Small business owners can restore their health and sanity with these four easy stress-reduction methods.
Being an entrepreneur can be hazardous to your health. According to research from Bolt Insurance, almost half of small business owners believe that the stress of running their business has damaged their health.
This is not surprising when you consider that entrepreneurs work longer hours than almost anybody else. Two thirds of small business owners work more than 40 hours a week and fully one out of ten puts in a staggering 70 hours plus!
To make matters worse, most entrepreneurs find it difficult to take much-needed rest and relaxation. More than half are afraid to take even a full week of vacation in the summer, often because they're afraid an important client won't get good service.
Fortunately, there are four ways that entrepreneurs can reduce their stress levels and recover both their health and sanity:
1. Learn to Say "No"
When you commit to 10 percent more than you can actually accomplish, it "feels" like you've got 50 percent more, thereby creating even more stress. By not taking on more of a workload that you can reasonably carry, you create more time for meaningful activity and therefore less stress.
2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Taking on more than your fair share of the responsibility for getting things done leads to fear of things "falling apart" when you take a day off. Giving more responsibility to your employees and contractors--and trusting that they'll get the job done--can take a huge weight of stress off your shoulders.
3. Track Your Time
Here's a huge secret: 90 percent of time management is simply tracking how much time you're spending on each type of task. Knowledge is power. Once you realize what's eating up your time it becomes absurdly easy to decide what's high-priority and what can be eliminated or delegated.
Every entrepreneur knows that success is only possible through self-discipline. Well, here's where theory meets practice. Exercise the self-discipline to turn off your phone and computer when you're asleep and for at least two hours while you're awake. For maximum stress reduction, spend that time with friends and family.
GEOFFREY JAMES writes "Sales Source on Inc.com," the world's most-read sales-oriented blog. His new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, will be published in early 2014. To get weekly blog updates, sign up for his free "Insider" newsletter. @Sales_Source