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As a small business owner, a lot rests on your shoulders. All the day-to-day challenges from business development and sales to finances, employees and customer expectations can keep you awake at night. 
However, being tired and anxious won’t help you to resolve these challenges, it could have a negative effect on other parts of your life, and it can even make you ill
Here are my top five stress management tips for small business owners. 
1. Give yourself a daily dose of positivity 
It’s only natural to put a lot of time and effort into fixing things that aren’t going so well. As the business owner, that’s part of your job. However, this can leave all the good things you have done in the shadows. 
So, before you launch into firefighting and troubleshooting, take some time to think about what is going well. 
If it helps, write a list of the positive things and any milestones you have achieved. There will probably be more on your list than you realise. If you have employees, share some achievements from the list in your morning meeting. 
Importantly, whenever you feel stressed, look at your list and congratulate yourself. 
2. Set priorities 
If you treat everything that needs your attention as equally important you will soon be overwhelmed. You could find yourself being pulled from one task to another without completing anything. Prioritising your activities will help you manage your time and delegate effectively. 
There are lots of ways to organise your activities in order of priority. You can create a simple grid with ‘important and urgent’ in the top left to ‘nice to do’ in the bottom right. Alternatively, you can write a list of everything that needs doing and then number them in priority order. There are also some helpful online tools and apps that allow you to create lists and set reminders that can take away the need to remember everything. 
3. Give yourself space 
Do you ever feel as though your mind is racing or that you can’t ‘switch off’ from your business? 
This is a common problem for business owners, especially when you work from home for some or all of the time. Keeping a good balance between your home and work life is important to reduce stress but trying to achieve it can be stressful too. 
If you can’t physically walk away from your workspace then try some techniques to mentally close the door on your business for a while. For example, at the end of the day write a list of the things you will do first in the morning, then close your notebook and put it away. 
Alternatively, go out for a run or a walk at the end of the day as a sign to your mind and your body that you are now going ‘home’. 
4. Take a break 
We are often kinder to other people than we are to ourselves. If you saw a colleague sitting at their desk for four hours you would tell them to take a break, go for a walk and eat some food. 
Often as a business owner you feel that you must be present and available all the time, but you need a break as well. Stepping away from all the things that are making you feel stressed, for just 10 minutes, can help you to feel calmer and more focussed
Don’t do anything related to your business. Make coffee for everyone. Read a chapter of a book, a newspaper, or a magazine. Importantly, take a break from your technology
5. Look after yourself 
If you are going to be the best version of yourself at work, you need to take care of your health. You work long hours and you won’t receive sick pay if you’re ill, so looking after your physical wellbeing is a business priority. 
Rather than snacking when you have a moment, eat regularly and healthily. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine. Don’t be tempted to stay up until the small hours of the night to do your bookkeeping; pay someone to do it for you
If the gym or swimming pool doesn’t appeal to you, try to find a type of exercise that you will enjoy whether it’s walking, country dancing, gardening, or kick boxing. 
We have some tried and tested tools to help you reset your mind and your business goals that will give you new motivation and help to reduce your stress. 
If you have reached the point where stress prevents you from enjoying your life as a business owner, please get in touch
Until next time ... 
Tagged as: Stress Management
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