Running a small business can be incredibly rewarding, but for many owners the sole responsibility for keeping things afloat can take its toll. In fact, according to Safe Work Australia, one of the main causes (23%) of mental health claims is due to work pressure. So, if your stress levels have reached boiling point, try these simple techniques to help you work better under pressure.
1. Exercise and practise mindfulness
When you’re overrun with tasks, your mind can quickly get the better of you. Regular exercise can help you clear your head and refresh your perspective. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day – even a short walk at lunch – is said to have a significant impact on your stress levels. So if you work from a desk, try standing whenever you take a phone call or suggest a walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room. Meditative exercises like yoga or Tai Chi can also have rejuvenating effects.
2. Find a balance that works for you
We know it’s tempting to answer a few more emails before bed or postpone that much-needed holiday until next year. What’s often overlooked, however, is the importance of allocating sufficient personal time. Regular sleep patterns and a healthy diet, for instance, contribute to higher energy and productivity levels. Maintaining social relationships in your ‘off’ time and dedicating enough of it to your family can also help to take your mind off things. Who knows? They might even inspire you.
3. Ask for help
Being the sole owner of a small business doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. The right support can do wonders for your venture. A little tip: hire to cover your weaknesses. Hate planning? A personal or virtual assistant could manage your day-to-day while you focus on the bigger picture. Don’t know the difference between Instagram and Snapchat? Let a social media expert take care of it for you. And, if hiring someone full-time isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of time-saving apps out there designed specifically for busy small business owners.
4. Set business milestones
Naturally, every entrepreneur is aching to catch their big break, but this high-flying ambition can quickly become more of a hindrance than a help. So, if the pressure is mounting, it might be time to readjust your goals and make sure they’re realistic. Break them down into yearly and monthly targets and celebrate even the smallest achievements. This will help feed your motivation on the long road to success. Sometimes we have to hit the brakes before we can excel.