Regardless of whether business is booming and you are constantly busy, or times are slack and you are struggling to grow your business, it may seem as if the stress involved with running a business is never-ending. However, by adjusting your approach to time management and reviewing your priorities, you can break the cycle of stress and start to feel more confident and in control of your life.
If you are uncertain about where to begin, keep track of your activities over the course of a typical week or two. What time do you get up in the morning? How many hours do you spend in the office? How much time do you spend commuting? Do you have time for exercise and dinner with your family? Do you take work home with you on evenings and weekends? Are eating patterns, alcohol, or caffeine consumption hindering your ability to wind down at night and wake up refreshed in the morning?
Next, analyze how you allocate your time at work. Have you been attending unnecessary meetings? Do you often take on responsibilities that could be handled by others? Do you spend too much time on certain tasks? Can you delegate less essential functions to other staff?
Simply by recognizing your patterns, you may be able to identify areas where you could improve your habits and minimize stress. For example, you may be accustomed to making and receiving client phone calls throughout the day, even when commuting or working out. While it is important to be accessible to clients, perennial interruptions can interfere with your ability to concentrate or relax. One possible solution could involve designating time to make and receive calls. Then, allow another staff member to handle any non-urgent or routine matters, as well as set up appointments to ensure that a client is available for your return call. By establishing a schedule, you may find that you can handle calls more quickly and efficiently, while also freeing up time to focus on other work or leisure.
Taking time out to take care of your health and maintain relationships with family and friends can be essential to a balanced and fulfilled life. Schedule regular vacations from the office, and set aside time in the evenings and on the weekend for outdoor or other recreational activities. Leave your phone and laptop behind.
If you continue to feel stressed throughout the workday, or even after leaving the office, consider your professional approach. If you find that you often feel anxious in the course of your day, especially in certain situations, assess your attitudes and negotiating skills. If you worry about making mistakes or delegating responsibilities to others, consider the possibility that your perfectionism may be hindering your efficiency and adding to your stress.
Because everybody is different, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress management. But, by taking an honest and thorough inventory of your professional and personal life, you can identify self-defeating patterns, take the steps necessary to end the cycle of overwork, and begin to feel more confident and less stressed both personally and professionally.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.
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