Being a small business owner is a stressful job; while rewarding, the immense and often overwhelming responsibility can adversely affect your business and your own personal health. Because of the unique nature of small businesses, there are prevailing stressors that affect business owners in almost every industry. These stresses can have a significant impact on your business and can hinder success. In this post, we’ll discuss 4 of these common issues small business owners face and the healthiest strategies to deal with them.
Owning a business is not a part-time job; even in your designated free time, you are constantly navigating a seemingly never-ending array of information and tasks. Half the battle of being a small business owner is managing your time effectively in the absence of having a structured schedule. It’s important to know when you’re most productive so that you can maximize your time.
If you struggle with time management, try paying attention to what distracts you or takes you away from the task at hand. Once you know where your pitfalls are, organize your day to account for them. If you need to, schedule blocks of time in your calendar to focus on important tasks like bookkeeping or marketing, and treat these time blocks like meetings.
For example, if you find tabs and bookmarks on your computer screen distracting, use full screens during work hours. It can also be helpful to notice if you are particularly motivated or efficient during a certain time of the day, making extra effort to clear all distractions and fine-tune your focus and scheduling your most important work during those periods. By maximizing your efficiency, you are ensuring that the effort you exert is being used to its optimum potential.
Exhaustion is inevitable when running a business and facing a steady influx of tasks that tire you both mentally and physically. This kind of fatigue permeates any task you tackle, preventing you from consistently giving your best effort. In the long run, it is smarter for you, and your business, to prioritize rest. Set a strict sleep schedule, aiming for 7-8 hours each night, and establish set routines to jumpstart your morning.
Make conscious choices throughout your day to get your body on track to ensure a successful night’s sleep. This could entail limiting your caffeine intake after midday, eating nutritious snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up, and, to prevent overstimulation, making sure to turn on a night shift lens on all technological devices at least an hour before bed. All of these things will help your body establish a more energized routine.
In addition to adding in healthy habits, you must also recognize and work on your vices. For example, if you’re sucking down cups of coffee all day, you’re going to have a hard time falling asleep at a reasonable hour—so try to limit caffeine or replace it with herbal tea. If you are constantly getting up to drink water in the middle of the night, keep a bottle by your bed, and if you’re always tempted to look at your phone, set it far away and turn off any noise or vibrations that could potentially distract or wake you.
Owning a small business is a huge commitment that necessitates constant attention and awareness. When tackling a wide variety of business tasks at the same time, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer weight of responsibility. To help negate and ease this unpredictability of circumstance, it is crucial to keep your life as organized as possible, eliminating unnecessary stress.
Use a planner to consistently schedule and keep tabs on appointments and work scheduling, and jot down monthly and weekly goals in the caption in order to increase your motivation.
There are also apps that can help manage stress through breathing exercises and simple meditation. Headspace is a free guided meditation app that is meant to promote mindfulness, and Breathe2Relax is an app designed to help people manage stress through various breathing exercises that encourage wellbeing and mental peace. When all else fails, having quick, simple strategies such as these to rely on during times of anxiety can do wonders for your overall health, enabling you to maintain a calm and rational mindset even in the midst of tension.
Creative blocks are inevitable when you dedicate boundless time and energy to one thing, which can be anything but motivating! Planning strategic breaks in your workday and implementing changes in your schedule will lift your spirits and rejuvenate your mindset.
Finding motivating ways to recharge and reset your mentality to break yourself out of a rut, whether it’s reading inspirational quotes each morning or trying something new, will lead to a more positive mindset that will spark creativity and prepare you to take on your day with vigor and drive. Even taking a quick walk down the street can lead to a greater perspective that you wouldn’t have happened upon if you were fixated solely on the task itself.
You can also optimize your productivity and mental health by shifting your work environment to incorporate the Chinese philosophical tradition of feng shui, creating a visually appealing and energized space that will lend harmony to your work day.
Having a healthy mindset and approach to stressful situations in and out of the workplace can determine your long-term success, making the time and strategies you develop to deal with them incredibly valuable. By establishing routine changes to your day and preparing smart solutions to common situations, you’ll find that when you do encounter a barrier, your mentality and preparedness will carry you through with ease.