At the end of the day, do you experience neck and shoulder pain, have an upset stomach or find it difficult to get a decent night’s rest? You’re not alone. A recent survey found that 76 percent of small business owners had similar symptoms. It’s called work-related stress. The solution isn’t to be less passionate about your business. After all, that’s why you started the business. It’s about balancing that passion between work and life.
It’s not surprising that small business owners feel stressed. The same study reported that one in five owners works 60-plus hours a week. But the goal isn’t to eliminate stress but to diversify your energy between work and your life outside of it. Here are some ideas to help you achieve a better balance.
- Take a 7th Inning Stretch – Try taking a brief stretch break during the day. Here are some exercises to start you off slowly. Even just five minutes can help address the aches and pains. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment that, in your busy day, you’re doing one thing just for you.
- Don’t Skip Vacation – People who skip vacations have a higher risk of death from heart disease or other serious health problems. But a two-week vacation in the Bahamas might be difficult. After all, you have a business to run. So why not consider mini-vacations? Take two hours to go to a movie, escape to see your daughter’s dance recital and celebrate with ice cream afterwards, or peruse the travel section of your local bookstore. A change of scenery may help you develop the perspective you need to come up with your next great business idea.
- Develop a Personal Financial Plan – Financial worries can be especially troubling for small business owners whose work and personal finances are closely linked. Establish specific goals for yourself outside of the business. For example, plan to contribute two percent of revenue to your retirement plan each month. Seeing your nest egg grow demonstrates you’re making progress towards a secure future. Meet with a financial professional if you need help sorting it out.
- Jam with the Boss – Come on, you’ve always had a secret desire to slap the bass on stage with Springsteen. If only you knew how to play guitar. So why not take advantage of continuing education classes at your local community college and learn how? Many colleges let you explore a wide variety of interests. And the classes are free or low-cost. Some are online so you can attend on your schedule. Pursuing a new interest gives you the break you need from the business. When you return, you’re better able to handle its demands.
Running a business can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to address work-related stress by achieving a better balance between work and life. Spend time on both and realize gains in your business and your life.