You love what you do…except on those days where your blood pressure is boiling and it’s all you can do to get through the day. We all have stress at work from time to time, and being an entrepreneur seems to compound it. After all, you’re the decision-maker, supply-orderer, sales-closer, and product-maker, so you’re taking on the stress of multiple people! Rather than succumb to the frustrations of a bad day, try these techniques to power through.
Tip 1: Get Out of the Office
This is my tip for so many things. Essentially, if the stress at work is, well, in your workplace, get out of there! Take a walk around the block, inhaling and exhaling slowly. The longer you’re away from the problem, the more you’ll be able to wrap your head around it. You might come up with innovative solutions you wouldn’t have thought about if you’d kept banging your head against your monitor at your desk.
Tip 2: Pinpoint the Issue
What exactly is causing you to dread coming in to work? A belligerent employee? A customer who calls you incessantly? Understanding exactly what’s getting under your skin is the first step to finding a solution. If it’s a staffing concern that keeps you up at night, it’s time to have a sit-down conversation with that employee. And if his/her behaviour doesn’t improve, don’t hesitate to fire them. It’s not worth jeopardizing your brand because the idea of firing someone stresses you out. Once you take care of it, problem solved.
Tip 3: Be a Better Planner
A lot of workplace stress comes from poor organization and planning. I don’t have this problem, because I’m anal-retentive. But I know people (one of them works for me, ahem) who wait until just before a deadline to work on a project. Or who can’t get it together for a meeting because they don’t have their stuff together. This is completely preventable. It just takes a little forethought.
Every day before you close down for the day, look at what you need to accomplish tomorrow. Maybe you have a report to turn in, a client to call back, and three products to complete. Prioritize which you need to take care of first, and then put each task on your calendar so you have time to dedicate to each one. Meetings are generally an excellent way of organising people and teams, but you have to make sure they are, worthwhile and don’t become useless go-to options every time – get some tips on that here. Get into this habit to keep from dropping the ball and raising your stress levels.
Tip 4: Stop Trying to Be So Busy
I know a lot of entrepreneurs who insist they can’t shut off their phones or emails after hours. They “need” to be available to clients and staff, but in reality, they don’t. We’ve started to ascribe a certain level of cache to people who work more than 40 hours a week, but check their blood pressure and see what the numbers say. You’d do better to shut down your computer, leave the office (and shut the door, if it’s a home office) and forget about work until the next day.
Stress at work is going to happen, but how you react to it will make the difference to how it affects you long-term.