Let’s face it, running your own business or being a freelancer in today’s modern working world is stressful. Many of us have a romantic vision of what self-employed life will be like but the reality is often very far removed from the dream. If you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and like you’re drowning in a sea of your own work-related anxiety, here are five of our favourite stress management tips for a better day at work.
1. Find a great To-Do list app and stick with it
One of the hardest things for any small business owner to come to terms with, is their own to-do list. And, surprisingly, there are some people in the world that can mentally tick of each task as its completed and never write down a single thing. But that simply doesn’t work for most of us.
Having a to-do list that you can carry with you on your phone via an app can help your mental health in a number of ways:
- It helps you escape your own mind by transferring data from your memory to something physical.
- It helps you organise yourself in a far better way than simply trying to remember things.
- It helps you set aside chunks of time to work on specific projects.
Our advice? Find a great to-do list app and use it until it becomes a daily habit.
2. Eat a good breakfast and lunch
Most entrepreneurs work exceptionally hard. Hands up if you’ve ever fallen so deeply into a task that you look up from your screen and it’s one o’clock in the morning. The whole day has escaped you.
Yep. Us too.
And guess what? It’s not healthy.
Your body needs to be nourished for you to be effective in your job. So starting the day with a healthy breakfast and never ever skipping lunch will help to significantly lower your stress levels and keep on top of your stress management strategy.
3. Clear your mind for better stress management
Talking of healthy habits, there is much to be said for mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation is not about trying to control your mind. It’s about taking a step back to find your balance, clear out the negative thoughts and focus on the things that help you find your centre.
If you practice mindfulness every day, you’ll soon start to realise genuine physical benefits such as less anxiety, fewer tummy troubles, better sleep, enhanced competitive edge, and improved memory.
4. Stop avoiding difficult tasks
Brian Tracy, productivity and time management guru, wrote a book around ten years ago called Eat That Frog. Although the title is a little disturbing, Tracy explains that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog (gross), you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.
The lesson is that for a less-stressful day at work, tackle the more difficult challenges first and stop procrastinating!
5. Talk it out
The life of the self-employed individual is a lonely one. Often, we’ll work on our own, we’ll face professional challenges on our own, and sometimes we won’t even talk to another person for an entire day. (By the way, chatting to an Amazon rep about returning your order, doesn’t count.)
Feeling stressed is entirely natural. But letting it fester and not talking it out with someone else who understands is a recipe for a mental health disaster.
Our advice? Find a local networking club, grab yourself a desk in a coworking space, or work from your local coffee shop every now and then. Having a normal conversation with like-minded people at least once a week will keep the stress fairies at bay.
Do you have any stress-busting tips for a better day at work? Comment below and share them with our community.