Whatever walk of life you have there is always an element of stress in your life. Sometimes, we can cope with it just fine and other times we can’t. When you run your own business you have the beauty of being the one to make the decisions in your work and life but on the flip side this can be very hard to deal with and you end up taking the weight of the stresses and strains alone. If you are feeling stressed and are looking for some direction to help manage it, then take a read of my 10 Quick Wins to help lead you to a less stressful life.
The following tips are ones that I have learned on the way that really work for me. Remember, we are not superhuman and it’s really easy to feel that we have to live up to certain expectations each and every day. A lot of the time these expectations are just manifestations that we create ourselves or feel that we “should” be doing because either someone else says so, or pressure from social media and appearances of how “successful” others may look and we feel the pressure to feel the same or that we are not good enough. Read my article on Imposter Syndrome here.
So, here are my Top 10 Wins:
Stop Trying to Control the “Uncontrollables”
This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned. I know it sounds so obvious when you say it out loud. The only control you have is of yourself. You can control what you do, what you say and what you think. You cannot control anyone or anything else, so don’t even begin to try. If you set yourself a task, a goal or a job then it’s your sole responsibility to get it done and if you don’t, then that’s your choice not to. There’s a certain level of acceptance you need to have in place when you are relying on someone or something else where you have no control. If things don’t work out when you’re in that position, then you just have to regain control, pick up the pieces and put things right. When someone else is in the picture then communication is key (but that’s a whole other topic to write about).
Having a Plan and Eating the Frog
I have put these two together because I think they go hand in hand. Have a daily plan. A daily plan consists of 3 “must do” jobs. Having just 3 jobs on the list each day, means that 1) you get the priorities done and 2) you feel good at the end of the day because you checked everything off the list and have a sense of achievement. Eating the Frog is a term coined on the back of a book by Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog! where he says that you should do the job first that you loathe the most to get it out of the way, stop procrastination and feel a sense of achievement.
Let Go of People (and things) Who No Longer Serve You
I mean this in a really nice way. You simply cannot be all things to all people all of the time and neither can other people. Sometimes, you meet people along the way on your journey and you might have given each other a helping hand at some point but then just as your paths crossed, you go your separate ways. Sometimes, that’s just how it goes and you need to let go. Sometimes, you may have negative people in your life and that can have a huge impact. If it’s not good for you, then let that go too. If you have clients who have opposite core values to you and you don’t see eye to eye and the work you do for them makes you feel exhausted, undervalued and miserable, then let them go. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. Remember all those emails you signed up to? How many of those are no longer relevant to what you are doing today? Unsubscribe now. Feeling FOMO if you do unsubscribe? All the more of a reason to let them go too and read how FOMO is Killing Your Business.
Make Time to Switch Off
You cannot continue to work 24/7. That is only going to end in burnout. Hands up who has been in that situation? Right. So, let’s take heed from that and put some boundaries in place. For me personally, I now switch off on the weekends. I am present and fully engaged to spend quality time with friends and family and doing other things outside of work that makes me happy and helps lower my stress levels. It doesn’t mean I am not thinking about work things though, when you run your own business you are always thinking about it! If you don’t take time out, stress levels rise and you actually become less efficient. So, take time out when it fits in with your life and recharge.
Work With Clients Who Share Your Core Values
This is a big one for me. This one also comes with confidence and experience and being in a position to be able to work with clients who are a great fit for you and share core values with you. This makes for a more harmonious way of working for both parties and helps to build great business relationships!
You cannot continue to work 24/7. That is only going to end in burnout Click To Tweet
Set up Processes in Your Business
Setting up processes in your business is a great way to improve time management and also save brain power. There’s nothing worse than repeating the same tasks over and over again from scratch and wasting time and effort. Processes and systems can save you time if used effectively. This is not giving you permission to go after every shiny object but to use tools you already have to make things easier. Simple tasks you can create are things like canned emails on your G Suite instead of having to write the same or similar emails over and over, a canned email can be tweaked and personalised to get the email out faster and save you time. I love using Dubsado for my workflows where I can create processes, forms and contracts to save reinventing the wheel each time.
Don’t Reply to Emails Immediately
Firstly, stop checking your emails all the time! Set aside a few times during the day when you go and check emails. Don’t feel you have to respond immediately either. In this technological age, it seems to be expected that we respond immediately to everything. Set expectations with your clients about how and when you reply to emails they send you so they know what to expect. It’s also important to let them know when you will respond so they don’t expect a reply out of hours in the evenings and weekends.
Set Weekly Priorities
To help you work out your 3-a-day tasks for your daily plan, it’s important to work out a picture of what needs to be done for the week. A pen and paper is adequate for the job to write down everything you need to do and then categorised into an order of importance. You can also use a tool like Asana where you can add tasks and projects into it so you manage your workload as you go along and capture everything that you need to do in one place so you can easily see what’s coming up for the week ahead.
Set expectations with your clients about how and when you reply to emails they send you so they know what to expect. Click To Tweet
If Something Is Not Working, Don’t Fight It
Now there’s a difference between keeping going and pushing through the comfort zone to achieve your goals but another thing all together to “flog a dead horse” (that’s not a nice term when I see it written down but means “to waste effort on something when there is no chance of succeeding” according to the Cambridge English Dictionary) Sometimes, you have to let go, learn from your experience and put it down to being a bit wiser next time. So, if it’s not working and you’ve tried everything, then let it go and feel the relief!
I hope that some of these quick wins might help you to lower your stress levels. I would love to know what techniques you use to help you keep your stress levels in check. If you have a technique to add, please drop me a comment below!