Are you struggling with the stress of running your own business?
There’s no doubt about it: we’re living in stressful times. But even without the looming presence of a global pandemic or the still largely unknown consequences of Brexit, running your own business is no easy task.
Concerns about how to support, maintain and grow your business can consume your every waking moment, and for entrepreneurs it can be nigh-on impossible to switch off at the end of the working day.
However, there are steps you can take to lighten the load and reduce your stress levels. Not only will this make you feel better in yourself, but it can also make you less panicked and more productive when it comes to supporting your organisation. So, here are four ways to reduce stress and find your calm as an entrepreneur.
One of the most important skills that any entrepreneur must learn is how to prioritise. It will probably feel like you constantly have an endless number of tasks on your to-do list, and no matter how quickly you get through them, more jobs just keep getting added to the pile.
This can be a stressful way to work, but the trick is to understand which tasks are most pressing, and which can be moved to the bottom of the pile for another, quieter day. Consider what the most important jobs are, or those with the most looming deadlines. These are the ones which need your attention now.
Just because you’re in charge of this ship, doesn’t mean you have to oversee every minor task that takes place on it. Running your own business comes with a wide range of responsibilities, some more important than others, and often the least important tasks are also the most time-consuming.
Whether it’s marketing, finance, organisation or admin, don’t feel like you need to juggle all these tasks yourself. Delegation is a key skill that can help to reduce your stress by offloading some of your responsibilities onto staff members, outsourcing companies and freelancers.
Take a break
It’s a myth that the world’s most successful people got where they are today by working day and night, sleeping for no more than three hours and essentially living for their business. In reality, you can’t be ‘on’ all the time, and even the most productive people need to take a break now and then.
This is true in the larger sense – taking the occasional day, week or fortnight off to spend time with friends and family – but it’s also relevant in the context of every individual work day. Nobody can work consistently for eight hours straight, and trying to do so will only make you feel more tired and more stressed. Instead, plan a schedule that works for your routine, giving yourself short, regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk, hydrate and unwind.
Ask for help
We all need a little help now and then, especially when it comes to something as important and complicated as running a business. If a problem occurs, don’t bury your head in the sand or assume that you’ll be able to handle it without having the right skills or knowledge to hand. Instead, ask for help early in order to get you back on track swiftly and with minimal damage.
This help can come in many forms, from the moral support of family and friends to the more knowledgeable advice of fellow business owners and business support teams. Whatever kind of support you need, make sure you seek it out so you don’t have to suffer stress in silence.