How to stay stress free working from home

How to stay stress free working from home

Top Tips To Stay Stress-Free

Running a business from home isn’t always the easy, relaxed lifestyle that we initially envisaged.  All too often little things can build up and leave us feeling stressed and frustrated.

Follow these tops tips to stay stress-free as much as possible when running your business from home.

Keep your calendar organised.

When someone asks you to do something go check your calendar. If you already have something written on there, tell them you are busy. If you have work scheduled, do not double book!  It is all too easy for friends and family to think we can drop everything because we work from home.  Yes, this is the case if you are running a hobby, but if you are running a professional business, you will give it the time and dedication it deserves and control your calendar accordingly.

If you want to stay stress-free, you need to control your calendar and not let your calendar control you.

Exercise.

Be fit and healthy and always exercise. Remember, just a little is better than nothing and the endorphins that exercise releases can help us stay stress-free. Try simple walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga or an exercise class/DVD.  If you can fit this into a morning routine before you start your working day, then all well and good.  If not, make sure you get up and move about at regular times during the day and get in at least a 20-minute walk at lunchtime.  You will feel so much better for it.

Little and often

This applies both to your business and your home.  Breaking your work down into small bite size chunks that you work on regularly can sometimes be better than trying to tackle a mammoth task that leaves you feeling stressed and demotivated.  With your home, clean a little every day (I do a short 20 minute burst both morning and evening) to ensure your house is not too dirty which will then require a full day of cleaning at the weekend.

Oh, and if your other half comes in and asks why the house isn’t clean, just show them this picture which I saw recently and made me laugh.

why isn't the house clean

Get work done!

This is a big problem with stressed people.  How often have you put off that task that you know needs doing, but you are simply dreading doing?  As in Brian Tracey’s book Eat That Frog, do your worst tasks first thing and get it out of the way.  You will feel like a weight has been lifted and you will be able to focus on the rest of your work with a feeling of relief.  As in the ‘little and often’ tips above, if you a large task to complete that seems overwhelming, stop worrying and start working! Set a timer for 20 minutes and do nothing but focus on the work required. You will be amazed how much you get done.

Don’t argue.

Learn to agree to disagree with your friends and family, or just anyone you are having trouble with. Getting into an argument rarely solves anything. Whether it is someone who is trying to tell you how to run your business, or someone disagreeing with your political, religious or moral views, state your opinion slowly and calmly and then agree to differ. The world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything all of the time. Don’t waste precious energy trying to change someone else’s opinion to fit with yours.

Control your anger.

Accidents happen. It is not the end of the world if your laptop blows up or you spill coffee over your new notepad.  Yes, it might cause disruption and a delay in your work but getting angry will blow it all out of proportion.  As the saying goes, don’t cry over spilt milk.  Learn to control your anger.  Stay calm, count to 10 and deal with the situation. You will feel so much better.

Get on with life.

Breathe slowly and don’t rush your life. Take time to enjoy the here and now. We spend so much time focusing on what we want in the future that all too often we forget to enjoy the simple joys of life in front of us right here and right now.

What tips do you have to stay stress-free when running a business from home?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

How To Retain A Positive Mindset Amongst The Chaos

How To Retain A Positive Mindset Amongst The Chaos

In case you didn’t know I’ve been running a 21-day challenge through my Facebook group which has been going brilliantly – well apart from one or two technical challenges!!
 
We started off on day one, talking about getting in the right mindset.  It’s crucial to be in the right mindset to be able to deal with the unusual circumstances that we’re going through at the moment.
 
One thing that can really help with our mindset is reducing the amount of negativity that we are surrounded by. And I would say that 90% of the negativity that surrounds us is on social media.
 
So, here’s a little tip for something that I would like you to do today.

Go to your social media channels. I personally use Facebook for most of my social media. And so that was my focus.
 
Start to scroll down through your newsfeed and identify the repeat offenders who consistently post out negative chatter. These can be the people who constantly post and share scaremongering stories, conspiracy theories, political diatribe or just moan and groan.
 
Pick out every single post you see where you feel your energy instantly drain from you, or even just by seeing a particular person’s name, you feel your energy drain.

Remove the negativity

Now, do one of two things. 

  1. If this is someone that you really do not care whether you ever see or speak to them again in your life, I suggest that you simply go and unfriend them.
  2. However, if it’s someone that you feel you would like to keep in contact with for the future just unfollow them. They won’t know that you’ve done this, they will stay as your friend, but you will stop seeing the negative chatter popping up on your newsfeed, day after day.

You can follow this procedure with groups you are in where all you see is negativity and arguing.  Simply unfollow.

