As a Small Business Owner it is not good enough to merely address the symptoms of stressful situations. Of course, learning stress management techniques can really help relieve stress temporarily, but if you want to permanently live with less stress, be more productive and happier, you’ll need to identify and eliminate stress at the source!
What’s Causing Stress in Your Life?
The actual factors that are causing stress in your life may or may not be consciously recognized yet, even to yourself. It is possible that you may be aware of the biggest stressors in your life, but often times many other smaller stressors can add up. Causing what might seem to be minor stressors, to become big things. Stress by nature leads to indecision which make it absolutely possible that large stressors become factors without conscious awareness. To eliminate these stressors, it’s crucial that you take honest inventory of what’s really causing you stress. Psychologists have invented a technique called the “hourly checks” to help identify specific stress inducers.
How It Works
- Purchase a watch or phone that can be set to ring an alarm every hour of the day. Carry a small notepad and pen with you at all times. A smart phone is great for this!
- Every time the alarm rings, open the notepad and write down a number from 1 to 10, ranking how stressed you are.
- Anytime the number goes up, write down just one or two sentences as to why you think the number went up. If the number goes down, write one or two sentences on why you think the number went down.
- Keep this up for a whole week. Then take a look back at your journal.
Small Business Owner Stress Points
You might be surprised to find the difference between what you thought was stressing you and what is or was actually stressing you.
For example, you might have thought that all your stress was work related, but in reality a disagreement with your spouse may have actually occupied most of your attention. Without writing down what you were really thinking when stress went up, it would be very hard (especially if you suffer from daily stress) to identify the source of the problem.
Tally up all the different causes of stress in your life and identify the most stressful ones.
Eliminate Small Business Owner Stress at the Source
Once you know what’s causing you stress, how do you eliminate the stress from your life?
The first step is to take accountability. Any time you’re pointing fingers outside of yourself, you are effectively removing all your power to do anything about the situation. Even if you think your stress is “someone-elses-fault,” look at what you can do to change the situation. Own your personal power!
The next step is to come up with a game plan. Write the plan down, even if you don’t show it to anybody. The act of writing will make this exercise worthwhile. You don’t have to take action on the plan right away. For example, if your small business’s system feels like you are constantly being tossed projects at the last minute spend some quite time to reflect and remedy your system. Small business owner’s are the brains behind the operation. Make sure your game plan is good for your business as well as your mental health! A lot of stress can be relieved by creating a concrete plan – action on that plan can come when it makes the most sense.
The last step is to eliminate the source of the stress. This often involves having difficult and honest conversations with yourself, your staff (if you have one) and your family. While you might never get to a place where there’s absolutely no stress in your life, a lot of stressors can be eliminated from your life by following this process. And you will free your mind for greater things when Small Business Owner stress becomes a thing of the past!