Stress is a killer, sometimes literally, to business owners. Look, there are plenty of perks to owning your own business. You get to be the boss, make your own plans, see your dreams come to life and you can set the terms in which your company operates.
But there are downsides too. Like all the stress that comes with it. Managing stress is important to business owners because if we burn out, it can ultimately slow business momentum. When we aren’t well, our businesses can’t be well.
Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do that will help reduce the stress of owning your own business. Here are 5 ways to reduce stress that I’ve found particularly useful.
Identify the things that cause you stress
Identifying your stressors is vital to be able to address them. Stress usually comes from a problem you haven’t yet started to solve or are having trouble solving. As a business owner, you’re constantly working. Being in such an intense mindset all day, every day, can really constrict you from having a wider perspective that you need to see these stressors individually. Once you’ve identified what is causing you stress, you are more able to work out how to deal with them. One great way to help identify your stressors is to take a step back and write them down, 3-5 at a time. Sometimes, just saying them out loud can help you feel better. Once you know what stresses you out, you can develop plans to address them one by one.
Schedule your week ahead of time
When you schedule your week in advance, you can better plan for meetings and know what to expect at work. That gives you a sense of peace and control. Scheduling time with your staff also gives your employees a chance to schedule their questions for you and shows them that they are a priority to you. This is especially true when you are guiding or mentoring them to do a job a particular way.
A common complaint from business owners is that there are never enough hours in the day. But when looking into the issue, it‘s usually not a lack of time, but a lack of schedule. A schedule allows a person to plan, anticipate, and helps keep things organized. All activities should go into a schedule, even time off.
Learn to Say ‘No’
When you’re starting out, you may not have endless opportunities coming at you, so it’s easy to say yes to everything. But eventually, you must focus on your core mission and ask yourself, ‘Will this help me get my company get to where I want it to go?’
Saying no can be tough, but it’s important to remember the value of your time and that your time is limited. Instead of worrying that you may offend someone by saying no, it’s an opportunity to show them that you really value what you’re doing and you’re doing it on your terms.
Taking on more than you can handle is the fastest way to fall into a stress trap. When approached with a request, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this something I want and or need to do?
- Do I have time to do it?
- Will it fit into my schedule?
Saying no is part of setting boundaries. When we don’t set boundaries, we can end up feeling taken advantage of, burned out, stressed out, and end up as people pleasers, workaholics, isolated, or feeling misunderstood.
Delegate or Outsource Tasks to Reduce Stress
When you’re used to being the boss, it can be hard to let go and give up control. But you simply can’t do it all by yourself. And if you’re trying to, then you’re probably not doing a good job at everything. That’s why learning how to delegate or outsource certain parts of your business is part of the foundation for being successful.
For example, using a social media marketing service or hiring an employee to handle administrative tasks might free you up to do the things you are best at. Figure out how you want to spend your time and what you’d rather avoid. In almost every scenario, if you are reviewing the results of delegating regularly, you are likely to come out ahead financially and in terms of stress. In the end, delegating and outsourcing allows you to grow your company.
Choose Your Software Wisely
Your work software should make your job easier, not harder. If you’re spending more time learning how to use it than you are actually using it, it isn’t doing you any favors.
Anytime you are considering a new software system, make sure there’s plenty of support to help you through the implementation and ongoing usage. Ask for recommendations from peers and your industry experts to learn from their experiences. Listen intently and take your time deciding on anything. The only thing more stressful than paying for, training and implementing a new software program is paying for, training and implementing a wrong one.
The same goes for your vehicles and other tools. Keep track of maintenance and repairs to make sure your tools are truly helping you. If they always seem to be in the shop or in need of repair, it may be time to replace them rather than letting them stress you out.
For more information on reducing stress at work, or other business insight, visit Part Time Business Partners today!