Detecting Business Overwhelm

Have you been in business for some time, churning away at your projects and marketing, it’s easier than you think to miss the signs of business overwhelmed and burnout.

Business burnout is a real thing.

It can sneak up on you suddenly, when one day you just can’t handle it anymore. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to keep an eye on how much you’re working so you don’t get burned out.

One thing I’ve noticed recently is that so many people starting or growing their business focus on getting bigger and bigger with their company. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes shooting for these high schools means you pass the point where you’re enjoying it anymore.

That’s what can land you facing frustrating and wanting to give up after burning the midnight oil for days or weeks.

Keep an eye out for these signs of business burnout and overwhelm.


Looking at your computer too much and reading all day, especially in blue light, can lead to serious consequences. Having a headache at the end of each day is a sign you might be working too much.

It can also trigger you to engage in other habits, like getting up earlier to work more before your headaches set in or relying on caffeine.

Working Longer Hours 

Are you suddenly finding yourself in your office at 2 AM? Working 10 hours a day instead of six or eight?

Although when you’re working to uplevel your business or try something new it makes sense to put in longer hours, doing this for months at a time can end up costing you.

Back Pain and Carpal Tunnel Issues 

Yes, a lot of the signs of business overwhelm are physical in nature- that’s why it seems like it suddenly sneaks up on you and renders you exhausted. But back pain from sitting too much and wrist issues signal that you’ve spent too much time in front of the computer.

Not Liking Your Work Anymore

Whether it’s a tight deadline or a client who emails you too much, these minor issues tend to be much more aggravating when you’re in business burnout.

You can easily lose your motivation when you’ve been working too much, making you wonder about your overall commitment to your business. Finding the right balance is tricky for any entrepreneur.

If you’ve lost the passion for what you do on a daily basis, it’s time to revisit your big goals.

If you’re working towards going to the next level and this is temporary pain, push through.

But if you’re no longer happy or find that your business isn’t in alignment with your purpose, it’s time to reconsider what you can change.

Here’s a secret: every entrepreneur has gone through business overwhelm and burnout. Many of the most successful company owners have navigated this situation and determined what’s right for them.

Remember that one of the best aspects of running your own business is finding a match that works for you. That sometimes means pivoting and determining how to lose things that are no longer in your best interests.

Laura Pennington

Laura Pennington burned out teaching 7th grade in Baltimore City and realized that traditional education was not for her in the midst of pursuing her PhD in public policy. She launched a freelance writing and virtual assistant career that allows her to work from home on her own time, teaching others how to build at-home businesses and providing content and strategy for major companies like Microsoft. She is a soon-to-be military spouse who has moved four times in seven years with her Navy man. She is a former competitive tap dancer and enjoys spending time with her cats and reading books like a good nerd should.

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