Owning and running a business has its perks. For one, you get to be the boss, set the terms for work, and potentially earn more money than a regular 9-to-5 job. However, what people often overlook is the stress that comes along with it.
Day in and out, entrepreneurs face different business-related problems each day. It could be a shortage of employees, gaps in cash flow, lack of sales, or declining trending stocks. On top of that, the pressure of having to come up with ways to grow and expand the company could add to that stress.
Stress, if left unaddressed, will affect your productivity and lead to burnout. That is why if you’re a small business owner, learning how to manage stress is crucial. With that, here are five of the most effective ways to handle business-related stress:
1. Focus on the good
When you’re running a business, it’s easy to notice the things that aren’t going well that you sometimes forget the good things that happened. Backlogs, broken equipment, or failed partnerships can take over your mind causing considerable stress.
However, if you stop and assess everything that happened, you’ll see that there are good things, too. Changing how you see things – good instead of the bad – can instantly turn your bad mood around.
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That said, if you’re feeling stressed because of some problems in the company, take a moment and list down the good things – your accomplishments and milestones. Put your list up somewhere you can easily see it. This way, you can constantly remind yourself of the good things that happened when you’re stressed out.
2. Create a to-do list and prioritize your tasks
One of the leading causes of stress is having too many things to do and getting none done. If you work a little bit on everything at once, you won’t be able to tick anything off your list. Instead, focus on one thing at a time. That way, you’ll get more things done within the day.
Every morning, make a list of your tasks for the day, then prioritize them. The most important or urgent ones should be on top of your to-do list. As you finish one, you can then move down the next important things on your list. It might sound overwhelming at first, but by listing items down, you’ll realize that a mountain of work may be smaller than you think.
3. Choose the right kinds of tools
Tools are invented to make your life easier. However, if you’re spending more time learning about a tool than actually using it, you might have to reconsider switching it. Otherwise, it will just add to your stress.
Whether it’s a tool for accounting and bookkeeping, minimalistic web logo design, or web hosting, it’s essential to choose a tool that will take away the stress that comes with these tasks. When selecting the best tool for your business, test out a few of them first. Some tools offer a free trial, so you can take advantage of that before fully committing to it.
4. Take a hobby and do it often
When you’re managing a business, you’re primarily working towards something that often doesn’t result in immediate goal fulfillment. Sometimes, this can be stressful, especially if it’s taking time to see results. However, by taking a hobby or two, you’re working towards a fixed goal at the end. Like when playing gardening or baking a cake where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end of the activity. The great thing about it is, there’s virtually a lot of hobbies you can choose from out there. Cooking, knitting, hiking, and writing are just some of them.
Discovering a hobby is especially crucial if you’ve been running most of your business remotely or online (i.e., like dropshipping businesses or digital marketing agencies). It lets you focus on something tangible and immediately gives your mind some relief after a stressful day or week.
5. Take breaks
Finally, and most importantly, never deny yourself a break. This is the simplest but most overlooked rule of stress management. Remember that you are human, too, and you have limits. If you’ve been sitting on your desk for a long time thinking of ideas and you’re coming up with nothing, a break may be all you need. Stand up, step away from the screen, and just give yourself a chance to breathe, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Take a walk and stretch your tired muscles. This will release the tension that’s been building up on your muscles for hours.
Also, don’t forget to take scheduled trips for yourself. Vacations are a great way to unwind, relax, and restore your creative juices. Now, it might be challenging to do this at first with all the work waiting for you. But if you don’t take the chance to take care of your mental health, you’ll be stressed out even more and risk experiencing burnout and making bad decisions for the company. That said, enjoy some time off and take a breather. You’ll thank yourself in the end.
It’s no secret that running a business comes with a great deal of stress. But once you learn how to manage it, you’ll be well on your way to making better decisions for your company.
No matter which strategy you choose in managing stress, make sure to make them an ongoing habit. The less stressed you get, the more productive you’ll be. The more efficient you are in getting things done, the closer you will be to reaching your company’s goals.