Learn about our top 10 tips for dealing with entrepreneurial stress and effective ways through which entrepreneurs can manage work overload.
You can say that being an entrepreneur is challenging, yet fun!
That’s right, but you cannot say that it doesn’t get stressful.
Entrepreneurship comes with its stress; and you must know how to deal with it.
You want to stay alive long enough to reap your rewards and enjoy the fruits of all the efforts you’ve put in.
In this article, we will be addressing stress management for entrepreneurs, why it is important, and ways entrepreneurs can manage stress.
Here’s what to expect:
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Why Stress Management Is Important For Entrepreneurs
Top 10 Tips For Dealing With Entrepreneurial Stress:
Why Stress Management Is Important For Entrepreneurs
It is important to understand what happens in your body when you are stressed.
This understanding will give you enough motivation to deal with stress.
First, you want to understand what stress means and does to you.
Your brain goes through chemical and physical changes when you are under stress.
When this happens, certain chemicals including neurotransmitters like dopamine start to increase in your brain.
These are ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ hormones and are released by the adrenal glands.
They are responsible for the physical and emotional reactions that follow.
The most common indicators of you being stressed are:
- Increased heart rate
- Higher blood pressure
- Weakened Immune system
Stress has negative effects on both your body and your mind.
When you are often stressed, your body slowly begins to get used to it.
But this does not mean that your body is learning to handle stress better because your nervous system still has to deal with an overload of hormones and chemicals.
Also, studies have shown that prolonged stress can lead to other health complications.
From minor problems like constant flu to irritating stomach ulcers, it can also lead to more serious health challenges like heart disease and strokes.
Long periods of stress also have a huge negative effect on your mind; and you know you need your mind if you’re going to run a successful business venture.
When your body is in a constant ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode, you can develop several mental and emotional disorders like depression and panic attacks.
Even if you don’t feel overly bad, your mind will not work at its maximum capacity and this can lead to bad business decisions and business failure in the long run.
Again, the more stressed you are, the more impatient and frustrated you become, and this, in turn, generates even more stress.
Now that you know what unmanaged stress can cost you, let’s see how you can manage stress as an entrepreneur.
10 Stress Management Strategies For Entrepreneurs
Here are 10 ways you can manage stress as an entrepreneur
1. Listen To Your Body
Your body seldom lies about stress.
Too many times, it’s not that we did not have a warning sign, it is that we ignored the signs.
Don’t do this!
Typical signs of stress include over-sweating and increased heart rate.
It is important that as soon as you recognize these signs, you deal with the underlying cause which is stress.
This could take something as simple as taking deep breaths or simple exercises.
The goal is to get it under control.
2. Choose Progress Over Perfectionism
As an entrepreneur, you need to understand that you will never achieve the perfect business.
Perfection is never as important as progress.
If you constantly get stressed over perfection, you are bound to burn out quickly.
Understand that there is a place for giving it your best, but don’t set impossible standards.
Learn the difference between real limits and artificial limits to your business.
Also, train yourself to embrace failure.
It’s a big part of your process.
Understand that as an entrepreneur, you will make some mistakes.
Even the greatest business moguls have done this too.
The key is to learn from your mistakes and move on.
3. Create A Work Schedule
You should also try to create a routine for yourself.
Routines help your life to be structured and structure is a great way to reduce stress.
This does not suggest you have a one-minute schedule; – you would wear yourself out.
This simply means you should have a clear aim on what you want to achieve in your day and the work you do.
Set goals for the day and the week.
Use the 80/20 principle.
The Pareto principle simply states that 80% of your results come from just 20% of your inputs.
The 80/20 principle is a great way to reduce stress.
For instance, your focus at the business should be at those clients that provide most of your revenue.
Focusing on the core 20% of your tasks will help you get more done.
Applying this principle will help you stay focused, and channel all your energy in the right direction, without having to worry if you don’t get to finish the day’s task, knowing you have made significant progress.
