrate, which can easily lead to you having an accident and being injured. It can also lead to physical problems. Don’t dismiss fatigue and just chalk it up to another long day.

2. Feeling frustrated and grumpy all the time

It’s normal to have bad days. But if you feel like your family, friends, and staff are on edge around you, then it might be time to take a closer look at your situation. Negative effects on others are bad news for friends and family, but they also affect your mental health.

3. A bad memory and inattention

You forgot to pay the guys, forget where you parked your ute, or where you kept the keys the other day. Burnout could be the cause of a forgetful day, which can easily snowball into a week, then a whole month. Consistent forgetfulness and a lack of concentration can cause long-term effects on the brain.

4. I can’t get no satisfaction

It used to be that you loved quoting and the thrill of the chase of winning new jobs. But now, you don’t really care. Burnout can lead to poor job satisfaction, which in turn can lead to increases in absenteeism and turnover, as well as negative relationships at work.

5. Constant stress

You can’t switch off. You’re worried about the work you have done, the work that hasn’t been done, or work you may not get done. Stress can be detrimental to your body, mind, and soul and can lead to accidents for busy tradies. It can also reduce your motivation and productivity at work. To help reduce your work-related stress, delegate tasks wherever you can and prioritise work life balance.

6. Poor self-care

You eat more pies, but you can’t recall the last time you went to the gym. It is probably time to act if any of these statements are true. Take a look at the following tips to help you get back on track.

Tradies can experience burnout in different ways, but it most commonly presents as physical exhaustion. Initially, you might feel tired and low on energy.

As the problem progresses, you may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Burnout may also cause physical symptoms such as headaches and immune-related illnesses.

Four top tips for dealing with burnout at work

Burnout can affect your mental health, make you more irritable, and make it harder to concentrate on your work. But there are proactive ways to manage it. Try the following four tips for proactively dealing with work-related burnout.

1. Take time off and delegate tasks

If you are experiencing burnout, consider taking a break from work for a few weeks to focus on work life balance. Get out and exercise – go for a walk in nature and breathe in that fresh air. It will work wonders for your peace of mind.

This can help you both physically and mentally. However, it does require some planning, as you cannot just abandon your business without warning.

Check your schedule to see if there are any periods of low demand for your services or a lull in business. Plan your time off at least one month ahead and let clients know the dates you will be away. Find subcontractors or seasonal workers on online job listing sites such as Seek and Hipages to help you offload the workload.

2. Exercise regularly and eat well

Due to the physical demands of your work, it is important to eat nutrient-dense food that will keep you going for the remainder of the day. This means avoiding Maccas and sugary foods in favor of home-cooked meals and healthy snacks.

Load up on healthy fats and proteins such as eggs and nuts, along with good carbohydrates, such as brown rice, fruit, and other grains. Drinking plenty of water and healthy snacking every two hours will also help.

Exercise can be anything you enjoy. A lot of tradies use strength and endurance training to improve their performance at work. Strengthening your muscles will help you avoid injury, and you won’t be as tired from carrying heavy loads all day.

3. Protect your mental health

When it comes to dealing with burnout and mental health, time management can be tricky and being aware of just how many hours you are working is key. Consider ways to find a healthy balance between work and your personal life to avoid becoming a statistic.

Setting clear boundaries is key, such as turning off your work emails or declining jobs that are not in line with your salary expectations. Reaching out to friends, family, and co-workers can be a great way to relieve stress.

4. Create an effective schedule

Well-planned schedules help you and your team know what to do next.

Include important details in your plans, such as the location of the job, the appointment time, and any protective equipment required. Be sure to include travel time when planning jobs so that you can better plan your day and avoid getting frustrated if you are stuck in traffic.

Job scheduling software can help here by simplifying the planning process to keep you on track, which will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Using these platforms can help you to feel more in control, which can help reduce stress and tradie burnout.

Protect your business the easy way with BizCover

You work hard enough as a tradie, so you shouldn’t have to put in the hard yards when it comes to buying your business insurance – so don’t! Choose BizCover when renewing or reviewing your tradie insurance and avoid all that business insurance drama you had to go through in the past.

Choose BizCover and compare competitive business insurance quotes (including Public Liability) from leading Australian insurers and experience business insurance the way it should be. Give us a bell on 1300 920 871 to hear more about how BizCover can help your tradie business.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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