Running a small business is immeasurably more complicated than most who work for larger firms might imagine, and on top of the multi-tasking and extended hours must be added the increased in stress associated with such a responsibility. To some extent, the stress that you feel while managing your company may be part of the thrill – many independent entrepreneurs are driven to this tough but rewarding lifestyle by the desire to take chances and push themselves to their limits as much as any end ambition. But while stress is a natural body response that can drive you to higher things, mismanaged it can actually become deeply unproductive. To profit from this often unavoidable feeling is not so much about a macho do-or-die attitude, as it is about calm, control and discipline.
In the heat of busy day, when task after task piles up in your to-do pile, an untamed work ethic can prompt you to plough on through your work with nary a rest or a pause for thought. Work this way for too long, though, and you will start to get some nasty surprises: forgotten deadlines passed, important communications neglected, and even personal burnout. When you find the work is piling up, you should always put aside ten minutes to plan and prioritize, rather than seeing that approach as time lost. Work out what is urgent and what is important, and do the tasks that tick both boxes first.
How you approach these tasks, once prioritized, will define the quality of your results – so ensure you take your time to direct that energy towards positive, achievable tasks rather than bulldozing your way through. For a few tips on how to harness that energy, you can check out the infographic below, which supplies some helpful approaches for both work and personal situations. And don’t forget to stop for breath now and again – your brain needs time to cool off occasionally if you are to achieve your best.