If you have ever experienced challenges in your business (and who hasn’t), stress may have paid you a visit more times than you would like to admit. It’s inevitable. Stress is a quiet invitation to overwhelm and it begins to affect not only your business but also your personal life. When your state of mind is overwhelmed, it is almost impossible to achieve more flow and progress in your business.
Business Overwhelm is Flow Kill
It doesn’t matter that you have the relevant business and technical skills. It all goes out the window when your reaction to it is less than ideal. If you are unable to successfully manage the unavoidable surprises that come along with running a business, it can be difficult to engage in complete focus and concentration which are needed to implement actions that will yield both maximum growth and total enjoyment in your business.
Now, that is not to say that I am running a 100% “stress-free” and completely joyful business. Although I’d like to think that I’m pretty close. There have been times when “business overwhelm” has gotten the better of me and my house looks like it’s been ransacked; I lose my confidence; and, I begin to wonder if I was meant to do this business thing. From chronic worrying about too many things to do, to a general unease about something being missed, to catastrophizing trivial things – I’ve been there. But I am also keenly aware and make it my priority to make some mental shifts that remind me of why I went into business in the first place.
Tips For Less Stress
I’m not perfect but I try to follow a set of rules that I also share with my clients. Here they go. Feel free to devour and explore the following tips for less stress to help you achieve more flow in your business:
- Put less focus on the money and more on people. Focusing on people alleviates the burden of making money as it puts more emphasis on the actual connections with others. As you connect, you increase a sense of achievement for yourself and loyalty from your customers. Research shows that building strong social connections elevates happiness; therefore, it decreases your stress levels and how you express it emotionally and physically. When you connect with people you’re more able to adapt to the changing circumstances of your business.
- Sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is working harder internally and your hormones become unbalanced affecting just about every part of your body – including your brain. You won’t have the stamina or adequate brain function to make solid decisions in your business. You end up working longer hours to compensate for things that aren’t getting done and you’re creativity will be stumped.
- Learn to say no. Do you feel like you have to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way? Do you feel like you will miss out on an opportunity if you say no. Or, that you will burn your bridges or hurt somebody’s feelings? Taking on too much will damper your productivity and create more pressure. Learn to choose your opportunities wisely where you are managing less but with bigger outcomes.
- Clean your car. Ok, not just your car but it’s a start.You can always tell the state of mind of person when you look into their handbag or see the conditions of their car. If your car is cluttered with piles of stuff that either has to be put away or chucked, take time to organize it. Many people spend a good part of their lives in their cars. The mess in your space (car, office, home) will send a message to your brain that you are not in control. This can elevate your stress levels and you will be in a constant struggle to try to gain control back. Gaining a sense of control will help you realize that you have more time that you think because you will spend less time perseverating over your to do’s.
- Adopt a different work philosophy. You know that overworking destroys your sanity. Become more engaged in the things that matter most to you. You don’t need to be hard on yourself and out-perform all of the time. In fact, by being more compassionate with yourself, you’ll reduce the anxiety that comes with the pressures of being overloaded and overbooked.
- Develop and stick to routines. It minimizes having to make decisions reducing the heaviness of having to come up with ideas on how to “handle” something. The more decisions you have to make on any given day, the more stress you are going to have. Your decision-making energy should be concentrated and not scattered. The less you have to decide, the more focused you will be. Making a decision on the time/day you are going to complete a task and sticking with it regularly at the assigned time increases your chances of actually getting it done. The less you have to check off, the less burdened you will feel.
If You Want to De-Stress, React Less
I’ve learned that a big step in facing business overwhelm is having the ability to understand that you have a choice in how you react and respond to the circumstances. Aim to interrupt your habit in how your react to stress by practicing on being less reactive. Your body and mind will adapt to your new habits and ways of de-stressing and you’ll begin to allow more money-making flow states in your business. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of making simple and small shifts on a daily basis.