Entrepreneurship is consistently rated as one of the most stressful but rewarding career paths. On one hand, business owners love the flexibility and freedom that comes with carving their own path. On the other, knowing the success of a business is riding on your shoulders is a lot of pressure to be under.
Entrepreneurs don’t have to choose between a successful business and a happy life. There are things you can do to manage stress while still hitting your business goals, like following these five tips.
1. Sleep 7-9 Hours a Night
Sleep is the foundation of healthy stress management. When you’re sleep deprived, your memory, judgment and mood are all affected. That leaves you both more vulnerable to stress and less capable of making sound business decisions. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, so make sure you’re setting aside enough time and practicing good sleep hygiene.
2. Practice Discipline and Structure
When you take work home with you, you sacrifice downtime and produce lower-quality work. The key to keeping work at work is being disciplined and structured with your time. Block out time for each task on your plate and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other tasks (or procrastination) during that time block. If you struggle to stay on task, use a time management tool. Lifehack lists 15 worth checking out.
3. Outsource Work
Running a business shouldn’t mean doing everything yourself. If you do attempt to wear every hat yourself, you risk producing low-quality work across the board. Instead, outsource work. A virtual assistant is a great solution for time-consuming administrative tasks, and it doesn’t require you to hire a full-time assistant or worry about payroll taxes. If you’ve got things handled at the office but struggle to keep up with chores around the house, hire an extra hand at home so you can free up your downtime. Whether that’s a cleaning service, dog walker or landscaper, it’s a small price to pay for less stress and more leisure time.
4. Find Tech Solutions to Business Problems
Some business tasks are cumbersome, but not enough to warrant hiring someone to manage them. For tasks like scheduling staff, tracking time and sending invoices, turn to technology for apps that streamline the process for you. There are tons of apps designed to meet the needs of small business owners. You can learn about some of the most popular apps at DreamHost.
5. Give Yourself a Paid Vacation
It’s hard to step away from work when you’re the person in charge. However, being self-employed shouldn’t mean forgoing the important benefits that employees are offered. All business owners should include benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance, retirement contributions and paid time off in their compensation. And by paid time off, we don’t just mean a couple days of sick leave. Create room in your business’ budget to allow for a paid vacation at least once per year. You put a lot of hard work toward your business and you deserve time off to recharge. Plus, when you take a vacation, you’ll come back feeling more creative, productive and ready to take your business to the next level.
Running a small business shouldn’t run you into the ground. If you let it, it won’t just be your own health that suffers — the effects of your stress impact your business, too. That’s why it’s so important to factor stress management into the way you operate your business. Only when you feel your best can you lead your business to success.
Blog produced by Julie Morris Life and Career Coach.