Business stress has spared no one, not even those rare people addicted to working. And when you value work-life balance, it’s not unusual to struggle with business stress.
Maybe you’re running into situations at work that eat up your time. Maybe you have some work issues to deal with and you are far from having them resolved. It might be that you’ve not had a break in weeks, months or years. You wonder, “When did ‘work-life balance’ become “work is life, nothing else remains?”
Of course, your business is important. Your vision, goals and growth are an important part of who you are. Even your time is important and your business needs it. But, there’s nothing more important than you. Not because your business needs you to be the greatest business owner, manager, or employee. In fact, let’s put business aside for a moment. Life is much more than the money we make. This really is about you.
Your existence matters. Your happiness matters and the dreams you have for your future matter. To watch every plan take wings and fly, you’ve got to stick around – healthy and motivated. Your hobbies and goals await your attention. And you don’t have to feel guilty for wanting a break, or for living your life. Go ahead, see the world beyond your business.
A practical guide to managing business stress
So, how do you make the leap back to balancing your business and personal life? You start addressing your current stress in the following ways.
Consult a doctor.
First and foremost, don’t hesitate to inform your doctor about the stress you’re facing. Doing so will determine if your stress needs medical attention. There could be certain factors triggering stress from within your body, or even affecting your lifestyle.
For instance, your diet or sleeping habits could have changed for the worse. Stress can affect your vitamin levels and blood values. It can even affect your heart. Your doctor will be able to identify the causes and effects of your stress to help you regain health as fast as possible.
Schedule breathing exercises.
Believe it or not, the way you breathe can alter your stress levels. When you take time to draw in oxygen, it sends a signal to your brain prompting a sense of calmness and tranquility of the body.
But breathing exercises are about more than just closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. They are specific instructions to achieve the desired results. Make breathing exercises a part of your daily routine.
Do not skip breaks.
You may find yourself thinking, “I’ll finish all the work first and then head for a break.” Chances are your work is perpetual; it will never end for the day, or for a lifetime. Most work is a chain of activities leading from one priority to another. The best thing you can do; create a schedule with breaks every 50 minutes.
Did you know that top-performing employees take a 17-minute break after every 52 minutes of work? They still deliver success! If your current stress level is so high that you feel 52 minutes is too long, try taking shorter, more frequent breaks. Alternatively, whenever you feel stress levels hindering your thought processes, take a break, pause.
Don’t sacrifice happiness for achievement.
Being zealous of great achievements is a good thing. But, sometimes, the line between being enthusiastic and ambitious is very thin.
Then again, external (unpleasant) factors could be pushing you to be a high achiever. Or you might feel that you don’t do enough. In fact, business owners often report that they struggle with imposter syndrome – high achievers feeling like they’re undeserving of good things.
So, be proud of yourself. Know your capabilities and the work you’ve invested in achieving your goals. Sometimes, your personal progress matters more than your business. Just the fact that you dared yourself to dream? That’s amazing. Let that sink into you.
Set achievable targets for yourself. Take one baby step at a time, as long as you’re not hampering reasonable levels of productivity.
Confront personal issues at a specified time
Stress due to personal problems is often attributed to business stress. That’s especially true when you think about your business even while living other aspects of your life.
Challenges with family, health, house, car or finances might project onto your work. For some people, it’s their past that keeps haunting them, and they struggle to cope with the present demands of life.
Whereas, in reality, when you separate your work and personal life, you’d realize that business isn’t all that bad. But what causes the feeling that you’ve lost all your peace?
Say hello to overthinking. Now bid goodbye to it, because it’s an efficiency (and peace) killer. A preoccupied mind cannot actively process information. And every second you can’t effectively process your thoughts, you lose motivation and time. All put together, you feel stressed and helpless.
Set aside a specific time to ponder what’s bothering you from behind the scenes. Communicate with the people involved at that time and get back to work. Try to focus on the task at hand and block out other distractions as you resume working.
