There are constant demands on you. The next bill is due from your supplier. You haven’t been able to spend quality time with your family for three days. You’ve got customers complaining about the last order you sent out. You’re tired, and it’s starting to show in the quality of your work. There must be a better way.
As a small business owner, the demands on your time, energy, attention and resources are almost endless. Fortunately, there are several practical ways you can change your approach to make everything easier.
Manage your time better
Time is your most precious resource. You can always earn more money or hire more people, but you can never get more hours in the day. If you try to work all hours, you’ll burn out and the quality of your work will suffer. Understand the importance of managing your time and energy levels well.
Better productivity and prioritization
Create a system and approach that helps you prioritize, focus, and spend your time wisely. There’s a great overview on how to prioritize properly here and there are several excellent productivity systems like Getting Things Done, Pomodoroand Kanban. These can all help you manage your work and time better.
Get your work-life balance right
For entrepreneurs, balancing working to live with living to work is always tough. Because we want our business to succeed, we often put in long hours, blocking everything else out. That’s counterproductive – by locking ourselves in our offices, we’re forgetting how to communicate and simply enjoy life.
Limit your work to certain hours, turn off your email and notifications outside those hours, and spend time with your family and friends.
Take time for yourself
It’s essential to take time for yourself. You need to nourish your interests, take some exercise, feed your mind, follow your curiosity, and keep yourself healthy. Make sure you get outside at least once a day. Take time on some evenings to read books or pursue your interests. Spend some time just sitting and breathing, enjoying the silence.
Build a good support network
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to connect with people who care about you or have some insight and experience to share. A recent article covered the best ways to do this,and you can follow those techniques to create a great support network.
Work to your values
We can get so caught up in the day-to-day of running a business that we don’t stop to think about why we started the business in the first place. When you founded your business, you had hopes, dreams and aspirations for it. You wanted to share your business values with the world. Here’s a powerful reminder from Simon Sinek on why that’s so important. Spend some time watching his TED talk and apply it to your own life and work.
Changing your approach, remembering why you started this in the first place, reconnecting with your family and friends, and managing your time better will all help you to reduce stress and enjoy your work and your life.