Running a Small Business? Discover How to Reduce Stress

Author: Russell Smith
August 15, 2016

Being a small business owner comes with a number of added responsibilities that can lead to increased stress levels. In this blog, we look at a few ways to help make life that little bit easier.

Nearly 500,000 people are thought to be so stressed at work that it’s leading to harmful depression and anxiety.

The fast-paced culture of modern Britain has left us frazzled, and those running a small business are prime candidates for stress. With added responsibilities and uncertainties, being a small business owner is a tougher job than most.

However, there are ways to reduce your stress.

Set Out Clear Tax Procedures

Managing your tax obligations can be stressful.

As accountants for small business owners, we’ve seen our fair share of people struggling under the weight of their tax returns, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

All that is required to live stress-free — from tax worries anyway — is a carefully thought out strategy for managing your finances in a way that allows for easily filing tax returns. How you do that, however, is something we’ll let you figure out for yourself.

We’re kidding.

We’ve actually produced a handy infographic on how to manage your self-employed tax.

We recommend you read it over. In short, it’s all about controlling, tracking and organising to make sure all you have all the figures you need in front of you when tax season rolls around — and you aren’t left scrambling to crunch the numbers and file your returns on the same day.

If you are considering starting up a small business, get to grips with these ideas and strategies now. If you’re already running a small business, integrate them with your current management methods.

Tax returns don’t have to be anxiety inducing. The thought of filling them out doesn’t have to keep you up at night. If you follow our infographic, you’ll find filing your returns is no more stressful that filling in an invoice — although perhaps a bit more time-consuming.

Organise Tasks Effectively

Good task management is crucial for reducing stress while running a small business. The more on top of everything you are, the less you have to worry about.

The first thing to do is invest in good software to help you manage your tasks. This way you can keep track of everything, never miss a deadline and never worry you might have forgotten something important.

Task management software allows you to take tasks out of your mind and visualise them. Having your tasks set out in front of you provides the perfect platform for control. Now you can see exactly what needs to be done.

With visualisation also comes the ability to effectively prioritise. Being able to see all your tasks side-by-side, you can decide which are top priority and which can wait. Getting priority tasks done before less pressing ones ensures you’ll have less to worry about.

Without the ability to see exactly what needs to get done, your mind may become focused on completing a set of tasks, perhaps leading you to ignore other, more urgent issues.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Stressed Boy

Striking that work-life balance is incredibly important.

Working can be fun — I’m sure many of you running your own business know that — but that doesn’t mean you should allow it to absorb your personal life.

Spending time with family, friends and exploring hobbies isn’t just enjoyable, it’s important for de-stressing. Time away from your beloved, but sometimes challenging business allows you to switch off, wind down and recharge. A constant focus on work can lead to mounting anxiety and a constant feeling of pressure that turns your job into a ob.

If all you do is work, then all you’ll do is think about work. If a stressor then rears its ugly head, it’ll be all you can think about. Worrying from time to time is actually useful, as it means you don’t forget important things and put effort into completing tasks. However, constant worrying is very bad for your health.

To ensure you have a way to escape your business, set yourself boundaries. Arrange times that’ll be at work and times you’ll spend doing things outside of work. This could be setting yourself the old 9 to 5, but when running a small business this isn’t always feasible.
However, you decide to split your work-life balance, be sure to make sure it is just that, balanced. And stick to your set times too.

Don’t Let Running a Small Business Lead to an Unhealthy Lifestyle

When you’ve got tasks piling up, deadlines you need to hit and projects you just want to push forward with, it can be tempting to grab that dicey looking chicken sandwich from the petrol station down the road or a burger from beneath the golden arches.

But don’t.

Mind and body work as one. A healthy body results in a healthy mind, able to cope with the stresses and strains of running a small business.

If you neglect your diet and fail to exercise in favour of work, you’ll soon start to notice the effects. Unhealthy foods lack the nutrients our brains need to function properly, and sugary fast foods often leave us feeling sluggish.

How much more stressful is that encroaching deadline going to feel if you’re lethargic and can’t think properly? Eating healthy helps keep your energy levels up — without the overuse of coffee, with can just lead to more anxiety — and your mind focused.

Exercise is also a great de-stressor. It releases a number of beneficial chemicals, including serotonin: the happiness hormone.

You must also make time for sleep. Following a good sleep hygiene system and allowing for time to wind down before bedtime will allow your brain enough time to rest and repair. A tired brain is terrible at coping with stress.

Need some help running your small business? Our expert accountants for small business owners are on hand to offer advice and support.

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