Do you ever feel like you're hanging on by a thread? Yes, as an entrepreneur you can take a lot at one time, and yet, at some point, well, isn't enough enough?

When you feel the pressure mount you need to pick one, that's right, just one of the strategies from the following list so you can practice "safe stress" and find the best solutions to your issues.

1. Just one thing: When pulled in all directions pick one thing and focus on that, and only that.Pick the one you know needs your attention right now. You'll know. It will stand out in bold letters. Let everything else fade for the moment. No, all the other stuff wont go away. However, most issues can wait. You just have to learn that big lesson about "everything in it's right time."

2. Be imperfect: Studies show that when you strive for perfection, you second guess yourself and waste time arguing internally about next steps. Think about mountain climbing. You just need to get to the next place to put your hands and feet, everything else can wait. No thoughts about your form, if your butt is hanging way out, just where to grab and go. Remember," done is better than perfect."

3. 'No' means 'yes': In other words, 'no' to outside demands is a 'yes' to you.There will always be juicy projects that have the shiny object feel. You may think you will meet the perfect person for the next deal, while what needs to be done sits in the corner. Too many possible dreams will make the one right in front of you fade and die. Know that good ideas are a dime a dozen, it's execution that makes the difference.

4. Meet Pomodoro: Francesco Cirillo must love tomato sauce. In any case, he developed a time management method that really works. Enter,The Pomorodo Technique. You chunk your work into 25 minute intervals and then take a short time out. You, the Pomodoro  clock (looks like a ripe and tasty tomato) and your brain all get in sync. Then you can quickly find the best way to think through the one thing you picked to work on. 

5. Make a list: When you feel the tension rise grab a piece of paper (yes, the old fashioned way) and write down at least 5 reasons you are over-stressed. You may be surprised to find by number 3 that the uptick in stress in not coming from what you thought. And writing it, pen on paper, is also a way to release some of your stress. 

6. Get physical: If you cant change your worry psychology change your physiology. Get up and get going. You can do push ups, head stands, take a walk, dance, anything you want to get your your body moving, even for a few minutes. Then you're ready to sit down again and finish the task at hand. Remember, one task at a time is the way to go.

7.Grab a cup: Think water before anything else. Water, the original energy drink (just ask the Olympic athletes), can sharpen your mind.  A study from The University of East London indicates that once thirst is relieved, the brain is left to focus on the task at hand. Even if you're not conscious you are thirsty a good swig will make a difference.

8. Delegate: If you have martyr tenancies and think you need to do it all, guess what, you will end up with physical or emotional issues sooner rather than later. I'm not wishing this on you, its just how the body and mind operate. And, in case you didn't know, we are programed as humans to be connected and interactive. We are programed to share. Give away some of the easier work and know that someone can get it done and appreciate the opportunity.

9. Take a radical sabbatical: No, not a year, could be an hour or half a day. In that time do the opposite of what needs to be done. Read a magazine, paint a picture of a tree or a dinosaur, get immersed in sports or fashion or whatever, so long as it has nothing to do with your career. Make it a coffee or tea break and sip to sooth yourself. And don't forget the water.

10.Be authentic: Look, you can't be positive all the time, and being "fake happy" will cause even more stress. The pressure to be positive all the time is well, stressful. Just say your overwhelmed and you'll get through frustrating times rather than attempting to sound all sunshine and rainbows. Just tell yourself and others that you are learning new ways of coping when times are tough and that safe stress is the way to go.

How you respond to stress is usually obvious to everyone around you. The way to change is through constant practice of what will help you muddle through until you become a master. These are ways out of distress, the bad and evil stress. Then you can embrace  eustress, the good and beneficial stress. 

Now, get back to work. 

Published on: Feb 6, 2018
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