Finding sources of stress for business owners is easy to find: uncertain economy, having to lay off employees, cutting back on expenses while still delivering the same level of service to your existing clients. Then let’s not forget the tasks finding resources and time to get new clients. What isn’t easy is dealing with stress.
Now let’s talk about four ways to get that stress down.
- Simple Time Management. Focus on a few big things and reward yourself for doing the big things. Find a system that works for you. Some people use the Pomodoro Method to make sure they work for a time and then take regular breaks. You work for 25 minutes, then you take a 5 minute break. You can use an app on your computer or iPhone or just use a simple kitchen timer. Find a simple time management system like 18 Minutes by Peter Bregman to help focus on those big boulders.
- Do one thing at a time. Business Coach, Margo DeGrange, recommends focusing on one thing at a time to be effective, clear and powerful in your efforts. She also advises to focus on what’s in front of you right now that stays in your mind. (It’s a great post and she explains it better than I can.)
- Use a calendar. Having a calendar is such a potent force in your business. Schedule time in your day for important projects and tasks but no more than five. Set the time to take breaks and stretch. Use a marketing calendar to schedule out time to work on marketing activities and accomplish smaller steps in larger projects. The marketing calendar can also include an editorial calendar for your content marketing such as blogs and social media. The calendar frees your mind because you’ve set dates for all those other big ideas that come to you in the shower. Setting a date in the future also helps achieve goals with a defined target date. For myself, an editorial calendar synced with marketing activities is a formidable force that saves me time and stress.
- Outsource. Even if you’ve had to lay off staff, there are still talented people out there who can handle many of the tasks that you’re not really good at or don’t have time for. Think of virtual assistants like Kathy McHenry, who can handle that pesky email marketing and administrative tasks. They are efficient, and cost-effective because they can work remotely without all the overhead of a regular employee. Think of how much more time you’ll have to grow your business if someone else is taking care of those email newsletters or blog posts.
There are tons of tools online and old school (like pen and paper) to help you manage stress. But no matter what tools you use or systems you adopt, the real key is to let go of those things that you have no control over. Make a plan to handle those things you do have control over. The economy is not under your control. Let it go. It’s always important to recognize your own limitations and use resources to handle those tasks that take up your time and don’t bring value to your business.
Ready to lower your stress? Get started today with these really smart resources to help you get your relaxation on. Ahhhh!:
When Will Life Get Easier? – Blaze Lazarony | 9 Minutes to Sanity – Lori Smith | Deep Breathing for Stress Relief & Better Health – Chantal Beaupré | Outsourcing for Small Business – Kathy Mc Henry | The Feminine Relaxation Zone – Christine O’Dell