STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR HOME AND SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Running a home or small business can be stressful, especially while you’re establishing yourself. Read our top ten tips for managing stress to give your business the best chance of success.
1. THINK POSITIVE
Don’t see mistakes or rejections as failure. Everybody makes mistakes. It’s how you learn from them that matters. Next time you’re feeling stressed because a client doesn’t like your proposal, think of what changes you can make to get a ‘yes’ next time.
2. LEARN TO SAY NO
When you’re a small business owner, it’s tempting to say yes to everything, as no one wants to turn down work. Learn to say no when it’s really too much and prioritise the most important projects so you don’t get overwhelmed. Remember, the buck stops with you – so think twice before you over commit yourself.
3. MAKE A REALISTIC SCHEDULE
Effectively managing your time is crucial to avoiding stressful situations as tasks mount up. Try creating a schedule that combines activity time with down time, so you can keep your stress levels under control and have capacity to take care of anything unexpected.
Something that many small business owners are guilty of is a failure to delegate. Whether you fear a loss of control, you think you’ll do a better job yourself or you don’t want the financial burden, it often makes more sense to get someone else to do a task for you. By relinquishing some control to others, you let go of some of the stress in the process.
5. GO TO BED EARLY
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to a productive, stress-free day. One of the benefits of working from home is losing the daily commute, so make the most of it and start early. A head start will make you extra productive in the mornings when you’re at your freshest, so by the afternoon you’ll feel a real sense of achievement.
6. KEEP HOME & WORK SEPARATE
Work-life balance can be difficult when you run a business from home. One way of keeping work and home separate is having a second phone line installed, dedicated to business calls. That way your personal or family life won’t interfere with business calls and you won’t have the stress of competing with your children, partner or housemates to use the phone.
Taking a nap when you’re tired is a natural method of de-stressing. Our concentration dips as the day wears on, leaving us susceptible to stress. Take a 15 to 30 minute powernap after lunch to recharge yourself for a productive afternoon’s work. After all, you’re the boss!
There really is no better stress reliever than a hearty laugh and nothing diffuses a tense situation in a business meeting more effectively than some shared humour. Laughter produces stress-busting chemicals in the brain that distract you from stress. Take a break to read or watch something that will make you laugh, and don’t take things so seriously.
Take time out every day to exercise. It can be as simple as a quick walk in the fresh air to clear your mind, but aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate is an even better of lifting your mood and getting focused. Gentler practices such as yoga or Pilates can also restore a sense of calm, as well as improving your fitness.
10. DON’T BE A PERFECTIONIST
Imperfection in business is the same as imperfection anywhere else – it’s unavoidable. To be successful you’re going to have to accept that ‘good enough’ really is good enough. Things won’t always turn out the way you planned, but ask yourself if you’ve met your client’s requirements. If the answer is yes, then consider it a job well done and move on.