As a business owner, it’s easy to feel as if chronic stress comes with the territory. However, your life doesn’t have to be marked by constant pressure and overwhelming anxiety. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of tweaks to reorient your entire approach and rediscover what it looks like to be happy and healthy.
The Relationship Between Stress and Satisfaction
Stress is a huge problem across all of society. It’s something that we all deal with on a regular or recurring basis and, left untreated, it can transform into severe anxiety or even depression. And while everyone is facing some type of stress, business owners are especially susceptible.
The problem with chronic stress is that it destroys satisfaction. It weighs on you and makes you feel as if your work is worthless and ineffective. And if a lot of your identity is tied up in your business, this can quickly unravel into feeling like you, personally, don’t measure up. In other words, chronic work-related stress is a serious mental and emotional health issue.
4 Ways to Prevent Unnecessary Stress
On the one hand, we – meaning business owners – need to do a better job of not tying our identities to our businesses. This is a major piece to the puzzle. But there also needs to be a greater emphasis on reducing unnecessary stress so that we can be more satisfied in what we’re doing. In terms of the latter, here are a few practical tips:
1. Hire the Right People
According to one study of small and medium-sized businesses, 42 percent of owners feel staff management is their biggest cause of stress. While you can’t do much about the people you already have on the payroll – other than letting them go for a genuine offence or shortcoming – you can get smarter about who you hire.
Hiring the right people – meaning individuals who are both skilled at what they do and who possess the right soft skills – will lower your stress level and make your business run more effortlessly.
2. Lower Risk
You likely spend a good deal of your time thinking about and stressing over the big risks and threats your business faces. Thus, the simplest way to lower your stress and maximize enjoyment is to remove and/or counteract these risks through proactive strategies and actions.
For example, let’s say you’re in the business of managing Airbnb rental properties – a popular business at the moment. Property damage by guests is one of your biggest stressors. Instead of worrying about whether you have enough insurance and how much it costs to maintain, simply purchasing Airbnb insurance – which eliminates gaps in coverage and only makes you pay for the days you use – could completely remove this stressor from the equation and allow you to focus on more interesting aspects of the business.
3. Strategically Manage Time
You want your business to do well and grow, so you say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. From bringing on new clients to launching new products, you do it all.
“But if you pile too much on your plate, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed by everything you have to do,” Georgia McIntyre writes for Fundera. “And if you can’t put enough focus into each new project, then your business will be worse off in the long run. On top of that, you’ll be more stressed if you’re not getting everything done to your standards. It’s an ongoing cycle.”
Time management is key. Learn how to say no, figure out how to delegate, and be meticulous with planning out your days and weeks so that you leave time for the tasks and responsibilities that matter most. The sooner you do this, the faster you’ll experience relief from chronic stress.
4. Be Where You Are
As a business owner, you’re constantly juggling the responsibilities of work and the duties of your family. If you aren’t careful, you’ll get stuck in that awful place where you’re thinking about your family at work and obsessing over your work while you’re spending time with your family. The key is to be 100 percent present where you are. If you’re at work, your business needs to be the focus. When you’re at home, your spouse and kids should have your attention.
Discovering Freedom From Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is dangerous in multiple regards. Not only does it impact your mental health and emotional well being, but it can also mess with your physical health. From heart rate and blood pressure to digestion, too much stress wears your body down and makes you less able to perform to your normal ability. Try integrating some of the tips from this article into your daily routines to see if they can help you rediscover satisfaction in your work and personal life.