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.
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.
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.
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.
At various times in our life, we find that there is so little time and so much to do that our minds get so full of to-do lists that seem to never end. This inevitably ends up with us getting trapped and unable to move forward as we do not even know where to start.
Try some of the ideas below to help empty your mind of these never-ending swirling thoughts and to be able to move forward with a clear vision.
Replace Negative Self Talk With Positive Self Talk.
Be kind to yourself. Negative thoughts are those that stop us from doing what we really want to do. This negative self-talk tells us that we have failed and are so disorganized that we can’t go ahead and do things. It tells us that we don’t know enough, are not good enough and don’t have the skill or talent to make our small business a success.
Unless you really commit long term, you will never know what your ability or capacity is. Take some time to be kind to yourself and think about how you can do it rather than how you can’t. Write down a list of all the strengths and skills you already have that will help you achieve your tasks. Eliminate “I can’t” from your vocabulary. You can always learn a new skill set but you must change a mindset in order to succeed.
Clear up incomplete tasks.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by how much there is to do? Do you have all types of to do lists? Have you done a walk-through inspection of your home office? As you look around your office space, you may notice things that have been left unfinished. Make a list and take time to conquer each of these incompletes. Replace, fix, or toss items that are damaged. Buy items that will enhance your environment and your productivity. Get rid of the old items that are cluttering up your location. Better yet donate them to your local charity. It will be someone else’s treasure. If you have not used it in a year, do you really think you’re still going to use it? Pack it up in a box and if you do not use it in six months, give it away! The item is not serving you well and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.
Write down your to-do list.
Don’t rely on your memory to remember everything that you need to do or accomplish. Some of those tasks may be daily and monthly, or even yearly. Buy yourself a diary in which to jot down all those things you need to get done. As you write down what it is you need to accomplish each day, you will have a clearer picture and focus on the things that you need to get done. You may break them down into different tasks and delegate them.
Determine your priorities.
When you decide what your priorities are in your business you can better channel your energy to accomplish those priorities. As you take care of your priorities, the rest of your life tends to move with ease because you are focusing on what really matters to you. You may find that a lot of those things that were clogging up your mind were really not important after all and can be scrubbed off your list.
Work on your biggest action items first.
When you have a deadline to finish a big project, it can be a bit overwhelming. Some projects seem larger than others. We can often talk ourselves out of what we need to do by changing the subject or choosing to do an easier task first. We tend to put these important tasks to the side and even procrastinate when approaching that task. However, when you start with the biggest task item first the other tasks seem to be that much easier. By doing the hardest or most difficult task first, you will be more motivated to continue with the rest of your list.
Cut down on the number of webinars and TV shows you watch.
Think about the webinars and recordings that you watch. What purpose are they serving you? Are they merely entertainment or educational? How do they benefit you? By cutting down your viewing time a half an hour each day, you are gaining more time to do other things that will be more fruitful in moving your business forward. It is no use keep on watching to learn new things if you never actually put them into practice.
Check your e-mail only twice per day.
Email is a time waster; we can get drawn into emails that do not help us obtain our goals. Allocate certain times of day to check your email, perhaps you need to let people know that you will check your e-mail at specific times during the day. This allows others to know that you are busy and they will have a better sense of when to expect a reply from you. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you have joined over the years.
Clear and prepare your desk for the next day.
This process can take about 15 to 20 minutes on average. Throw out anything that you think you do not need. Use the one-touch paper method. When you touch paper, you need to decide if you are going to file it, deal with it, or dispose of it. Paper clutter can overtake our lives.
Take a break from what you’re working on.
There are times when you need to get away from the computer and your desk in order to clear your mind so you can look at your project again with fresh eyes. When we have been working steadily, we can lose sight of our vision of the end result. Sometimes, if we spend time away from a project and then later go back to it, we can think more clearly and generate many new ideas. The best way to clear your mind is to sit in silence and write down whatever thoughts come to your mind. Write down the crazy and extreme thoughts, these are the ones that can lead to creative thinking. You will be amazed at the results; some of your ideas could be groundbreaking.
Stress reducers like exercise, meditation, and prayer are fabulous ways to de-clutter your mind. Exercise not only rejuvenates us and keeps the blood flowing; it also helps our body to get in the best shape ever. Meditation is wonderful for clearing the mind. Prayer gives us hope for future and beliefs and we can achieve.
Declutter your mind daily. Each time you declutter your mind you make room for new ideas and opportunities. You will feel calm, cool, and collected and ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that come your way.
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