Stress: Busted!

Recalibrating your work/life balance

By: Cathie Ericson

The twin demands of managing a small business and dealing with customers can create a huge amount of stress. Here are four ways to keep it in check:

1. Leave Extra Time

Running late is a surefire way to up your stress level. But there’s an easy antidote: Just leave more time than you think you’ll need. When you’re headed out on the road, leave a buffer for unexpected traffic. Plan your schedule so that a delay doesn’t derail your whole day. Are you the one stuck waiting? Whether you’re in a slow-moving line or waiting for a meeting, treat those pockets of time as a gift; make appointments and catch up on your paperwork or reading.

2. Unplug

Feeling obligated to answer every email or text as it arrives means you never feel like you’re “off” work. Schedule a block where you turn off your devices and spend uninterrupted time with family and friends.

3. Plan Something Fun

A survey found that more than half of small-business owners regularly forgo free time in order to manage their business. But unwinding is crucial to successfully manage stress. From bowling with the guys on Friday night to making family dinner on Sunday, scheduling leisure activities just like any other appointment ensures you’ll take advantage of your downtime.

4. Take Care of Yourself

The best way to keep stress in check is to watch your health. That means eating right and making sure you arrange time for adequate exercise and sleep. On the flipside, higher stress level can negatively impact your health. No one wants to waste time being sick, so make sure you stay healthy.

Just four steps can help you down the road toward the ideal work/ life balance; get started today to improve your overall well-being.

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