Surround yourself with positivity

The next thing to do is to go back through your newsfeed and look at the people that when you see their name you instantly feel your energy being lifted, whether because they’ve who’s such positivity, or whether it’s because they make you laugh.
 
Now select those to pop up in your newsfeed first.  You want to be filling yourself with these positive-minded people to help you stay in a positive mindset.
 
Honestly, I promise you if you do this, you will feel so much better.
 
Get rid of the mood Hoover’s those people that suck the energy out of you. And fill your life with people who make you feel good.
 
Instructions:
To unfollow or add friends to the top of your newsfeed, watch the video below.

Why You Need To Book A Date With Your Loved One

Why You Need To Book A Date With Your Loved One

When was the last time you had a date with your significant other?

Too often we get so wrapped up in our work we forget what we are doing it for.  In most cases, it is to build a stable future for ourselves and our loved ones, so why do we lose the importance of spending quality time with our loved ones whilst building our businesses?

I know I was guilty of this in years gone by.  My husband would suggest going out for a drink but I always had something to finish.  He would come into my office to have a coffee and a chat but I shunned him telling him he was interrupting me. He would say “let’s do something this weekend” but I was either buried in work or too tired to want to do anything but hide under a duvet.

Where was the sense in that?

I was directly sabotaging the very thing I was trying to achieve with my business!  I wanted to build a successful business that would give us both the income and time freedom to do what we wanted when we wanted.  It was right there, right then under my nose already but I couldn’t see it.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, then stop.  Go book a date with your significant other.  If you live alone this may be a close friend or family member.  Give them the time they deserve.  Life is short.  We need to remember to enjoy the moments we have here and now and not be blinded by the bright lights of the future.

There is a powerful book called the Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle which is worth a read.  It changed my outlook completely.

Mr T and I now regularly have dates.  We book them ahead in the diary and don’t let anything get in the way.  These dates vary from a couple of nights away in a cottage somewhere to a simple afternoon walk with a picnic.  The important thing is that we spend quality time together with no interruptions.

And we must be doing something right as yesterday was our 31st wedding anniversary (yes, I was a child bride – not really).  And we celebrated with a tiny bbq and a bottle of fizz on the beach with family.  Just perfect.

Get your diary out now and book that date.

When You Know What You Need To Do But Just Can’t Do It

When You Know What You Need To Do But Just Can’t Do It

Are you suffering from the following:

  • Not sleeping well
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of focus/clarity
  • Full of ideas but have to finish other things first
  • You know what you need to do but just can’t do it.

And the list goes on ………………….

Sound familiar?

A lot of you have contacted me recently to say it does, and I include myself in that list.

Feeling like this can be attributed to many factors and for women of a similar age to me, Peri-menopause has a lot to answer for!

All too often we suffer in silence as we don’t want to be seen as weak when everyone else around us seems to have it all going perfectly for them.  But the reality is that others are feeling the same also.

If you feel like this, start to keep a diary of how you are feeling at what times.  Try to see if there is a particular time when you have more energy and focus.  Block out these times to do your core work with clients.  Where you see a pattern of times that your energy is particularly low, block this out to rest.  You must take care of your health first and foremost.

With the problem of knowing what you need to do but not doing it, this is a common phenomenon and I found a great article on this very subject by Jon Covey.

Sometimes when our business feels like it is about to take off, we can self-sabotage.  It’s the fear of the next step and the fear of the unknown.  We have been in our safe place building slowly and then we realise if we do this or that, we can take it to the next level.  And this is where the paralysis comes in.  We get afraid that if we go to the next level we will open ourselves to a wider audience that may have people who will oust us as a fraud.

We get scared and so use distraction techniques by over planning and getting distracted by yet another new idea (anyone else suffer from Bright Shiny Object syndrome?)

You need to take the leap.  You need to take the next step out of your comfort zone.  But with a little planning, it needn’t seem so scary.  Map out what you need to do.  Break it down into small steps.  Give yourself a deadline for each.  And then go do it.

If you are struggling and need help, come join my Facebook group to share your feelings with other women building their business and going through the same struggles.

What to do when you’re feeling exhausted

What to do when you’re feeling exhausted

Now then, quite a few women I have spoken with recently have told me they are feeling exhausted (and I include myself in that group)

When we feel tired and exhausted, the immediate tendency is to rest. We take time out.  We sleep, meditate, take a bath, have a massage etc.

Yes, these things are important and you do need to rest but something I have learned along the way is that rest must be interspersed with activity.  Sometimes, particularly when we are feeling low, continual resting can exacerbate the situation.  The less we do, the less energy we have.

