When you talk to entrepreneurs about the number of hours they work, their lives, and the results they get, it is easy to get depressed. They often work too much and much longer than they did before they started their entrepreneurial journey. Here are six ways to reduce their workload and reduce their stress that is often a result of working too much without getting the results they want.

1. Good enough is the gold standard.

Unless you are running a mission-critical operation, good enough is better than perfect. When you always strive for the ideal solution, you waste too many resources. Also, tasks and projects often seem to take the time set aside for them.

When you are a solopreneur, this will increase the workload and stress on you. Still, when you have employees, it could leave everyone stressed. And it could support an error-free mentality where everybody tries to hide their mistakes.

2. Plan to keep the big picture.

If your brain flows with all the tiny details, it is easy to lose track of where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.

Every time you lose track of where you are, make a plan – this could be as simple as a To-Do list or plotting more details in your calendar. That way, you can also quickly identify what the top priorities are and where you can cut corners.

3. The Pareto principle, a.k.a. the 80/20 rule.

Remember the idea that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. The principle can be applied in various ways as an entrepreneur. It is known as the Pareto Principle.

For example, 20% of the customers account for 80% of the results, or 20% of the products or services account for 80% of the revenue. Identifying products, services, or customers you don’t want to work with can save you time and reduce your stress. Another example could be to spend the first 1-2 hours of the day on the 20% that is the most important so that you make sure you get at least 80% of the results each day. That will be a perfect start for the day and ease any stress building up.

4. Taking action.

When you move forward in the right direction, you rarely get stressed. It is often better to take action, measure the outcome, and make necessary corrections instead of just keeping things the way they are right now.

For this, you could use the Eisenhower Matrix. The Eisenhower Matrix is a matrix dividing your tasks into four categories: urgent and not urgent on one side versus important and not important on the other side. The key here is to focus on (do) the urgent and important tasks, plan the important but not urgent tasks and delegate the urgent but not important tasks. The tasks that are neither important nor urgent should be eliminated.

5. Outsource more.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to focus on what you are good at and what is vital to the business and the things you enjoy doing. On the other hand, you can relieve a lot of stress by delegating or outsourcing tasks that are non-essential and tasks you hate doing.

For instance, for many, this could be bookkeeping or IT. Unless you are educated in these fields, keeping up to date on best practices, software programs, laws etc., will take up too much of your valuable time and cause more stress than necessary.

6. Get a team.

Even though you can build a company without a team, it will often be a great idea to have a few people to talk over problems and challenges. These people could be a mastermind group, an advisory board or one or more mentors. It will be easier to make a decision when you get an outsider’s perspective on the decision – especially if the outsider isn’t tied to the business the same way as an employee or a consultant.

Getting outside inspiration is especially important when facing extreme consequences like fighting for the company’s life or when you need investors or overdraft facilities. 

The next step to take from here is to decide which of the six principles you would like to work on first. It is possible to reduce your stress, even as an entrepreneur. You deserve a life without stress – now it is your turn.

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