Running a business comes with many stresses; from finding clients, to generating leads and making sales or even managing a team (virtual o in-house). It can sometimes feel like that list can go on and on! But there are always ways to make your business less stressful. And you’re in luck because today I have some pointers for you! ?
One of the most important things I have learned to do is use my Sundays. I know what you’re thinking, it’s not work … I promise. What I mean is that I take a little time out of every Sundays to envision my week and to list all the major tasks I want to tackle. This way I’m not wasting any time Monday morning trying to sort my week out and I can get right to the good stuff! I also do a mini version of this each evening before I wrap up each day; creating a task specific to-do list for the following day. Doing this helps me stay on top of things but also keeps me focused on the tasks at hand.
Writing lists and planning out your week is a proven way to feel like you are in control and to know what is coming next – -both of which help to reduce the stress that comes with unorganized tasks and deadlines.
In the bigger scheme of things, and especially to remain motivated, I suggest reading your goals every single day. In fact, I recommend you print out a list of your goals and have it somewhere where you can look over it every morning. Keeping a digital version of this is just fine too – I use Asana – but having the printed copy right in front of you is just a simple affirmation through the tiny action of a glance!
Often it is your morning routine that sets the tone for the rest of your day. Something that has worked for me is using my mornings to sit with myself and my thoughts by stretching then journaling. These are not only business-related stress alleviators but ones that can transfer to a healthier lifestyle overall. The healthier you feel, the less stressed your work will feel — the two go hand in hand.
Now, let’s get into the specifics …
Create a strategic schedule:
“A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.”
– Peter Turla, Time Management Expert and Former NASA Rocket Designer.
Running a business can be chaotic and that is why having some sort of structure is very important. Creating a structure for your day will help you focus and get things checked off on your to-do list. I highly recommend you batch your tasks by time blocking. This means, blocking off chunks of time and assigning one task to that time. If you have meetings or calls you can block off certain days for these. And then tackling your hardest (or most difficult) task first, to get it out of the way. This is an effective way to feel a sense of accomplishment but also to give the most time to what needs to be done most pressingly.
Or abide by the rule of creating first and consuming after. This means, reserving the first portion of the day for doing your work that includes creative output such as writing or client work, then moving onto doing more strategic learning or activities that require little creative output.
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”
– Charles Buxton, Political Figure
Having a set amount of time that is dedicated to your task at hand helps you stay focused and in the long run, get more accomplishment from your day. Also, creating your own schedule will allow you to build your days around the optimal times you feel you are more productive. This helps with creating boundaries for when you don’t want to be “plugged in”.
Delegate so you can say YES:
In order to have a business that is stress free, you need to delegate! Trying to do everything on your own is going to lead to a build-up of pressure and stress. Delegating tasks or projects will also free up time for you to do what you do best and really focus on your business. Not feeling overwhelmed by menial tasks. Hire the experts to do what they are best at and save yourself time from trying to learn everything — because, let’s face it, it is simply not efficient! Having too much on your plate is a given way to start feeling overwhelmed. In the same vein, learning to say “NO” is a very important skill to have. As a result, you will see your stress levels go down and the time you have for tasks you said yes to, go up!
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.”
– Richard Branson, Entrepreneur
Automate everything possible:
I cannot emphasize this enough … but automate as much as possible! It will not only make your business more efficient; it will let things flow smoothly. Automation could include things like email sequences or even scheduling your social media posts. Streamlining these kinds of processes in your business by putting systems in place will not only save you time but will also save you the headache of having to reinvent the wheel each time. No more rinse n’ repeat! ?
And last but not least …
Check in with yourself:
It’s always a great idea to end your day by checking in with yourself. Take a few minutes to look over what tasks you completed and which ones you need to move onto the next day’s list. This will make you feel less stressed as you will be able to see all you have managed to get done. (The powerful feeling of crossing things you’ve done off your list!) It’s also EXTREMELY important to check in with your team (and often – once a day at least if possible) and get feedback to make sure that as a group, you are all working together in ways that are not stressful but efficient and creative.
Checking in with yourself also requires you to prioritize some “you” time. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically will help maintain your stress levels. This will also better prepare you when you are faced with stressful situations (or clients). Having a stress-free business requires you to be constantly adjusting and trying new things. So, don’t be afraid to not only step out of that box occasionally, but rid of it completely.
For additional tips n’ tricks, feel free to check out 30 things I learned in my first year of business.
In the end it is important that you to do what works best for YOU!
Lastly, remember to unplug during your “off time”. Having a separate work area (or devices) can really help in doing this. For me, I have a set time that my device notifications turn off that way I can really take the time I deserve to unwind from a busy (or hard) day so that I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed for the next! ?
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” – Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post
So, let me ask you just one question …
What are some steps you are planning to take to make your business more stress free?
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