If the thoughts nag at you, smile and tell your thoughts: – ‘Not now. There’s a time for everything. I’ll be with you later.’ Don’t let distractions get the best of you. You can conquer them with a heroic smile. You just have to be confident.
Self-reflect before you start for work
Are you comparing yourself or your business to another in a toxic way? Maybe life is giving you a run for your happiness while others seem to have it easy.
Comparison is the killer of joy, and even worse, it can push you into toxic shame.
Overcome your urge to compare by focusing on your progress alone. Where were you yesterday? Where are you now? Will you still keep going, no matter what? That alone should give you happiness.
Remember what makes you passionate
What is it that you really want in life? Is there a particular thing you’ve always loved to do but you can’t anymore? Your business or work doesn’t have to steal your passion away. In fact, switching between your hobby and business can refresh your mind every day.
I know a manager who was in a band before moving into the business world. He still touches his guitar, but only to wipe it clear of cobwebs. He lets out heavy sighs of regrets whenever he reminisces, but no one seems to understand.
People tell him, “Well, you have a steady source of income now. Good thing you didn’t go ahead with a career in music.” They think they’re comforting him about his current choices, but those words have no impact on him.
He achieves great things at work, he likes the feeling that his accomplishments give. But, there’s a guitar-shaped hole in his heart – and it will remain that way.
As we progress through life, decisions have to be made along the way, and at times this can naturally mean that the door gets closed on some aspirations. Although the door may be closed, it can remain unlocked. Rather than saying goodbye to dreams of the past, set aside small amounts of time to indulge. It can make a world of difference.
Be prepared for imperfections
If you love perfection, then love yourself equally. When you love something more than you care for yourself, whatever that other something turns out to be, you feel the impact head-on.
Since perfection is practically impossible, you will feel bombarded with uncertainty and insecurity in the process of loving it. For instance, if you love work, but work turns harsh on you, your emotions will too. One day, your frustration will outweigh your passion.
If you’re someone who wants hassle-free growth, you might have to change your perspective. Everyone faces road bumps, and setbacks have a way of triggering anxiety. But if you accept there will always be obstacles, you will prepare yourself to push through them. You’ll grow more resilient and be more likely to succeed.
Delegate your work
Your amazing skills need to focus on priorities. It can be hard giving up some control. But, with carefully managed check-ins, you’ll often find you don’t need to do everything yourself.
Again, your concerns need to be channeled in a healthy manner – by delegating work to teams that drive progress as well as you would yourself.
Delegate your business call handling to us
Phone calls are one of the most common forms of distraction. In a recent independent study, 60.3% of people said they would get more work done if they didn’t have to answer calls.
While you may be eager to answer your phone calls yourself, you’re probably also caught up with other work needs. Unimportant or irrelevant calls take up time – time that could be spent focusing on growing your business. You probably get stressed when you have a bad call experience too.
AnswerConnect’s professional agents can cover your business calls 24/7. On one hand, you can check your messages whenever time permits and keep your work-life balance going strong. On the other hand, new opportunities will flow in without you missing a single phone call. So, relax with your family, hobby or take a much-needed vacation.
Want to learn more about how AnswerConnect can help you take all your business calls? Call us today at 800-700-8888.
P.S. My mind often says, “Arpana, your treadmill would spam you on your phone if it could.” Sometimes getting plenty of physical exercise helps de-stress too. So, in case your treadmill calls us, we’ll be sure to classify that under urgent messages – don’t worry!
- Life is much more than the money we make. Life is really is about you.
- There could be certain factors triggering stress from within your body, or even affecting your lifestyle.
- Whenever you feel stress levels hindering your thought processes, take a break, pause.
- With carefully managed check-ins, you’ll often find you don’t need to do everything yourself.
- Delegate your work. AnswerConnect’s professional agents can cover your business calls 24/7 and you’ll find it easier to have a great work-life balance.