After a busy and hectic day, have you ever just collapsed and wondered how in the world you made it through the day? You know, the day that everything went wrong. The day you felt like you got nothing accomplished. The day you just wanted to pull your hair out and scream at the top of your lungs.
Unfortunately, as a business owner you may have a day or two like the one I just described. A day your stress level is so high that you literally get nothing productive done. Believe it or not, you actually have a lot more control in your life than you may think. You have more
In today’s article, I would like to share five steps that you can use to control and manipulate stress to be more productive and have a balanced life.
Step 1: Identify The Source Of Your Stress
Reducing stress starts with identifying the source. This is not as easy as it sounds. Often times, the true source of your stress may not be obvious and you may overlook it.
For example, if you are worried about a work deadline, your stress may be the result of your procrastination and not the actual project itself. This is often the case when you are not passionate about what you are doing. You immediately find yourself behind the eight ball.
When I first started my career, I worked for an attorney who had a famous saying that has stuck with me all these years later. He said, “Procrastination is not prioritization. Prioritization is the key.” This is extremely true when it comes to being organized. If you prioritize what needs to get done first, your stress level is reduced.
But once you identify the true source of your stress, you can take steps towards eliminating or reducing that stress.
Step 2: Get Organized By Creating A List
After you have identified the source of your stress, you need to be organized. A great way to do this is to make a list. A list helps you to focus your mind on what is important to you.
For example, your list should outline your goals, the tasks you want to accomplish in the next 12 months, and the tasks you can either delegate to someone else or entirely eliminate.
Once your list is complete, organize the tasks in the order of priority of what you want to accomplish first. Then start working on those tasks immediately. You will be amazed with your results.
Once you are organized, the next step is to take charge and accept what you can’t change.
Step 3: Accept What You Can’t Change
Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You simply cannot prevent them or even change them, like the death of a loved one, a serious illness or even losing your home to a natural disaster. In these situations, you are forced to accept things as they are.
As a business owner, accepting what you cannot change is often times very difficult to swallow. You want to always be in the control … and, if you are not, your stress level increases.
So, rather than stressing yourself out over what you cannot control, take charge and accept what you cannot change. Focus on how to solve the problem and not the problem itself. By doing this, you turn your stress into success.
You also need to stay positive and look for the good in every situation, which is the next step.
Step 4: Maintain A Positive Attitude
As they say, “everything has a silver lining.” When you focus your time and energy on being positive, your stress evaporates. All your positive energy begins to work in a forward direction. By simply changing your expectations and attitude, you alter the situation.
An example of this is what I call “looking at the big picture.” When you stop and put everything into perspective, is it really worth the stress? Will it even matter next week, in a month or even next year? In many cases, it won’t even matter long term. But even if it does matter long term, you can still alter, adapt or even dismiss the situation and move on. It really is not worth letting the stress get you down.
And, when the stress is too much, then allow yourself some time to have fun and relax.
Step 5: Have Fun & Relax
Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress by making time to have fun. Often times you are so focused on running your business, day in and day out, that you forget to take care of your own needs.
You forget what it is like to take a Friday off to enjoy a long weekend or to even spend an afternoon golfing. You forget what it is like to have fun. You forget that nurturing yourself is a necessity.
By making time for fun and relaxation, you will be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.
Managing stress is all about taking charge. Whether this is taking charge in your business, dealing with a problem, or your hectic schedule, the process of reducing stress to become more productive is achievable. Turn your stress into success today.
To learn more strategies on how to be productive and make your business more successful, click here for a step-by-step roadmap.
*Originally published as Issue # 95 – March 18, 2012