Business Owners and Busy Professionals: How to Reduce Stress and Achieve your Goals
Written by: Julie Morris
Busy professionals and successful business owners may look like they have it all, but they experience stress just like everyone else does. If this is you, the tips in this article may prove fruitful when you’re looking to reduce stress, whether physically or financially.
The old adage that money can’t buy you happiness isn’t necessarily true; simply ask the more than 43 million Americans who lived at or under the poverty line in 2016, according to the US Census Bureau’s estimates. A recent article by CNBC reported more than 30 percent of Americans are stressed about money, but money woes don’t have to keep you up at night.
Budgeting and staying organized will help set you up for success, as will prioritizing your saving and investing efforts. Frequently revisit your budget, and ask yourself if it still serves you. If your credit score is a little too low for comfort, work on repairing it. This may involve working with specialists or simply setting aside funds to pay off outstanding debts. Your credit score is important not only for your personal financial picture, but also your business ventures, especially when the day you need more capital to build your company comes. Once you start taking steps toward your financial goals, you will be surprised how quickly you’re able to achieve them.
Streamline Your Processes
You’re probably well aware by now of how detrimental physical clutter can be to your mental health, whether you’re at home or at work. Along those same lines, the “invisible clutter” of having a disorganized business – one with too many balls in the air – can cause you stress, so it’s important to make all of your systems as simple as possible.
For instance, do your customer transactions involve totaling up purchases on a calculator and writing out receipts by hand? Simplify both you and your customers’ experiences by investing in a machine that handles multiple processes. Is your accounting department a shoebox full of receipts and invoices? Purchase software that allows you to track everything in one place, or hire someone to do your tax planning for you. There will be some sort of investment for each of these examples, but if it makes your business run more efficiently – therefore easing the burden of running it – it’s a worthwhile expense.
Productive Ways to Destress
You’re a business owner, so your brain is constantly poring over scenarios about the bottom line, your people and payroll, and how to grow your company. Entrepreneur offers five tips for small business stress management. One simple thing you can do is remind yourself of the things that have gone right, and write them down and display them where you can regularly see them and be inspired. You should also rank tasks by priority level, giving the highest marks to endeavors that will be the most impactful to your business. There are a million things to do, but prioritizing those that matter most is important. Psychology Today also suggests writing in a journal for five minutes before bed about what’s on your to-do list for tomorrow; that way, you wake up with a solid plan, which will reduce your stress from the moment you open your eyes each morning.
Another way to cut your stress level is to take breaks from the rigors of business management when necessary, even if they’re quick. Grab a mug of hot tea or phone a friend – do whatever you have to do to prevent burnout.
Diet and Exercise
Running your own business requires long days, nights, and even weekends, often without any days off. Keeping your physical wellness in tip-top shape will be key to your overall success. Drink plenty of water, eat regularly, and work on establishing a healthy sleep pattern. Maintaining a diet that reduces sugar, caffeine, and saturated fats and is full of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein will help your body get the nutrients it needs to function during stressful times. You may also want to consider adding in some natural supplements.
Also be sure you’re getting enough physical activity. Figure out what works best for you, whether that’s a run before the kids get up or swinging by the gym after work. The Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day – ideally, a mixture of both aerobic activity and strength training.
Paying attention to your finances, streamlining your processes, finding productive ways to destress, and adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help business owners and busy professionals reduce stress no matter what life throws at them. Remember, you can only succeed in your career if you are feeling physically and emotionally healthy.