Is Every Day Becoming a Rough Day at the Office?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Small business owners – entrepreneurs, in particular – have an incredibly difficult time leaving work at the office.
In fact, many business owners exist in a perpetual state of toil, whether they’re on the job, in transit, or at home with their families.
Do you find yourself crunching numbers while cooking spaghetti – or mentally redlining copy as you attempt to begrudgingly nod off to three hours’ sleep?
You’re not alone.
Stress is dangerous. It’s also no huge surprise when running a business. The number of potential stressors facing business owners is astronomical, from managing payroll to paying taxes accurately and on time to pursuing new leads and keeping current customers happy and prompt with their payments.
And each and every day, thrilling new frustrations and aggravations are added to that seemingly insurmountable heap of responsibilities.
Many owners bury stress deep down. Adopting a “never say die” attitude, they deny its existence in lieu of pushing ever forward and reaching that next company goal.
But keeping things bottled up is NOT the answer. It is not only hazardous to your business and its prosperity, but it’s hazardous to your health and your life.
The solution lies in pinpointing those stressors that consistently, continuously, AND ALWAYS put you on edge. Once you’ve identified those perpetual clouds in your day, it is imperative you find ways to eliminate them from your to-do list. This often involves finding someone who is far better equipped to handle them than yourself.
As the boss, this might sound like a fool’s errand, or maybe even deliver a significant blow to your ego. After all, you’re the leader, the chief, the head elf – and your company’s success rests on your shoulders.
But even the boss needs help from time to time.
Once free of those unwavering hurdles, it’s time to prioritize your remaining stresses and systematically deal with them one by one before they boil over and become someone’s else’s problem, as well.
Here are four ways you can start relieving stress today:
1) Create an Agenda
Allowing an abundance of projects to overwhelm you all but ensures that none of them will ever be accomplished. Prioritization is the name of the game. Follow these steps:
- Make a list of all tasks and responsibilities.
- Categorize these tasks in order of importance.
- This is crucial. As the boss, you have hired a crew or team that impressed you on paper and throughout an extensive interview process. These individuals are now the heart of your business. Trust your instincts and empower yourself to delegate responsibility to those team members who are most appropriately matched for each task.
- Get to work. Begin to chip away at this list, beginning with the tasks that are most timely, and focusing only on one or two tasks at a time.
Don’t get lost in the weeds! Many people make the mistake of zeroing in on the number that caps their list. This can swiftly overwhelm you. Start with what’s most important and keep hacking away.
2) Don’t Forget to Breathe
Seriously, when stress starts to build, step outside and take some deep, calming breaths.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to eat. And don’t forget to rest. Or laugh.
In short, don’t forget – or forego – the basics, simply because you have a full plate at work.
Your nonstop routine may have you behaving more like a machine than a man, but that’s not the case. You’re only human. And like your business, human beings require a bare minimum of care to keep kicking (and a meticulous level of attention to thrive).
An unhealthy, beleaguered, and exhausted body cannot effectively ward off stress. And long-term stress can lead to numerous, serious health problems, from mental health conditions such as depression to cardiovascular problems and heart disease.
Arm yourself against it with these tips:
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can contribute to higher cortisol levels in the body, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Ward it off by drinking plenty of water throughout your day.
- Don’t skip meals. Denying your body sustenance can send it into survival mode, releasing adrenaline and other hormones to keep you going. This stress response can lead to other medical issues, such as heart disease, over the course of time. Not eating also causes your blood sugar to plummet, which affects your mood and focus.
- Insist on sleep. You may think 5 or 6 hours is plenty of ZZZs on which to function properly, but the National Sleep Association disagrees. They recommend 7-9 hours per night for adults.
- Cut back on caffeine. While small doses of caffeine can temporarily lift your mood and give you a jolt, the stimulant can also boost cortisol levels, which can contribute to anxiety and stress.
- Exercise when possible. Make a daily walk part of that agenda we discussed earlier. National guidelines for exercise clock in at 30 minutes of moderate activity three to five times per week.
3) Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run
Not to mix music references, but Loverboy was right.
Everybody is working for the weekend. Except business owners, who literally work for everyone else’s weekend.
And, yet, despite this – perhaps the greatest secret of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing when to say “when.”
The most important part of the puzzle is understanding that giving yourself a break from the daily grind is not frivolity – but a crucial component of being an effective leader.
Stepping away allows you to clear your mind and re-center yourself. When you reenter the “fray,” problem-solving should come easier to you. Solutions you could not see through the fog prior to your break will ultimately present themselves to you.
So, whether “stepping away” from your stresses means fitting in a 10-minute walk around the parking lot mid-day or taking 10 days off and purging your mind of work-related woes at a beachside resort – taking some “you” time is vital to your role as an employer.
The good news is that services exist that can provide you the freedom to walk away from it all, without missing a beat – or a call.
4) Hire an Answering Service
A telephone answering service is a cost-effective, comprehensive, and customer-centric means of making your company run more efficiently, while saving you time and relieving your stress.
An answering service can handle your business’s calls when you can’t, or flat out don’t want to, all while providing knowledgeable customer support that protects your reputation while growing your business.
- Reclaim control of your time and answer only the calls you want.
- Give your clients the ability to contact your office at any time of the day. Better yet, you’re relieved of the burden of answering calls yourself or hiring additional staff.
- Qualified call center agents specialize in addressing your customers’ questions and concerns and can simultaneously fulfill a wide array of administrative and office-related duties, such as:
- Prioritizing emergency calls
- Appointment scheduling
- Lead qualifying
- And much more!
Imagine freeing up company resources and redirecting funds that would otherwise be spent on a full-time receptionist to where they are needed most. Many of today’s answering services offer customizable solutions to ensure customer satisfaction around the clock.
Edwards Answering Service can give you the confidence of knowing your customers are taken care of, no matter where in the world you happen to be.
Our foundation is built on integrity, our crew is staffed by knowledgeable and compassionate individuals, and we are dedicated to making your business run smoothly. We also use the latest telephony software and our hard drive and backup system redundancy ensures your business’s calls will never go unanswered.
Give your company a competitive advantage. But, most importantly, give yourself a much-needed break from stress. Call us at 800-606-3273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about Edwards’ free trial.
Edwards Answering Service Inc.
230 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066
1-800-606-3273 * edwardsansweringservice.com