As a small business owner, you’re surrounded by stress from morning to night (and even in your sleep). But there are ways to kill the killer of productivity and reclaim each day as a chance to make your mark in the world of entrepreneurship. Here are five ways to de-stress your days.

1. Choose the right working hours.

One of the hardest things for business owners to do is maximize profit while minimizing overhead. However, this is possible if you take the time to track and analyze the best hours for you to operate. For example, if you run a coffee shop, your most productive – and in-demand – hours may be between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. As a private tutor, music teacher or swim coach, you may find you don’t get much business until later in the morning and into the evening after school. The Balance recommends checking your point-of-sale system’s history to determine which hours work best for you and your customers. 

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2. Communicate needs to employees and vendors alike.

When you work for yourself, you quickly find out that you are not the only person you need to be successful. A small business’s success is the result of its management and the support it receives from employees and vendors. Communicate your needs early and often. For example, if you find yourself with regular scheduling conflicts, consider investing in an employee management system or scheduling software to help you keep things moving without double booking yourself. Discuss potential changes to your operating hours and scheduling needs with your employees. Likewise, keep an open line of communication with suppliers to ensure you always have products available for your customers.

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3. Keep the right people in your corner.

Speaking of your employees, you must put forth plenty of effort to ensure you have the right people in your corner. Plan your hiring strategy in a way that prioritizes what you actually need and, when it comes time to have multiple people on staff, avoid taking on new employees with the same skill set as your existing ones. Having individuals in place with complementary skills will help you cover a broader area of business. Business services provider Xero offers more information on how to hire the right people for your company.

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4. Stay physically fit.

It’s no secret that you have to stay active in order to be physically healthy but you may not realize your fitness routine affects your mental health as well. This includes your ability to handle stress at home and at work. If you find yourself stuck on a particular task, take a few minutes for a quick walk around the block. While it’s easy to fall into a pattern of playing catch-up during your quiet time, sneaking in a few minutes of exercise instead of work will kick your brain into high gear and help you feel more self-confident and energetic. Further, taking a short break will help you refocus your attention and you’ll return to your duties ready to get things done. Can’t leave the office? No problem. Inc. shares several simple exercises you can do indoors and at your desk.

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5. Sleep.

Your nighttime habits affect your daytime abilities. Small Biz Daily asserts that sleep should be a priority and recommends finding ways to automate, delegate or eliminate tasks that take up too much of your time so that you can break away from your business at a reasonable hour and get some much-needed rest and rejuvenation. Sleep has a multitude of benefits, the least of not which is improved concentration, which will help you power through your work today so you don’t have to go home and fret about the loose ends that didn’t get wrapped up by EOB.

 

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Stress can tank your ability to be an effective leader. But only if you let it. If you want to truly be successful, you have to be stress-free otherwise your professional wins will equate to personal losses.

 

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