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8 Steps to Manage Your Stress Levels While Running a Business

It is an exciting endeavor to start a business, but many people will agree that their stress levels go up after undertaking the responsibilities of being a business owner. Whether you are running a multi-million-dollar company or you are still working on a start-up in the basement, you need to consider how your business efforts are affecting your mental and physical health.

Stress might seem like a harmless issue that pushes you to work harder. But, doctors have found that high levels of stress will take a toll on the body. Learning to manage your stress might be just as important as assessing your inventory or customer outreach. If you fail to manage your stress, then it could be the factor that brings down the company.

Stress Leads to Burnout and Health Problems

Have you experienced the situation where you crash after an intensely stressful situation? Maybe you slept hard for a few days after pushing for a month. Or, you came down with a serious head cold while trying to keep up with a new product launch. When a person faces difficulties in work or relationships, the body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Hormone levels change, cortisol goes up, and the major organs are working on high alert.

For our hunter-gatherer ancestors, this stress was important to preserve life and keep them going in difficult circumstances. Today, many people are carrying chronic levels of stress. Instead of short bursts of high stress, people are shouldering the burdens that keep them in the fight or flight response indefinitely.

When the body is in this fight or flight mode, the heart rate goes up, breathing is faster and heavier, and there is an increase in glucose in the blood. These responses require energy, which means that the energy is taken away from some of the other important physical processes. As a result, the body slows down efforts for physical growth, immune protection, cellular repair, digestion, and reproduction.

Researchers have found that high stress levels can lead to chronic disease or even death in serious situations. When the stress hormone cortisol goes up, then so does your weight. One research study found that high stress in the workplace was associated with a higher number on the scale. Then, there are many additional health problems that are linked to obesity. Not only does stress impact the waistline, but it has also been connected with other life-threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Business and Stress Go Hand-in-Hand

Stress is unavoidable for business owners. Most people who own or manage an organization agree that they are always on the go. A full schedule, intense decision-making, and employee management can cause a long list of difficulties that are hard to manage. Small business owners face stress on financial, mental, physical, and emotional levels.

When you are running your own business, there are many responsibilities that you didn’t previously have to consider. Stepping from an employee status to a business owner means that you need to worry about tax payments, loan costs, spending your savings, and cash flow. These factors can make it hard to sleep at night because you are worried about how it is all going to pull together.

Many people push through the stress because they can see the possibilities of future growth and success. It takes work to get a company off the ground. But, once it is running you can structure the organization so that you can relax a little bit instead of being involved in every aspect of the company.

But, you shouldn’t wait to manage your stress levels. If you want to protect your health, then you need to take a proactive approach to control your stress right now while you are building the business.

8 Tips to Manage Your Stress

Your calendar is already packed with meetings and responsibilities. So, how are you supposed to make changes to reduce your stress levels? Even though it seems like you are adding another thing to your to-do list, these efforts can actually improve your productivity and free up your mind to maximize results.

Stress management should be at the top of your priority list, and you will see that everything else falls into place. One of the best things that you can do is find more balance between work and home life. Here are a few stress-management tips to help entrepreneurs and small business owners:

  1. Set a Schedule: Even though you have the flexibility to choose your work hours, your stress levels will drop if you set a schedule like a normal job. When you “punch out” at the end of the night, leave the work responsibilities behind so that you can focus on your family.
  2. Personal Time in the Morning: It is easy to slip into emergency-mode from the moment you step into the office. Even if there are tasks that need your attention, make sure to get to the office early enough so that you can have an hour or two of uninterrupted work time. Keep your email closed, the phone turned off, and shut the office door. This time can help you get ahead of the most pressing tasks to decrease your worry about the outcome.
  3. Assess Priorities: Take a moment to consider the way you are using your time throughout the day. If you are spending a lot of time on busy work or things that aren’t essential for the company, then you need to rearrange your priorities. As a business owner, you should be focused on management and business growth, instead of worrying about bookkeeping or invoice payments. Focus on the things that will bring in new business.
  4. Outsource to the Pros: After you identify the things that are taking up your time, the next step is to outsource these tasks to take them off your plate. For example, hiring a bookkeeping and accounting service is one of the best things that business owners can do to manage cash flow. These accounting services are essential to track transactions, reconcile the accounts, and help with future business growth. You can benefit from the professional experience of the outsourced team without having to take on the cost burden of another employee.
  5. Set Clear, Achievable Goals: When you have a strong reason “why ” then it gets easier to focus on the things that need to be accomplished. Why are you building the business? If you are putting in too many hours for all the wrong reasons, then these questions can help you reassess your priorities so that you can step away if needed. For example, you might find that you don’t enjoy one of the services that are offered or you no longer want to offer a specific product. Specializing your business offerings can be a great way to bring out the joy in your work, which in turn will decrease stress levels.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Healthy meals and exercise are key to give the physical support and energy that you need. Limit your caffeine consumption, eat more fruits and vegetables, skip the processed snacks, and choose lean protein at every meal. Also, don’t forget to step away from the desk for a good workout. Physical activity releases the “feel good” hormones that will decrease stress and make it easier to get through the day without turning to junk food and caffeine.
  7. Identify Realistic Action Steps: If you are caught up in fear and anxiety about cash flow issues or tax payments, then these emotions can get in the way of daily action steps to help you clean up the mess. Talk to an accounting professional to identify the real For example, you might think that your problem is that you need to generate more sales. But, the underlying cause could be high overhead costs. A financial professional will be able to look at the situation from a third-party perspective, to offer strategy and advice to turn things around.
  8. Open Up Unstructured Time on Your Calendar: It is common for business owners to have meetings and obligations that fill up the calendar. Before these responsibilities are added to the calendar, make sure to block out time to relax and unwind. Spend time with your kids at the park, get a massage, or enjoy an hour dedicated to your favorite hobby. This time can help you feel re-energized, which will boost productivity when you are back in the office again.

If you are struggling to keep up with the responsibilities of running a business, then our team at Easier Accounting is here to help! We understand the financial stresses of business management. Our services are designed to decrease your stress levels and set your company up for success in the future.

We invite you to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We will gladly discuss the options that are available and help you learn about the benefits that you will enjoy from these services. Call today to learn more about why you need small business accounting services: (888) 620-0770