Living Well: 10 Stress-Reducing Tips for Entrepreneurs

By James E. Porter

As president of my own business, I guess that makes me uniquely qualified to write this article on entrepreneurial stress. Here’s what helps me mange my stress:

1. Workout, lift and stretch. I lift weights for 10 minutes, do something aerobic for 20 -30 minutes and I do yoga for 20 -30 minutes at least every other day. Don’t try to talk yourself into the notion that you don’t have time for this, you do. Especially if you subtract some time-wasting activity like watching TV and substituting this instead.

2. Don’t worry. It’s a complete waste of time. Keep this idea in mind and you can teach yourself not to worry too: Most worries never come to pass and the things worth worrying about usually hit you by surprise.

3. Forgive yourself. That’s very important as you will make a lot of mistakes.

4. When money is tight I narrow my focus. I get through these times by just asking myself: Do I have enough money to get through this day, this week, or this month? If the answer to all three is yes I take great comfort in that. For now, I tell myself, I’m OK.

5. Put family first. It’s easy to get totally caught up in your business as an entrepreneur. But this will come back to haunt you eventually. I started my own business so I could spend more time with my family. So these obligations come first for me.

6. Stay organized. This is hard for me, but when I spend 30-60 minutes getting myself organized and make to-do lists at least a few days a week it REALLY lowers my anxiety levels. (Try making a to-do list with just six things on it that you KNOW you can get done in one day. Andrew Carnegie did this religiously and claimed that it was what made him rich.)

7. Stop watching TV. I occasionally watch an hour or so of something funny or moving, or inspirational on Netflix and that’s it. No sports. No News. Those pass-times are actually anxiety-producing (yes, even sports) and as such are a big waste of time (which as an entrepreneur you never have enough of). It was so liberating to cancel cable. Another addiction over with!

8. Go to bed early (I go to bed between 9 and 10) and get up early (between 4 and 5). I’m writing this at 4:30 AM. And I NEVER work past 6 or 7 PM at the latest. (That’s family dinner time).

9. Focus on what matters most. What one thing can you do today that will bring the most value (usually that means dollars) for your business? Focus on that for an uninterrupted block of time (Say an hour or two at the least) every day.

10. Make a mental list of at least 5 things I have to be grateful for every day.

(The Huffington Post)

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