Running Your Own Business: Reducing Stress
Running your own business can, of course, be very stressful. Even when things are going great, there are many different thoughts that will occupy your mind – making it difficult for you to switch off, even when on holiday.
To help you as a business owner identify the numerous stresses that can exist and overcome them, we have put together the following six tips:
Identify what you find stressful
This, of course, sounds easier-than-said, but one of the very first, and most important things you need to do is identify the areas of business that you are finding the most stressful. You will, of course, experience stress – but this does not mean you should just accept it as part of running your own business. Take your time to think about what situations are causing your stress. For example, you may have clients who always pay late – causing problems with your suppliers, or you find yourself doing everything alone and realise you need help. By thinking about the specific situations that are causing you the most stress, you will be in a much better position to look at how you can remove these stresses.
Learn to say no
Modern life for most of us is rather hectic, add to that the numerous activities and responsibilities involved in running your own business, and it’s easy to see why more and more people are becoming ‘burnt-out’. With so many demands being placed on you, it is important that you take time out of your busy schedule, either daily or weekly, for self-care. Whilst such a term can cover everything from diet to exercise, it can also simply mean saying no to a request. As a business owner, you will often find yourself being pulled in many different directions – everything from the tiniest detail regarding your business, to external scenarios such as volunteering at your child’s school. You must learn to sometimes delegate work duties to others, as well as say no to requests when you know in your heart that you are just too busy.
Saying no or rescheduling something should not be seen as a negative, and even if it does, you must learn to know when to put yourself first. Remember, it is your business – therefore it is imperative that you learn to give yourself free time in which you can switch of from work and recharge your batteries, even for just a while.
You will need help
As a business owner you should hopefully by now realise that you can’t do everything yourself – and therefore shouldn’t try! Whilst you will, of course, be expected to do a lot, particularly when first setting up your business, it is important to learn to delegate tasks to others. Whether this be in the form of giving an existing employee some new duties, employing a new person or seeking the short-term help of a freelancer, getting help is important for many reasons. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of strength – as well as enabling you to spend your valuable time more productively.
Focus on the now
When running a business, it is only natural to worry about the future. Whilst this is perfectly understandable, you should not do so to the extent that it negatively affects what is happening in the present. It is important to remember that you can not change what is out of your control. As such, you will be much better served concentrating on what is happening with your business now – rather than worrying about what may or may not be around the corner. Whilst we are not saying do not plan for the future, you should aim to spend more of your focus on making positive changes to the things you can control now in the present.
Get some rest
We all know the importance of rest – particularly if you are running your own business. The importance of getting away from your work and having some personal time cannot be stressed enough. One problem with holidays is that you often find yourself working harder before going away so as to prepare – and then harder when you return so as to catch up. Good time management is imperative if you are going to avoid such scenarios. One aspect of this is giving yourself time each day to rest. This can be anything from closing your eyes and resting on your desk to going for a short walk during a break. Studies have shown time and again that taking such ‘mini-breaks’ away from your normal working environment can have huge benefits, not only to your health but also in staying creative and keeping performance levels high.
By giving yourself time to get away each day, no matter for how long or where, you are allowing your mind to rest and wander – and it is during these moments that we often have our best, most creative ideas. Therefore, if feel guilty about such ‘breaks’ or consider them a waste of your precious time, think of them instead as an important part of your business decision-making process – a time when you can recharge your batteries and come at a problem from a slightly different angle.
Own your own health
Just like there are many different things you need to do to ensure a business stays profitable, there is no one thing that must be done to keep our bodies healthy – rather our health is dependent on numerous differing factors. Getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are all, as we know, important to staying healthy. However, if you are a stressed-out business owner, you may be having difficulty sleeping and eating, or perhaps don’t seem to have time to exercise. As you can see, running a business can negatively affect your health – if you let it. As mentioned, it is you who must take control of this by setting aside time to exercise, eat well and get sufficient sleep. You may think that by rushing about, skipping meals etc., you are using your time in the best possible way. However, you are in fact likely damaging your business and your health by not giving your body enough time to rest and recuperate – important for ensuring your physical and mental health stay strong.