One of the most stressful career occupations out there is that of the entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is filled with uncertainty and fixing problems as quickly as they occur. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, but there are steps that can make the stress a little more manageable.
While working with stress is inevitable, particularly as an entrepreneur, it can also lead to diminished results. Excessive stress can lead to sleep loss, lack of focus, and poor judgement. All of these can compound and make the whole situation worse. As a result, it is important to utilize effective stress management techniques to help yourself be a better entrepreneur.
Meditation can often get associated with passivity, but it is an important life skill to develop as an active entrepreneur. Meditating daily helps your mind deal with excess emotions and return to a normal state. Practicing this will help you stay sharp, focused, and on your A-game. In order to start meditating, you simply need to allocate a few minutes each day to sit undistracted and focus on yourself. Try focusing on your breathing and stop your inner-thoughts from running wild. It will take practice but with time will help eliminate stress.
2. Use CBD oil
New studies are coming out attesting to the medical benefits of CBD oil. The substance helps relieve anxiety, stress, insomnia, and many other conditions while having minimal side effects. While the FDA has not fully confirmed the benefits of CBD, it is beginning to and approved CBD oil for epilepsy. A variety of new brands have emerged to allow young professionals to buy CBD oil as a means of reducing stress in their daily lives.
3. Commit to strict work hours
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to convince yourself that you need to “always be on.” However, this is incredibly harmful for your work-life balance and will result in much more stress and lower performance. While you may need to clock in extra time every so often, set a schedule of work-time and home-time and stick to it.
4. Develop a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule
Time management is a tricky skill to work on and with the excessive amount of responsibilities on an entrepreneur’s plate, it is easy to let your mind run wild with all of the things you need to do. Do not fall into this trap, as it will only stress you out and waste time. Each night make a schedule for the next day, each weekend make a rough schedule for the next week, and each month make a list of major milestones that need to be achieved that month. This will help you outline what is a priority and reassure you that you are not forgetting anything.
5. Find a company confidant
The CEO of a company often needs to bear a large weight on their shoulder as they sort through the big questions for how things move forward. This can take a toll, especially if you do not talk about it with others. Find someone in your organization or an advisor that you can talk to and vent every so often, without the risk that your conversation will send off red flags in the office.
6. Run a mile
Exercise is a great way to clear your head, get in better shape, and help relieve stress. Running helps release endorphins which are a natural chemical to make you feel better. If you are against a major deadline or feel so stressed out that you cannot function, taking a step back and going for a quick run could do just the trick for getting you in the right mental space.
7. Do breathing exercises
If you have ever played with the blood pressure machines at a grocery store or pharmacy, you know that your breathing can influence your heart rate. This principle can be applied to help reduce your stress. Taking a few minutes to breathe deeply, such as an 8-count in and 8-count out, will help lower your heart rate. Additionally, stress can sometimes lead to holding our breath, which in turn makes us more stressed out. So, monitoring your breathing is a great way to keep your stress in check.
8. Drink less caffeine
Caffeine is sometimes essential, but also unhealthy. If you find yourself drinking multiple cups of coffee or energy drinks per day, you should seriously consider cutting back as is it not good for your heart, health, or stress levels. Caffeine is a stimulant, but also loses its effect the more you consume, so coffee and energy drinks are never a productive solution in the long-term, but will definitely make you more stressed out.
9. Sleep more
This one is not quite attainable in 10 minutes, but simply by making sure you get a solid 7 hours of sleep a night can drastically reduce your stress levels. The human body develops a “sleep debt” whenever it gets less than 7 hours of sleep, which results in impaired cognitive abilities and increased stress levels. Make sure to sleep enough each night to avoid stress.
10. Keep yourself financially stable
Entrepreneurs love to boot strap, while they focus on the long-term promise of riches. However, with financial instability comes massive stress. If you can maintain a strict budget, stable income, and set up a rainy-day fund, you can work knowing that you are in a good spot financially. This will reduce stress and let you focus more on developing your company.
Stress is part of entrepreneurship but if you can implement these 10 steps, it can be a more manageable part of your life. Take this time around the new year to think about your habits, how they contribute to your stress, and how you can improve to be more focused and less stressed.