Few professional roles are more stressful than that of a small business owner. The pressure, responsibilities, and time commitment is enough to overwhelm even the most poised and collected person. But your life doesn’t have to be like this forever. By optimizing your approach, you can reduce stress, and embrace freedom.
Try These 5 Stress-Busting Tips
Stress is a natural reaction that takes place when your body senses some sort of threat. It’s called the fight or flight response, because people typically either run away from the problem or they tackle it head on. But here’s what’s not normal: chronic stress.
Stress is intended to be an isolated response to an acute trigger — not a chronic response to your life or career. And if the stress isn’t dealt with properly, it can create a laundry list of consequences ranging from physical health problems to financial shortcomings.
The good news is that small business owners have the ability to fight back and stop stress in its tracks. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions:
1. Start and End the Day With Positive Reflection
Stressed out small business owners tend to focus on the negatives. They spend their time worrying about problems and fretting over the potential for future problems. And though there’s something to be said for proactively addressing issues, too much focus on the negatives will lead to feeling chronically stressed and overwhelmed.
One quick exercise is to begin and end each day with five minutes of positive reflection time. During these five minutes, you block out distractions, get off your devices, log out of email, and spend uninterrupted time focusing on what’s going right in your business. You might find it helpful to write the list down in a journal.
2. Purge Your Brain
An overwhelmed brain is a stressed brain. Fight back against stress by occasionally purging your brain of thoughts and ideas. Call it a “brain dump session.”
During a brain dump session, you simply write down every thought, worry, concern, or idea that pops into your head. By the end of the session, you’ll feel a much greater sense of clarity. Your brain will release the need to retain all of this information and you’ll be able to refocus your mind on one task at a time.
3. Take a Midday Reset Break
Working for 10 or 12 hours uninterrupted isn’t healthy or feasible. No wonder you’re feeling stressed! Try breaking up your daily workflow by taking a midday reset break.
A midday reset is a 30 to 45 minute break that you take in the middle of your workday (ideally around noon). During this break, you get out of the office, turn off all devices and notifications, and do something that benefits your mind and body. This could be exercise, reading a book, meditating, or grabbing lunch with a friend. Whatever it is, take your focus off of work and practice a little self-love.
4. Streamline High-Stress Tasks
There are certain business tasks that are time-consuming and stressful. By delegating and/or streamlining them, you can free up your mental energy to focus on the more enjoyable and high-returning tasks. Here are two examples:
- Stop trying to do payroll on your own. Use payroll services to do all of the heavy lifting for you.
- Feeling like you’re drowning in your email inbox? Hire a virtual assistant to filter your email and assign priorities based on the emails that actually need your attention.
Find three to five tasks like this and streamline them. You’ll feel a significant weight lifted off your shoulders.
5. Prioritize the Basics
Unhealthy lifestyle choices make you much more prone to stress. If you want to reduce stress, you must prioritize the basics of healthy living – like eating a fresh, balanced diet, getting at least eight hours of sleep per night, and exercising on a daily basis.
Take Back Your Life
It’s time to do away with chronic stress and enjoy the freedom that comes from living a balanced life. Hopefully this article has given you some ammunition to use in your fight against business-related stress. Start by implementing two or three of them into your daily or weekly routine. Observe the effects and continue to add more as you see fit.