“Greatness lies not in being strong but in the right use of a strength.” – Henry Ward Beecher
Let’s face it: Running your own business is stressful. There is no way around it. You wear numerous hats, and many people—your employees, customers, community leaders, any stakeholders, etc.—rely on you. It’s enough to make any sane person mad. In fact, job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems. The American Psychological Association reports that 69 percent of workers say their job is very or extremely stressful (bit.ly/MqluBn).
The key is to not let it get to you but, instead, to thrive in the greatness you possess—the very greatness that allowed you to open your business in the first place.
So, how do you reduce stress and still maintain all there is to do at work? While this list is nowhere near exhaustive, it does contain five doable steps that really can help you wear all those hats and still enjoy life.
- Know Yourself. When are you at your most optimal level? Whenever that is, do those things that need the most from you then. If you are low on energy, do the quick, easy tasks that don’t require so much of you. This step includes knowing when to disengage. You are not a robot with inexhaustible energy. You need quiet time! If you are tired, not at your best and really need to take a step back to reenergize, don’t be afraid of saying so.
- Say “No.” This one is hard for all those people pleasers out there. But the most successful people in life are the ones who have learned the art of setting boundaries and sticking to them. This goes with knowing yourself. If you know that you cannot meet a deadline, join another committee, take on another task or run one more errand, say so. For those who are dying at just the thought of telling someone “no,” a compromise may be something like, “No, I can’t help now, but (fill in the blank of someone who can) or (I can help you later).” Practice this in the mirror, in the shower and in the car, and when the opportunity arises for you to say it, you’ll be primed and ready to go.
- Set an Agenda for Meetings and Phone Calls. Before each meeting or phone call, write down the key points you need to cover so that it’s easier to stay on task and get the answers you need. While it’s always nice to have some chit-chat to find out how someone’s kids are doing or how their vacation was, it is really easy to get off track. An agenda keeps everyone on point. This is also helpful when you are leaving a voicemail so that the person you need to hear back from can get you what you need when he/she returns your calls.
- Nurture Yourself. You’ve heard it said your entire life that you should eat healthy foods and exercise. Guess what? Mom and your gym teacher weren’t just saying that for the sake of saying it. It actually carries a lot of merit. What you fuel your body with is what gives you energy for the day. Make that fuel go longer by eating fruits, veggies and lean meats instead of sugars, processed foods and carbs. Exercise is key, too. Even if you can only squeeze in a 20-minute power walk three times a week, do it. The point is to get moving. And don’t forget about sleep. Getting the recommended eight to ten hours a night may be totally impossible to do but do all you can to get at least seven. Take small steps if you have to and work your way up. The benefits are well worth it (and really, The Late Show isn’t what it used to be).
- Build Downtime into Your Schedule. When you are planning your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends and for the things that help you recharge. If it’s in your calendar, you’re more likely to stick to it. Having an appointment with yoga is never a bad thing if yoga is what helps keep you sane. Namaste, friends.
Actress Lorna Luft once said, “Living in continual chaos is exhausting. The catch is that it’s also very addictive.” Stay strong by making some behavioral changes that introduce order and tranquility into your daily life. You will thrive mentally, physically, emotionally and professionally.
We hope this information is helpful, insightful and, if nothing else, provided a five-minute respite to your busy day. Thanks for reading. ‘Til next time. . .
Posted In: Marketing Tips