Stress and entrepreneurship go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every entrepreneur I've ever met has had their fair share of sleepless nights and I can certainly relate building two businesses from the ground up.
A certain amount of stress is healthy. It pushes us and helps get our creative juices flowing. High levels of stress, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on your body and your mind. That's why it's imperative for every entrepreneur to learn how eliminate as much stress as possible from their daily lives.
There's no one-size-fits all way to eliminate stress. However, there are time-tested and proven methods that work like gangbusters if applied consistently over time.
You Are What You Eat
If you've ever seen the movie, Supersize Me, you'll know that a change in diet can have a dramatic effect on your life. High-calorie foods might taste good, but they have low nutritional value making them poor choices for optimum productivity.
Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps had a strict diet to adhere to to insure that he got the energy he needed to perform at an elite level. Entrepreneurs might not need to swim 300 laps, but we do need to make sure our body is able to go when we need it.
As my mentor, Jim Rohn, once said, "Some people don't do well because they don't feel well." How true.
Want some ideas on a high-performance diet? Check out what Tony Robbins eats because the guy is a living Energizer bunny.
Downward Facing Dog
Many high-performers practice yoga to help put their minds at ease. I personally got into it when I heard superstar Lebron James say "I do Pilates and yoga to stay in front of the curve." As a time management expert, I try numerous different trends out to see just what kind of effect they have on our productivity.
What I found is that yoga, like any form of physical exercise, helps strengthen our muscles. Yoga might look easy, but it's anything but. Balance, breathing and muscles all play their part. The best thing about it is once you get some poses you are comfortable with, you can do them in front of the TV. If that's not a great productivity secret, I don't know what is.
Share The Load
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of being solopreneurs. That's not a good thing because that means you have to also carry all the stress on your shoulders. In today's world though even the smallest of businesses can afford to spread the load.
Check out fiverr.com or upwork.com for virtual assistants (VA for short) and freelancers who can help you out with any number of things from web design and logo creation to social media management and video editing. It's amazing just what you can find if you look.
Yosemite, Here I Come
Living in Japan for the past 20 years has taught me one thing - working hard is not the answer. There is a limit to just how effective we can be. Anything over that and our productivity suffers.
According to Scientific American, "Downtime replenishes the brain's stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity." That precisely why a vacation is vital.
It doesn't have to be to some exotic destination. A camping trip to Yosemite, or a weekend at Disney World could be just what you need to recharge your batteries. Spending time with your family, away from the demands of work, can work wonders.
In order to eliminate stress we need to figure out what is causing it. Is it a customer? Maybe a family member? Perhaps a specific part of the job? It's worthwhile simply taking a piece of paper and writing down every possible thing it could be. Then try to find a solution to each and every item on your list. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Traffic might seem like something you can't change, however, a solution to sitting in traffic could be leaving earlier. It could be as simple as declining offers to go out with certain people. Once you have done all that, all that's left is to implement. You'll be surprised how the removal of just one or two of the things on your list will make your life that much easier.