With the weight of the company resting on your shoulders small business owners frequently find themselves in a routine of late nights, early mornings, and a constant supply of caffeine coursing through their veins. When you leave the office on a rare free afternoon and squint at the sun wondering what that bright orb in the sky is, or you’d just like to sleep through the night again, it’s time to practice stress management.

Your first step should be to contact your health care providers – and consider adding some new ones to your personal health team. Talk your doctor about what a reasonable amount of stress feels like compared to unmanageable, and warning signs to watch out for should stress start to seriously impact your mental and physical health. You may be amazed at the information you can get from that 10-minute conversation. Find out whether they recommend you try counselling, see a nutritionist, or put massage therapy into your regular self-care routine.

managing stress small business owner FBNext, stop scheduling meetings every day. Stop scheduling every day! You’re just setting yourself up for a domino-effect of failures. You need time on site to support your staff, problem-solve, monitor the growth of your business, and get caught up on the little things. Constantly booking meetings and then rushing through the small details leads to compounded stress later on. We book all meetings once a week and conduct brief monthly staff meetings on Mondays (or Tuesdays as stat holidays roll around). The system works well, especially because if a client emergency occurs we’re more likely to be ready to immediately take action.

Delegate! When you started your company from scratch, you had to do everything yourself. But once you’ve got a staff of even 2, you can delegate tasks. Do you conduct all of the sales meetings? Great! Let your staff handle day-to-day customer service issues and save your time for major issues. Don’t have a staff, or you’re not sure who to delegate to? It’s time to hit the bookkeeping and find out how to hire an additional staff member or subcontractors.

Think positively. Even when it feels like the business is caving in around your ears, focus on your success and turn the negatives into problem-solving challenges. Sitting at your desk worrying isn’t going to change anything, so get on the phone and call some advisors, meet with your staff, and start moving forward with change. We’re not inclined to ask for help, but sometimes the solution really is that simple.

Eat a balanced diet. Sure, you can get through the morning on coffee alone, but wouldn’t it be nice not to be a cranky bear by noon? Eat a healthy breakfast, take a snack break mid-morning, add some vegetables to that lunchtime pizza, and remember that afternoon tea includes nibbles of some sort.

Step away from the desk. If it’s time for a meal or snack, get up and away from your desk. Play a game on your phone, talk to your co-workers, call mom, go for a walk, do something that isn’t work. When you can feel the tension rising up your back or a headache starts to roar, go outside for fresh air and to give yourself the opportunity to put the causes of your stress into rational perspective.

Jelly Triangle can help you tackle a variety of items on your To Do list. Is your online marketing keeping you up at night? Do you want to know how attractive your website is to customers (and Google)? Would you like to know what it would take to rebrand? Call us to book a free consultation at (519) 624-8888 and find out how we can take some tasks off your plate.

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