As an entrepreneur or small business owner, the freedom of having your own business, being your own boss, making decisions may be rewarding but the responsibility can be stressful.
Stress is often the result of high levels of activity over a sustained period of time.
Being aware of stress is an important step in managing and mitigating the negative effects.
To maintain your mental and physical health and be successful over the long term, it’s crucial to find ways of keeping stress from taking hold.
Osidon has prepared some stress management tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Identify and deal with the stress
Rather than procrastinate, think about what is causing the stress and get a handle on it. Pay attention to your body's stress signals. Typical signals of stress include sweating and an increased heart rate.
Set realistic daily goals
Take a few minutes to write down your goals for the day. This will help you clarify exactly what to focus on, so you stay productive and don’t waste time bouncing between tasks. Maintaining a to-do list will help give you a sense of purpose. If the list grows out of control, rank items by importance and prioritise your tasks. Focusing on one task at a time increases productivity and performance. Read our tips for managing time in your business.
Set boundaries and avoid over-commitment
Over-commitment can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and stressed. The most effective antidote against over-commitment is to be firm and set boundaries. If you’ve reached capacity and can’t take on any more work, it’s okay to say no.
Remember the big picture
It is easy to get frustrated when you are stuck handling repetitive or boring tasks. When this happens, it is important to remember why you started your business. See everything else as a step on the ladder to entrepreneurial success.
Learn to take breaks
When you feel stress coming on, get up and do something else such as taking a brief walk or going outside. This short break can give you a different perspective on a stressful situation and at least provide short-term relief from the physical effects of stress. Furthermore, commit to taking vacations and give yourself time to relax.
Take a break from social media and other distractions
Taking a break from looking at screens and checking the Internet or social media can afford you a much-needed break from whatever has been causing your stress. This escape can allow you to reflect on your life outside of your business and social media.
Delegate where possible
You cannot do it all. Trying to micromanage every detail of your business will leave you spreading yourself too thin. Learning to delegate tasks to a competent team member is essential to unburdening yourself and retaining your energy and creativity for the things that really matter.
Get your business finances under control
Cash flow is a major source of anxiety for entrepreneurs. Find ways to better monitor your revenues and expenses. Read more about managing your cash flow here.
Try to achieve work/life balance
Although today's business environment can be demanding, it's crucial to take time for other activities outside of the office such as family events, hobbies and sports. Furthermore, you should focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, good eating habits and enough sleep can give you more energy and help you handle stress better.
Connect with likeminded people
Sometimes you just want to vent about a problem or an issue, and maybe get some empathy and useful feedback from others who are in the same situation. It can be helpful to know that others have been through the same thing, so you know you’re not alone.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing and sometimes it can help you perform better under difficult circumstances. If you often find yourself responding to stress in a negative manner, you need to try to create a more positive attitude. Entrepreneurs and business owners need to continue developing a positive culture that focuses on both individual and organisational wellbeing.
By practicing a stress-free approach to work, you’ll inevitably find the focus and drive to concentrate on what matters the most.