There's no getting around the fact that running your own business is hard. It can be, at once, scary, overwhelming, and stress-inducing.
But it can--and should--also be rewarding, productive, and enjoyable.
You don't have to live your life as a veritable ball of stress when you own a business. There are several steps you can take to ensure that you tackle each new day with a clear mind and calm attitude.
Here are five things you can do today (and every day) to relieve your small business-induced stress:
1. Have a daily plan (but be flexible)
The most successful, productive, and stress-free business owners start every day with a plan. Some people write lengthy to-do lists, others jot down the few things that must get done. However, you choose to approach it, you should begin your day with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. This relieves stress by clearing your mind of the 101 tasks you know you need to complete and ensures that you'll accomplish what you need to, when you need to accomplish it.
2. Schedule your time in chunks and minimize distractions
Here's the hard truth: You are not a good multi-tasker. None of us are. We are cognitively unable to juggle several tasks at once, while still performing each of them efficiently and effectively. Batch your projects and minimize distractions: Set aside a block of time for writing-related tasks or client projects, checking and responding to email or reading and commenting on the blogs of influencers in your industry. And, all the while, keep distractions at a minimum. Give each important project a solid chunk of focused time and you'll be amazed what you can accomplish.
3. Practice yoga/meditation
Nothing clears your mind--quite literally--like meditation and yoga. By taking the time to exercise your mind and body and focus on your present circumstances you can see any stress-inducing conflicts with proper perspective: Are these things deserving of your headspace? What can you let go of? What can you solve today? Take regular time to clear your head and reevaluate what's deserving of your time and energy.
4. Hire people to help
This one's a fairly practical tip, but one that too many business owners avoid. You can hire help long before you think you can afford it! Many business owners work with affordable freelancers and virtual teams to delegate work. And, if you think about it, you're only losing money by spending your valuable time and precious energy on basic administrative tasks--like writing social media content, managing your bookkeeping, and scheduling calls and meetings--that other people can do for (and probably better than) you!
5. Take some time off
We get it--you own a business; it lives and dies by the time that you put into it. But you're not putting anything valuable into your company if you're working 24/7 and not taking care of your own body and mind.
You don't have to take a vacation every month, but I encourage you to set aside regular time for yourself! Give yourself an hour during the day to grab lunch and take a walk. Schedule time to unplug and spend uninterrupted time with your family. Designate a day where you remain email- and social media-free.
We promise, if you've incorporated the four steps before this, taking time away from work will be easier than ever and will allow you to come back to your business more refreshed, clear-headed, and stress-free than ever before.
As a small business owner, how do you overcome the inevitable stress? Let us know in the comments!