Running a business is hard. There’s a ton of work to do, from launching your business to day-to-day operations. But it’s not just the work that makes owning a business stressful. Business owners also feel immense pressure to succeed at the business into which they’ve poured their heart and soul.
It’s enough to send anyone’s stress levels sky high. But when you’re running a business, stress isn’t on your side. Stress disrupts your focus and ability to prioritize. It also interferes with your sleep and diet, leaving you without the energy to give the business your all.
There are two keys to managing stress without sacrificing your business goals:
- Make a plan, know it by heart, and stick with it. If business demands your plans change, sit down to reassess instead of acting hastily.
- Take time for yourself. Every single person needs self-care. Without it, burnout is inevitable.
While they sound simple, these two rules are deceptively hard to implement. When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in everything that needs to be done and lose sight of the big picture. To keep working toward your goals and keep your stress in check, follow these six daily tips.
1. Get Organized
When you can’t find things or don’t know where to start on a project, you waste time and add to your stress. Keep your workspace organized, including electronic files. If you have a lot to do, write everything down and use a matrix of urgency and importance to prioritize. Quartz explains how.
2. Create Systems
Administrative work piles up quickly. Have a system for handling bookkeeping, filing, email management, and other administrative duties before they grow unmanageable. If you work with a team, an enterprise social network like Joincube can help you reduce stress and streamline operations by helping you communicate, share information, and manage tasks all in one place.
3. Follow a Routine
A daily routine will help you find your flow, be more productive, and — perhaps most importantly — find balance so work doesn’t take over your life. This is especially important if you’re running a business from home, but every entrepreneur should schedule work activities based on how and when they work best.
4. Cut the Cord
Answering every phone call, text, and email the moment it comes in means you’re never off the clock. Set aside a designated time for communications; if it’s less frequent than once per day, set voicemail and email responses to let people know when they’ll hear from you.
5. Step Away When Stress Spikes
When you can’t focus and your stress is rising, stop for a moment. Stepping away from work for a few minutes for a short walk, breathing exercises, guided visualization, or another stress-relieving activity will refresh you so you return to your desk ready to work. Workplace stress is a known trigger of drug and alcohol abuse. By owning the moment and sidestepping stressful situations, you give yourself a better chance at being able to cope without outside factors, such as a drink after work.
6. Have Something to Look Forward To (and Fall Back On)
If work is the only way you fill your time, it will be the only thing you think about. That means when work stress is high, your stress is high, even when you’re not working. Find a hobby that gets your mind off business once in a while, boosts your mood, and keeps your mental health in check. You should also have a financial backup plan, just in case the stress becomes too much to bear.
When you own a business, your business is part of you. But it shouldn’t be all of you. Running your business efficiently ensures you reach your goals and have time to take care of you. And when you’re the key to your business’s success, taking care of you is pretty important.
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