5 TIPS TO REDUCE STRESS
Increase productivity and reduce stress, while getting more done. To manage business tasks, and get more done in less time, keep your stress level in check so you can better focus your attention on what needs to be done. Follow these simple tips to see a positive impact, today.
The best way to be more productive is to have a clear picture of what needs to be done; you'll need a to-do list, and an organized approach. With just a few small changes, you can better focus on priority tasks, and knock them out faster.
Keeping a business running involves providing services to clients, as well as staying on top of the all the necessary (and often tedious) business tasks, like scheduling appointments, preparing quotes, sending invoices, collecting payments and staying in contact with clients. It can be overwhelming, but with a few small changes, you can simplify and even find that you enjoy taking care of the day-to-day tasks of running the business.
“Creating a daily routine for business tasks is the key to knocking them out quickly. Set time aside to handle business tasks, taking small breaks, periodically, to improve your focus, and can get more done.”
Take the challenge and see the difference it makes in your stress level and your life. Follow these steps for one week, and see how you feel. Then, build on this feeling the next week. By the time a month has passed, you will wonder why you did not do this sooner.
1. A clean, uncluttered workspace is key. Determine the best place for you to work on business tasks. A desk or table is good, but some of you may simply sit on the sofa in the living room. Either way, at least once a week, take a few minutes to clean your work area. Dust and sanitize your desktop, end table, or coffee table. Then, at the end of each day, make a list of things to do tomorrow and put those into a neat stack. This will help you focus on one task at a time. Clearing clutter will reduce distractions and let you complete each task, faster, to be ready to focus on the next task. Before you know it, you will knock out your entire to-do list.
2. Get organized. For example, keep a working list of quotes, so you can track the date you discussed the project with a client, when you need to get the quote sent out, and set a reminder to follow up on it. Keep copies of your proposals (electronically or in a physical file) for quick reference. Keep a calendar handy so you can stay on top of your schedule, to know when you're available to schedule new appointments. Stay informed about invoice amounts that are not paid, and follow up to collect. This is probably not your favorite thing to do, but it's necessary, so just do it. You'll waste less time trying to figure out what you need to do next or stressing over things you don't like to do, if you have a routine.
3. Make it easier to manage client communications. Organize needed communications by date, so you know who to call each day, and what you need to get out of each call. Client communications can be overwhelming, but having a specific list of what you need to address today helps you stay on track. Scheduling appointments, following up on proposals, and working out payment arrangements with clients keeps your business growing and thriving, so don't avoid these tasks; embrace them. Once they're done, your stress level will go down and your sense of accomplishment will be tremendous. It's a good feeling!
4. Take small breaks to improve your ability to focus. Every 30 minutes or so, stop what you're doing and day dream for a couple of minutes. Your mind will continue working in the background, while you let your conscious mind rest. Watch birds in the yard, think about what you'll have for dinner, etc. When you get back to work, you'll focus better and get things done faster. You'll make better decisions, handle client communications more positively and feel a sense of accomplishment and wellbeing about what yourself.
5. Once a week, plan a half or full day to getaway completely. If you enjoy gardening, put that on your schedule and do it. It's important for all of us to have something to look forward to. In addition, it will motivate you to focus and knock out your to-do list faster. This can be a big help to your mental well being. Plan a walk in the park, a special meal with friends, or take yourself shopping. Plan something that is totally enjoyable, and completely leave work behind for a little while. Of course, it goes without saying that it really helps to get your immediate to-do list close to zero, so there's nothing critical hanging over your head. Then, set your focus on enjoying your break. You'll come back refreshed and better able to stay on track without all the stress.
Stress is not good for us, but it is a part of being in business. Finding useful tools to help manage it can improve your health and well being, while giving your productivity a boost. Give these tips a try and see what a difference it can make. We see success and a more enjoyable life in your future!