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How To Manage Stress As A Small Business Owner

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How To Manage Stress As A Small Business Owner

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It is a dream for many people to start their own business, and it might be that you should follow your calling if you have the desire to start an online business or something offline.

With your own business, you will be in charge, and that means no more answering to a boss. 

If your business is based at home, you will have the opportunity to retain a better work-life balance.

And you will be able to follow your passions. Whether it’s cooking, painting, writing, photography, or anything else besides, you will be able to turn your hobby into a business.

What’s not to love?

Well, the issue that you might have to put up with is stress. Running a business is rarely easy, even when it’s something you enjoy.

From accounting to marketing, there are all kinds of tasks that will end up on your to-do list, and you might have employees to manage as well. Running a business certainly has its rewards, but with the work you need to put in, the customers you need to please, and the rules and regulations you have to follow, you will start to feel the pressure.

Still, don’t let the stressful side of running a business put you off the idea. Know that there are ways to manage stress, so stay focused. It would be a shame to give up on your dream, so here are a few suggestions that we hope you find useful.

#1: Prioritize me-time

There will be a lot you need to get to grips with during your business day, but you shouldn’t let your to-do list encroach on your me-time. You need to have time to rest, unwind, and relax with the things you enjoy in life, so have a cut off time each day. This is your way to keep stress under control, as by leaving your work on your desk, you will be able to focus your mind on other things.

So, don’t check your work emails after you have finished for the day. Don’t be tempted to spend longer in your home office. Turn your phone off if you don’t want to be disturbed by your clients or employees. Instead, be with your family and friends. Catch up on your Netflix binge-watches. Or simply have a snooze! It can be easy to always ‘be on the clock’ as a business owner, but you will fall prey to burnout symptoms if you don’t make time for yourself.

#2: Find ways to cut down your to-do list

It’s no exaggeration to say you might have a to-do list as long as your arm! There is a lot you will need to crack on with. However, to achieve the previous point, you need to find ways to cut down that list. When you do, you will be able to finish work at a decent time, and have more time for your rest and relaxation needs. 

The first thing you need to do is prioritize what is and isn’t important during your working day. Are there tasks that could be left to another day? If so, relegate them to a day when you can more realistically focus on them. Concentrate on those tasks that need to be done to deadlines before those tasks that don’t need to take up your immediate time.

Secondly, consider outsourcing. It’s something you might do anyway, but if not, you definitely should, especially for those tasks that you struggle with and that eat up too much of your time.

And finally, delegate to your employees if you have people working for you. Especially if their to-do lists aren’t as hefty as yours, and if they are equipped to handle some of your business tasks, pass them over if you think it is appropriate.

You will have a lot less on your plate to deal with when you have cut down your to-do list. You won’t have as much on your mind when you’re going through your day. And you will be able to rule out the possibility of overtime, so you won’t have to work long into the evening and miss your me-time.

#3: Use the tools at your disposal

Man sat at lapton typing

Another way to reduce your workload is to make use of the software tools and apps that can streamline your to-do list. There is much you could use, from apps that will make light work of your accounting, to software for employee shift planning.

By implementing these tools into your working life, you will have more time for other things in your life and business, without the need to sit for hours stressing out with time-consuming manual processes. 

#4: Practice self-care

It’s easy to forego certain aspects of self-care when you’re running a business. If you’re busy, you might forget to take breaks, or you might choose to ignore the need to take time out. You might skip out on lunch too, or you might eat foods that are unhealthy in your effort to save time. You might also fail to exercise, which can be especially problematic when you’re sat at a desk for much of your working day.

When you neglect your health in such ways, you won’t be doing your stress levels any favors. Poor eating and no exercise can sap you of energy, and as such, you will become more tired during the day and more prone to burnout. 

So, don’t forget to take care of yourself. When you arise in the morning, spend time exercising, perhaps by walking your dog around the block or by attempting keep fit exercises at home. Eat a healthy breakfast too, and prepare yourself something nutritious to eat for your lunch break. And then take time out to exercise during the day, being sure to schedule in enough breaks so you have time to move around a little. 

By taking care of yourself in such ways, you will relieve your stress because a) exercise and healthy eating are both stress-relievers, and b) you will be more productive at work, and this will negate the need to work overtime.

#5: Talk to others

No man is an island, or so the saying goes, and this is especially true in business. You can’t be expected to cope on your own, so draw a support network around you. 

Your friends and family will naturally form a part of your support network, but you might also find employees that you can confide in, and you might benefit from a business mentor too.

Talk to these people whenever you’re feeling stressed, and where appropriate, offload some of your stresses to them. You might not tell your employees everything, of course, but if you have been able to find a business mentor, you will be able to talk to somebody who understands what you might be going through.

Consider speaking to a counselor too, especially somebody who has specific experience of working with people in business. You don’t even need to leave your home or office, as you can benefit from private online counseling that can be fitted into your busy schedule. 

Talking to others can be therapeutic, as it can ease your tension, and give you the ability to get your stressed-out thoughts out of your head. So, whoever it may be, find those people that you can rely on to listen and support you. 

Finally

So, while you can expect some level of stress as a business owner, know that you don’t have to be bound by it. You can wrestle with it and remove it from your shoulders, so follow our suggestions, and enjoy your business, without the burden of stress overwhelming you. 

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