4. Share Responsibilities
It’s a great day when you finally come to terms with the fact that you cannot do it all.
That is if you have not realized it yet.
You will do your health a big favor when you stop trying to handle everything by yourself and learn to delegate responsibilities.
Always ask yourself, “Is this something I can delegate?”
“Is there someone who can handle this efficiently while I work on the more important stuff?”
Doing workload management can reduce stress immensely.
Learn to delegate responsibilities instead of trying to micromanage everything yourself.
It will also increase your efficiency at work while reducing stress.
5. Do Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great stress management tactic.
Apart from the fact that it is important for your overall health, it is important to make sure you get some exercises multiple times every week to manage stress.
If you plan to use exercise as a strategy to manage stress, then you have to make sure that you stay consistent at it.
Set aside specific evenings or mornings dedicated to your workouts.
If you’re looking out for team sports, you can make inquiries into local sports clubs and gyms; they will likely have practice sessions that you can fit into your schedule.
Whatever works for you, do it!
We recommend that you pick something that you enjoy doing.
It will give you the motivation you need to follow through.
6. Eat Healthy Meals
Yep, you had to see this coming.
What you’re eating can go a long way to enhance or reduce your stress levels.
When you are looking to manage stress effectively, your diet is a great place to start.
Apart from your diet being vital to your overall health, it is also one of the things we let slip when we’re under a lot of stress; especially considering the myriads of fast food options and junk stores we are surrounded with today.
But you want to do the smart thing and go for a healthy balanced diet.
Understand that you will need lots of energy to tackle your daily tasks and you will feel a lot more energized after a healthy meal than a load of junk.
Let’s consider a sports car now, – say, Ferrari.
You would not put cheap fuel into it, right?
Why do so to your body?
7. Connect With Friends And Family
This is a very effective stress management strategy.
You know by now that we are social beings.
We’re wired for community; this is why spending time to connect with friends and family is a great stress management strategy.
When it comes to stress management, socializing can be a great way to reduce stress.
So sometimes, you might want to stop turning down out that offer to grab a drink and hang out together after work.
It can help you unwind and get back to work feeling refreshed.
8. Take Some Time Off
It’s normal to want to get down to it immediately if you’re just starting your day and have a huge list of tasks you need to complete, it’s a natural reaction.
For some people, this works just perfectly.
For others, they need modification.
If you feel overwhelmed and fatigued, you cannot give your optimum performance and this will affect your business.
This is where you take some time off.
Don’t be afraid to take a break now and then.
It’s a very effective stress management technique.
Let’s pause right here to add this: many people rush their break.
Don’t do that, it’s called a break for a reason.
Take as long as you need before you get back to resume tackling those tasks.
You might feel like you’re wasting time, especially if you have other plans for later in the day, but taking a break can help to clear your mind and this will help you finish your tasks even faster!
9. Learn To Say No
You already have a lot on your hands as you know.
There’s a popular maxim, “The result for work well done is more work.”
And while that can seem very commendable, it can also be a surefire recipe for stress and burnout.
Learn to say No.
You have to discipline yourself to know when you are crossing the boundary between foolishness and charity.
You cannot do it all, no matter how great your best intentions are.
Besides, you aren’t a machine.
Even machines need to take breaks.
Learn to say no to things that will contribute to enhancing your stress levels.
10. Keep A Positive Attitude
Just before you think this is motivational hogwash, listen up.
A psychological experiment has proven that doing something as simple as forcing a smile into your face can release endorphins also called “the happiness hormones” into your body and create an overall happy feeling in you, putting you in a better mood.
Now you know this, you can start smiling more!
Also, you need to be more positive about how you respond to things.
Take responsibility for your actions and if you go wrong, don’t blame others or give excuses.
Instead, try to find out what the reason was for the failure and how you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Appreciate what you do and keep negative thoughts out of your head.
Stress can surely be a nasty thing, but don’t let it overpower you!
These were the 10 great stress management strategies for entrepreneurs.
Did you find them useful?
Please let us know in the comment section.