Have you ever looked at your daily to-do list and realized it would take 37 years to get it all done? That’s the reality of life as a small business owner. We have a ton of work to do every single day and a limited amount of time in which to do it. The result is very often a situation where you’re overcommitted, overwhelmed, and stressed out.
Stressed out small business owners do not make good decisions. Researchers have found time and time again that chronic stress is especially problematic. People who are perpetually in that state of overwhelm, where they feel under a great deal of pressure, make poorer choices than people who manage their stress more effectively.
This can have significant financial consequences for your business – whether it’s due to the fact you just didn’t have the time to capitalize on a sudden opportunity or your nerves are so frazzled you inadvertently damage a relationship that could have generated lots of sales.
Stress Management Begins With Time Management
If you want to bring your stress levels down, you need to get a handle on how you’re using your time. Many of us have no idea where we’re spending our time – we just know we don’t have enough of it. Using an app like Rescue Time or Toggl, you can get a better idea of how you’re actually spending your time. The time spent on any item should be commensurate with the value it provides you. If you discover you’re spending 15 hours a week on a project that only delivers 3 hours’ worth of revenue, it’s time to make some changes.
A big part of time management is making sure all of your deadlines are met. Again, let tech support your stress reduction efforts. Using a reminder app like Remember the Milk makes sure nothing slips through the cracks.
The smart use of technology can help you feel more organized and in charge of your schedule. This is instant stress reduction. Unexpected events will still crop up – that’s the nature of small business – but having a regular structure in place makes it easier to accommodate and bounce back quickly. That equilibrium is essential to successful entrepreneurship!