Let’s be honest – the life of an entrepreneur is full of stress and pressure. It doesn’t matter whether you run a small business or manage a multi-channel distribution chain – you have to constantly make quick and important decisions, and deal with numerous small tasks that require meticulous attention and concentration.
Stress can have both positive and negative effects on health. According to Berkeley’s University research on the lab rats “brief stressful events caused the stem cells in their brains to proliferate into new nerve cells” resulting in increased mental performance after two weeks. At the same time, if an organism is exposed to stress for a long period of time, it causes anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, etc.
Let’s look into the tactics that can help entrepreneurs avoid negative stress and increase their everyday productivity.
Make your workplace more personal
There are a lot of people who personalize their workspace by placing photos of their family and friends, putting flowers on the table, changing screensavers of their laptop to more familiar or pleasant, and more.This kind of personalization turns out to be really helpful in reducing the stress and improving work efficiency. This is a scientifically proven fact. If you still haven’t made a personal touch to your workspace, give it a try and enjoy a boost in your own productivity.
Multitasking is complete nonsense in terms of work productivity and quality of its results. Some time ago Stanford researchers conducted the experiment. 262 students had to complete a series of tasks, while certain groups were constantly “attacked” by third-party assignments, information that had no relation to these tasks, etc. As a result, the members of these groups have shown very poor results. Moreover, scientists have found that when a person who used to deal with multitasking regularly, tries to focus on one thing, he performs lower results compared to the result of a person who doesn’t practice multitasking at all. If you can’t avoid multitasking due to the specifics of your work, try to at least reduce it and structure your work day by devoting 20 minutes to each task.
Meditation has become a very popular practice among entrepreneurs. Such a hobby really justifies itself. In one study, researchers from Washington and Arizona universities gathered 45 HR-professionals and divided them into the three groups. The first group successfully completed training in meditation, the second practiced methods of physical relaxation, and the third group did not receive any new knowledge. Then all the participants were asked to pass a difficult test that required the ability to quickly switch from one task to another. Members of the meditation-trained group showed less stress levels compared to other participants in the experiment. If you perceive the word meditation as something out of touch with reality, try to simply have a rest with your eyes closed for a few minutes and relax your muscles. Returning to work after such a pause, you will surely see better results – your thoughts will be clearer, fresh solutions will come up for any problem, and you won’t perceive any sudden task as an attack.
Don’t neglect sleep
Probably each of us knows how important it is to get enough sleep. This is such a trivial and well-known fact, but most people neglect it for some reason. We have all heard that an adult needs to sleep 8 hours a day. Nevertheless, this parameter is individual for everyone. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania conducted an experiment in which made volunteers sleep for only 4.5 hours a day during a week. The result of the experiment was quite logical – each volunteer stated that living in such a mode made him more irritable and less productive. But as soon as the number of hours devoted to sleep returned to normal, all these “symptoms” disappeared. Find out how much time you need to sleep per day, and plan your work and life schedule in order to get this minimum amount of sleep.
Regular exercises and physical activity has an extremely positive effect on productivity. Exercises lead to the release of endorphins which improve sleep, make people more creative and happier. In modern times, when entrepreneurs spend most of their day sitting in the office with minimal physical activity, sport becomes almost essential both for physical and mental health. Start adding physical activity to your daily routine. Begin with 15 minutes of morning gymnastics, then proceed with functional training and go to the gym if you feel the need for active sport. You can choose jogging, yoga – anything you find relaxing and at the same time cheerful. Physical exercises will help you to abstract from current tasks and look at some issues and problems from another point of view.
Entrepreneurs have to be concentrated to take serious and important decisions in the context of solving various business tasks. At the same time, numerous studies confirm that human cognitive resources are very limited. In other words, the number of effective decisions we can make is not endless. So the goal of every person is to use these resources wisely. Planning and optimization of routine tasks can help you in this aspect. The first rule is making plans in the evening for the next day. This way you will wake up more confident and less stressed. Group similar tasks like calls or email conversations together. Book special time slots for brainstorming or modifying your global strategy. As a result, you will have more time to effectively address issues that require your special attention.
Unplug from the world
There are a lot of studies confirming the dependence of a modern person on information technologies and electronic communication tools. For example, social media can become a real addiction. At first glance, they allow people to communicate more, blur physical boundaries between them and make them more open. But in reality, social networks cause real alienation, loneliness, envy and fatigue. The constant information flow we receive via smartphones and email provokes fear of missing out (FOMO) syndrome that can cause significant stress in your life. The result is that a person can’t “switch off,” fully rest, and prepare their mind and soul for the next day at work. Turn off your phone, leave your laptop at work, take a book and simply rest – the next will surely be more productive.
We already know that stress dramatically influences entrepreneurs’ productivity. Depending on the type of stress people can become more productive or face serious mental and physical health issues instead. The stress management tactics described in the article can help you avoid excessive stress in your life and organize your business days in the most efficient ways. Choose the one you feel comfortable with and start improving your productivity with less effort.