It really can help to beat exhaustion by getting up and do something active. This doesn’t have to be a 10-mile run.  It could be something as simple as putting on your favourite upbeat music and having a boogie around the kitchen.  Ok, you don’t have to go quite as far as the picture below but you get my drift.

What to do when you are feeling exhausted

But I’m simply too tired I hear you say.  Yes, it can be incredibly hard to get up and move when you are feeling drained and exhausted but just take it in tiny steps. 

Rather than thinking you have to go for a run, just put on your running gear and decide to go for a 10-minute walk.  Once you are out the door you may just find that you want to jog for a minute or two.  Don’t plan to dance.  Just put the music on and see what happens.  Do 10-star jumps.  Or 5 if 10 seem too much.  Or even 2.  Something is better than nothing.  It’s usually that initial moment of action is all that is needed to help change our mindset and get us moving.

Movement can help release energy and endorphins which in turn make us feel better.  Getting the balance of rest and activity is key when we are feeling low. Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments below if it works for you.

Is a women’s only business club sexist?

Is a women’s only business club sexist?

I was at a networking meeting and another business woman asked me about my monthly support group.  She asked me if it was for women only and when I said ‘yes’, a chap jumped in and loudly announced that he totally disagreed with my group as it was sexist.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much chance to get a word in edgeways to discuss this comment as he proceeded to do the usual “I’ve got a kilt so I’ll come and wear that” and continued to talk about himself with no interest in finding out why my group is set up the way it is.

But how many others feel that women’s business clubs are sexist?  How many others do not understand the importance of having gender-based clubs?

For anyone interested, here is why I restrict my business support groups to women only.

Women in business have different needs to men.  It’s a fact.  Women struggle with issues that generally affect them more than men.  These include:

Hormones

Having go carry on going with hormones playing havoc with emotions including self-confidence, depression, weight fluctuations etc

Pregnancy

Running a business and being pregnant has its own set of challenges. How long can you continue to work, how long until you return to work, how to cope with morning sickness, how will your business run effectively whilst you are not able to be on hand 100%.

Menopause

At the other end from pregnancy is menopause.  Some women sail through this but many struggle to the point they feel they can no longer continue.  It’s a subject far too detailed to go in to here but anyone who has not experienced the trauma first hand, cannot possibly fully understand.

Appearance

Yes, you could argue the case on this one, but in general, for a woman to go out the door for business takes a lot more thought and planning than for a man.  Think:

  • Tights that don’t snag
  • Makeup that will last the day and won’t run
  • Heels that are comfortable to wear all day
  • Consideration as to how any dress wear will be viewed and if it gives out the wrong message– too low cut, too short, too tight.

Personal safety

Whether walking to meetings alone on a dark night or meeting male clients alone, extra thought can be needed.  Think Suzy Lamplugh.  No, it doesn’t happen often, but the statistics are far higher for women being attacked than men.

Being taken seriously.

Yes, unfortunately, even today, a woman introducing herself in a male dominated environment can be subject to prejudice and outdated presumptions.

Balancing business and family

Yes, I admit a generalisation here as I personally know a few men facing this challenge, but the norm still tends to be the woman is responsible for sorting childcare, support for elderly or ill parents.  This leaves them torn and stressed when having to choose between working late or another weekend yet again or taking care of their family.

 

With all the above aside, women tend in the main to deal with business in a different way to men. 

Their selling style is different, they usually prefer a softer approach to selling than a more direct one used by men.

They tend to be more afraid of failing and suffer a lack of confidence.  Much of this can stem with others looking at them with scepticism from the start whether they are starting a home-based business which can be viewed as ‘just another hobby’ or entering a male dominated industry.

 

I could go on and on but hopefully by now you get my drift.

 

Buy why a women’s only business club?

I run a women’s only club so that other women can come and discuss any issues in confidence and safety with other women who understand what they are going through. They want an environment where they can be open and honest and let the barriers down.  They don’t want to go to a meeting where they feel they are once again having to prove themselves and keep up the brave face.

They don’t have to be afraid of ridicule or being seen as weak by male attendees.  They also want to come with no hidden agenda, not having a man tell them ‘I noticed a young and attractive lady on her own so had to take the opportunity to come over’.  Yes, this still does happen!!  And was actually said at the networking meeting I was at!!

 

My meetings are not sexist.  They are providing a need.  Women’s only clubs can have more of a supportive, collaborative feel than many mixed groups where the competitive nature can be more apparent. 

As mentioned in the article No boys allowed, having a women-only environment opens a comfortable space to start intimate, important conversations that might not otherwise happen.  Personal subjects can be discussed that may otherwise be left unsaid if a man were in the room.

 

I’m sure this post will spark controversy, so if you have an opinion one way or the other, feel free to leave a comment below.