I was reading an article the other day about Gen X women and midlife crisis. I’m not Gen X, but I still found much of it relatable. A lot of the midlife crisis stuff was centered around stress over money and business, as a lot of Gen X women are starting or running businesses or just generally have a lot on their plate. It got me thinking about how people manage business related stress. Not just women, but all business owners, side hustlers, and freelancers.
So, what do you do to manage your business stress? (Asking for a friend)
Solved! Go to Solution.
It's a constant effort (and battle), right? 😉 If you take your business seriously you can't help but worry, reanalyze and be concerned about what you need to do, consider and act upon. Then you have the added stress of client and partner management that is the frosting on the cake.
What I do is make a conscious effort to schedule breaks and down time. I could easily pack most of my days for 8-10 hours but I don't. I spread things out to eliminate potential stress and ensure I can do the best job that I can.
Regardless of how busy my day is I still make a point of taking my lunch break and clearing my head -- no matter what is going on. I have the luxury of working out of my home so that entails going to my back porch swing and sitting out there looking at the lake with my pup for at least 30 minutes -- and just enjoying the moment.
@Knight_Vision has a great point in planning. I use my calendar to micro-manage my schedule, what I need to do and when so I can plan accordingly -- no surprises. I also do not turn the computer on on Sundays.
Part of long term stress management is also learning to recognize your triggers. And, being able to realize what is in your control to control. Can't sweat the stuff out of your control! Get mad, have a fit, get it out of your system, then put it behind you. It also helps to learn from and put actions/plans in place, if possible, so that moving forward you can try and avoid that type of situation again.
Each of us is different in personality, business methodology and what we are willing or able to deal with. I've learned over the years to listen to my gut and acknowledged the red flags that I know are going to cause me grief. That means being comfortable walking away from "opportunities" that while they may be lucrative I know will not be worth the stress.
When all else fails a couple of adult beverages at the end of the day let's all that nasty stress just wash away... 😉
My wife, Kathi Pepper, was on a panel at our industry trade show on this very topic. It was an outstanding discussion because we had both business owners and counselors/therapists on the panel. Many of the solutions were simple like the private time, turning the phone off, etc.
If it were only that simple. In the end, it came down to taking care of you and your business by surrounding yourself with good people. Stress is part of small business. Finding that good support group to help minimize the stress and help you with the inevitable is key. How you spend your private time is up to you, but schedule it in!
Great advice everyone and great topic @coderainbow, I'm sure there is some great advice for your "friend" in here.
I started out working from home and I found keeping regular hours, taking regular breaks and staying organized key as @Muse and @Knight_Vision suggested that works great. Taking a lunch is also a great tip and if you tend to snack like I do when I code try at least to eat healthy snacks. Okay... healthier snacks? I manage to add carrot and celery in between my default Sour Patch Kid snack staple.
Having a defined work area is great too. Often when you work from home it can seem like you are always under a workload. Having a designated area where you work keeps your home life separate from your work life. Make it so that your work area is just for work (don't use it for paying bills, don't surf the web, play video games...) If you aren't working stay out of your work area and if you are working make sure you are working in your work area. I know it is tempting to take a call from the bedroom at times but let your bed be for sleep and downtime.
One thing that I thought was silly but really put me in a different frame of mind was to dress for work. I know first hand how tempting it is to have everyday be casual Friday XL but you are working from home right? Wake at a specified time, shower, dress and get to your work area on time. I read a study that when dressed in "formal clothes" you feel more powerful, capable and responsible (don't quote me). Plus you are ready to get out and network for lunch or all set for that meetup later. You also get this wonderful "Work is done and I'm going to get out of these clothes" feeling!
roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head
Finding good people is incredibly difficult!! Sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between those who truly want to join the team and those that want to ride coat tails. There's a guy named Bob Phibbs that talks about getting the right personalities to work together. He has a little test that has somewhat ferreted out working with clashing personalities, but its certainly not a fix.
If you are hands on, personal and into your business you can't help be impacted by those around you. Boy have we had to put on some thick skin from time-to-time. Removal of thick skin wears one out!
The good news is that you are in the right place @Cherryitsmyname. In a short time in this community I have built great working relationships with people in this community. I was a one man shop for about two years and I remember how it was. I just kind of serendipitously found good people to surround myself with. I've found some from meetups, some at church, some from clients, some freelancers, some apprentices and the list goes on. What I will say is when you find a good person keep them because you are right good people can be difficult to find.
Please take advantage of our budding community and keep part of the discussion. Read the Recommendations For Those Looking For A Mentor and perhaps pairing with a mentor might help? I'd like to know more about your business and how you arrived here please take time to Share Your Journey. I'm sure that people could learn from your journey so far.
roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head
Thanks for the wonderful solutions, everyone! There's definitely a lot here that I can start doing to reduce stress. I'll definitely be sharing your ideas with other people that I know.