Unsure how to manage stress? Stress for small business owners is not uncommon.
As a small business owner, you know how important it is to manage your stress levels. Stress is not only bad for your health and wellbeing, but it can also harm your productivity and relationships with others. The effects of stress can transcend your professional life and blur the lines with a healthy work-life balance.
My New Venture is here to remind you to prioritise yourself! Here, we discuss effective stress management tips to help reduce the negative effects of high-pressure business situations.
Why Managing Stress Is Key To Being A Successful Business Owner
So, why is managing stress important when running a business?
In short, a healthy and productive working life is conducive to creativity and productivity. Manageable levels of stress prevent feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed, helping to avoid costly mistakes. Stress is a common problem for business owners. In fact, 51% of UK small business owners have experienced burnout since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress can have a negative impact on your health, your ability to focus and make decisions, and your ability to meet deadlines and make good decisions.
Additionally, stress will take its toll on other areas of your life including relationships with family members and friends. Feeling constantly stressed can impede your success and happiness, ultimately stunting the growth of your small business.
Stress Management Tips For Small Business Owners
The best way to manage high levels of stress is by learning which form of stress management works best for you. There are many different ways to deal with stress which makes it important to develop an understanding of which skill is worthwhile for you.
If your stress levels are high, taking steps to manage that stress can help you feel mentally and physically better. What works for a colleague or friend may not work for you!
Identify Your Main Stress Triggers
Stress is a normal part of life. It’s when stress becomes overwhelming that it can negatively impact your health and wellbeing. Stress can be positive or negative, depending on how you view it—it’s a motivator when you’re faced with challenges or deadlines at work, but it also keeps us awake at night worrying about finances or relationship issues.
Here are common triggers to help you identify your main stress triggers:
- Working unrealistic hours
- An excess workload
- Managing staff
- Internal conflict
- Admin such as tax returns, reliefs, or employment contracts
- Heightened responsibility for success
- Overheads and expenses
- Imposter syndrome
Prioritise Your Time Both In And Outside Of Work
The ability to balance the demands of work and life is one of the most important skills for any small business owner, but it can also be one of the most difficult. The key to managing your time is first recognising that no matter what anyone does, we just don’t have enough hours in a day to get everything done.
Secondly, you need to prioritise what needs doing and when. This means deciding what tasks are necessary for day-to-day operations or long-term growth and development (these will vary from business to business) and then organise them in order of importance.
Thirdly, think about how much time each task will take so that you can stick within an allocated number of hours per week or month. You might find that some things need doing every week while others may only happen once every six months; for example, reviewing social media post performance could require weekly checks, while invoicing clients might only need monthly attention.
Try out these popular time management methods:
- Pomodoro: breaking your work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
- Time blocking: divide your day into blocks of time
- The three Ps: planning, prioritising, and performing
- Specialised time management apps: Connecteam or Wrike
Learn To Say No
As an entrepreneur, learning to say no helps you control where you put your time and energy.
Saying no is a way to maintain your sanity, balance your workload, and save time and money. When someone asks you for something that takes away from your most valuable resources, it can be hard to say no. You may think of yourself as unprofessional or that you’re letting people down if you do not help them out when they ask for something from you.
However, there are ways to say no without feeling guilty or rude:
- Be honest with yourself about what’s best for your business—not just the bottom line but also how much time and energy everything takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of work! Remember what drives success: focus on those things first!
- Be assertive and courteous
- Set boundaries
Delegate And Outsource Where Appropriate
Learning how and when to delegate is an effective skill for every small business owner to know. While you can’t delegate everything, there are certain tasks that you can hand off to others more effectively than you could do yourself.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Maybe it’s time to consider outsourcing some of your tasks.
To delegate effectively, first determine what needs to be done and how long it will take. Then create a list of people who have time available and skills suitable for the task at hand. If it is possible to hire someone new, think about how long it would take them to learn what they need to complete their job successfully (this will help you decide whether or not it’s worth hiring). Once you’ve compiled this list, go through each item on your list and assign it accordingly based on the person or persons best suited for each task.
It’s also important to remember that delegating work responsibilities away from yourself doesn’t mean they go away completely! Monitoring and tracking the work with those who’ve been assigned tasks ensures everyone stays motivated and on track with getting things done efficiently and effectively. Setting deadlines for yourself as well as other team members involved in projects is crucial for continued success.
Here are tasks your small business can outsource:
- Social media management
- Calendar management
- Graphic design
Adopt Healthy Eating Habits
Did you know your diet can impact your mood? Nutrients such as iron and omega-3 fatty acids found in protein-rich food can be particularly effective.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for the gym! A healthy and balanced diet is vital for the smooth running of your business because eating the right foods can make you happier, maintain your energy levels throughout the day and improve your overall performance. Water is crucial for keeping your body hydrated and nourished—it helps flush toxins out of your system while also providing energy for muscle contraction (so no matter how busy you are at work, don’t forget to drink water!).
Ensure Sleep Remains A Priority
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but it’s often overlooked by busy individuals. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes or be unable to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Which in turn, can lead to frustration. This can lead to decreased productivity and poor decision-making skills—not something anyone wants from their business owner!
Here are some tips for ensuring that your sleep remains a priority:
- Try to stick to a sleep schedule.
- Create a restful environment and bedtime routine.
- Keep electronics turned off before bedtime (or put them in another room). The light from screens disrupts our circadian rhythms and makes it harder for us to fall asleep easily.
- Make sure there aren’t any distractions such as loud noises or interruptions from others while trying to go through the process of falling into a peaceful slumber.
Get Some Exercise In
Exercise is a crucial stress management skill. It can do so much for your body, mind, and spirit. You’ll not only sleep better and maintain healthy wellbeing but feel good about yourself and more energised in general. Exercise also boosts your confidence—it’s not just about looking good but feeling good too!
If you’re interested in exercising regularly but aren’t sure where to begin, look up free local fitness classes or even join a gym with a free trial period to get used to going before paying for it monthly.
Find the weekly recommended guidelines for exercise here. But remember, exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym every day; taking walks outside, cycling, or doing something active with friends is great too!
Managing stress isn’t always easy but it is fundamental for success. It’s time to begin the journey towards living your best work-life with the help, guidance, and support of My New Venture.