Even though I skipped an original post last week because I was recovering from my wisdom teeth removal, it’s still guest post week and we have another article from Rachel Craig, who’s written for us before 🙂
Whether you’re running your own business or employed by someone else, your ability to manage stress has a direct impact on your professional success, but it’s certainly kicked up a notch when you’re an entrepreneur. It affects your performance, your relationships and your personal well being, each of which plays a crucial role in your long-term success, or lack thereof. Qualifications and IQ will only take you so far. Emotional intelligence is the key quality you need to acquire and nurture if you want to prosper.
Whilst you may not have control over the external factors that cause you stress in the workplace, you do have the power to control your emotions and deal with these pressures in an effective manner. By learning to recognise your stress triggers and implementing these five simple strategies in your everyday life, you’ll soon discover the inner calm required for effective stress management and professional success.
1. Plan ahead
Having a clear plan of what you need to do, and when, will enable you to identify and organise your tasks, manage your time more effectively and reduce stress. Plan for the working week ahead, schedule personal chores and make time for yourself. Flying by the seat of your pants and hoping everything works out well is a sure-fire way to welcome stress with open arms. You’ll simply waste valuable time going round in circles trying to calm yourself down, which can cause untold damage to your professional performance, your physical health and your emotional wellbeing
2. Develop a routine
The simple act of decision making can be incredibly stressful. Ergo, the less decisions you have to make, the better your chances of minimising stress. Developing a daily routine is therefore a great habit to get into. Our bodies and minds thrive on routine because the familiarity of repeat actions promotes feelings of calmness, security and control. When something is habitual, no decision-making is required – it’s second nature, so there’s no need to exert any emotional or mental energy on what you’re doing.
Whether you love or loathe it, physical exercise is proven to reduce stress and promote creativity. In fact, it’s one of the most highly recommended coping techniques by healthcare professionals. You don’t need to join a gym or become a fitness fanatic – something as simple as a brisk daily walk outside is enough to trigger the production of endorphins, promote better sleep, increase alertness and drastically reduce stress and anxiety. And you never know you might even enjoy yourself!
4. Relax and recharge
As obvious as this one sounds, many of us don’t relax often enough, or at all. It’s important to learn how to switch off and fully disconnect from work. You shouldn’t be available 24/7, otherwise you’ll lose motivation, damage your productivity and burn out. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do any work in the evenings or at the weekend, but you need to set boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance and reduce the potential for stress. Plan ahead and schedule short periods of time to deal with any additional work-related tasks at moments when it’s least damaging to your home life and personal commitments.
5. Have fun
During your time off, be sure to enjoy yourself and partake in an activity you find fun and rewarding, be that sport, cooking, reading, watching movies, meditating, spending time with your family, or simply trying something new. By doing so, you’ll stimulate your mind and improve your emotional wellbeing. Plan these recreational activities in advance so you have something to look forward to. A positive mindset is incredibly powerful and will help you to achieve better focus and motivation, and it can do wonders for your stress levels and performance in the workplace.
Rachel Craig is the senior content writer and editor for Rapid Formations Limited, the UK’s #1 company formation agency. An expert in her field, Rachel provides in-depth guidance and advice on corporate compliance, business startup advice and healthful living.
Prior to joining Rapid Formations in 2013, Rachel worked in research and customer service after obtaining a BA Marketing and an MA History of Art from the University of Glasgow. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, painting and spending time with her partner and their two untrainable dogs.