As an entrepreneur, your days are packed from morning ‘til night with important activity. You’re developing new materials, courting new clients, supervising a website makeover, emailing vendors and clients, creating your marketing strategy, maintaining files, keeping track of expenses… And what about making time for friends and family? Working for yourself is a lot of work, and more often than not, leads to serious amounts of stress. But there are a few great tricks you can use to de-stress yourself, and I’m happy to share them with you.
Not everything has to be done this minute or even this week. Make a list of your tasks and sort them into four categories: urgent and important, urgent but not important, important but not urgent, and not important and not urgent. The tasks in the urgent and important group should be done first, then tasks in the urgent but not important. Next, tackle tasks that are important but not urgent, and finally, address those that are neither important nor urgent.
2. Take a Break
It can seem counterintuitive to walk away from responsibilities when they feel the most pressing, but when you’re rushing and frantic, it’s much more likely you’ll make a mistake or wind up burned out, or both. There are a few tactics you can use here:
- Breathe. If you’re in the midst of a stressful meeting that you can’t escape until it’s over, you can take several slow, deep breaths. Stressed people breathe very shallowly and deprive their bodies of necessary oxygen.
- Walk. If you can get out of the building, go for a short walk around the block. Fresh air, a change of scenery, and the movement of your body will help release tension.
- Exercise. Regular exercise is extremely useful to help manage ongoing stress. Especially if you combine a mindful exercise such as yoga that incorporates breathing techniques, you can get great relaxation from focusing on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Sometimes you realize you’ve simply bitten off more than you can chew. This can happen at any time to any entrepreneur, so don’t waste time being self-critical about it – that will only add to your stress! The best way to get things both accomplished and off your plate is to delegate. If you have staff who can take on new responsibilities, now is the time to help them expand their roles. If not, you can hire a virtual assistant to take over some tasks.
The beauty of hiring a virtual assistant is that you don’t have to make the investment of hiring a full time staff member. You only have to pay for the hours she works, so you can keep your expenses low.