Dealing With Stress in Our Overworked Lives

As small business owners, we often take on more than we can handle. Wearing all the hats running our businesses, as well as the other commitments we have (i.e. volunteer work, family, etc.), can sometimes leave us feeling overworked, frustrated, and stressed out.

Being under so much stress is not good for anyone and it can definitely have an effect on our businesses.

So we need to alleviate some of our stress and find solutions for the reasons that we are so overworked.

  • Take a step back from everything and decide which tasks are 'needs' and which tasks are 'wants'. Which tasks are more important than others? We consider everything that we do in our lives, especially when running our businesses, as important. However, which tasks can you postpone long enough without producing a negative effect on ourselves and our success. Which tasks can wait?

  • Learn that you cannot say 'yes' to everything. For most people and for most businesses, saying no to anyone can be like pulling teeth. It can be very painful and have a lasting effect. But again, you need to think of yourself, your success, and your well-being. Decide which tasks you have been asked to do that can be better accomplished by someone else or that will have a negative effect on yourself and make a point to politely decline to assist.

  • Prioritize your life. In step #1 above, we learned to decide between 'important' and 'can wait' tasks. But, even the important tasks can add up. So, you need to break down that list of important tasks even farther and prioritize them. In business, ensure that those tasks that will enhance your business and your reputation with your clients are the first tasks on your list.

  • Focus on the task at hand and not so much the long-term outcome of the task. All to often, as small business owners, our heads are working in overdrive as we imagine the possibilities that can occur because of certain tasks that we do. Now, that doesn't mean we shouldn't imagine the outcome of accomplishing tasks and any rewards or ramifications that may result from it, but just don't obsess or over-dream about it and make it your sole purpose in thriving.

  • Remember to pat yourself on the back when you have accomplished a task, especially the important ones. Take a break away from it and refresh yourself before beginning your next task. I've always found going and looking out the window at the wonders of nature while I wait for the kettle to boil for my hot chocolate can have a brightening and rejuvenating effect on my day.

  • And last, but not least, ask for help. No matter how much we think we can take on the world we are not all 'super human' and to ask for assistance with something is a part of being 'normal human'. When running your business, generating revenue and increasing your customer base is your most important 'needs' so why not get some help with the non-core tasks (i.e. correspondence, maintaining your website, designing your newsletter, etc.) in order to keep up. There are many, many qualified professionals out there that specialize in helping others stay on the right track and grow their businesses.

    Stress is an all too common word in our society but it doesn't have to be something that rules our lives. Learn to manage your time and prioritize your life (and all of it's aspects) and you will find that you not only feel better inside, people will notice the new relaxed you which, in turn, will be another benefit for yourself and your business as they are more comfortable dealing with you.

    About The Author

    Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services ( See this and other articles on her website; [email protected]

    In The News:

    De-stressing, naturally  The New Indian Express
    Tips for managers on keeping stress at bay  Chartered Management Institute
    Taking back control  The New Indian Express
    Stress: what it is and how to deal with it  Chartered Management Institute
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