Managing Stress for Business Owners - AASP PA

Managing Stress for Business Owners

A while back, I wrote an article about setting a goal for the year of stepping out of my comfort zone. And I certainly succeeded…I took flights back and forth from Lancaster to Pittsburgh on a six-seater plane; I sold a 10,000 sq. foot office building and moved the association into a space that was 1620 sq. ft., and so many more little things along the way.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Typically, if I set a resolution, it is inevitable that I will fail myself. So instead, I consider the goals, hopes, or attitude changes – it’s really just a word game with myself. This year I have developed a new mindset for the New Year and so far I’ve done pretty well.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. Those that know me well know this is no small feat. I am someone who stresses about everything. But if the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that there are so many things not worth stressing over; there are so many things out of our control in life.

Many think that running a business is great, there are so many perks! But they often don’t think about the stress involved too. Managing stress is crucial for business owners, it should be at the top of your to-do list.

1)     Recognize the good – By recognizing what is going well you will instantly be put in a positive mindset. Being able to identify what is working well will make you feel more organized.

2)     Identify your stressors – Take a step back and identify what is causing the problems in your business. Once you have identified the problem, you can delegate the tasks or tackle them differently.

3)     Build a solid schedule – Having a routine keeps your stress at bay because you know what to expect, giving you a sense of peace and control. If you know you have a difficult item to cross off your to-do list, do it first thing in the morning to avoid the sense of dread and procrastination.

4)     Prioritize your time – “Self-care” and “Me Time” are such buzzwords right now. But it is so important to carve out time for yourself away from the business to rejuvenate. Long hours and stress can quickly lead to burnout. Finding some balance in your life by setting boundaries is so importantly crucial to you AND your business.

5)     Learn to say NO – Saying No can be tough, but it’s important to remember your value and that you have limited time and resources. Taking on more than you can handle is the fastest way to fall into a stress trap. When you don’t set boundaries, you are teaching your customers (and employees) that it is okay for them to take advantage of you and your time. You end up feeling burned out, stressed out.

6)     Delegate or outsource tasks – as the boss, it can be hard to give up control, but eventually, we all come to the realization that we can’t do it all. Figure out how you want to spend your time and what you’d rather avoid. What are you good at and where do you fall short? Do you know you have to do better at marketing, but don’t do well with social media? Maybe there’s someone in your business that excels at that – if not, find a company to outsource it to.

7)     Unplug during your off time – this goes back to #4, reiterating how “me time” is so important. You can’t work all the time and expect to maintain the same level of productivity. You need to have downtime to replenish your energy levels not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

8)     Prioritize your goals – as a business owner there are so many wheels in motion at once it’s often hard to see the big picture. Create a to-do list of everything that needs to be completed, then rank your list in order of importance. As you check tasks off your list, you will feel such a sense of relief and satisfaction.

Written by Amanda Henry