With long hours of work, business owners are prone to stress. When stress is prolonged, it can contribute to the development of depression or anxiety or may worsen an existing condition. This can take a toll on a person’s mental health, especially since the pandemic has changed most routines and operations. Be proactive in looking after your own mental health. Here are some tips that can help you prevent stress and burnout while managing your business.
Tip #1: Identify What Causes Your Stress
Your triggers can range from your feelings towards your work and how you run your business. Some indicators that your work is affecting your mental health:
- Having difficulty to focus on tasks
- Feeling tired and fatigued
- Getting easily frustrated
- Drinking alcohol to cope
- Finding it hard to make decisions
According to an MYOB survey for small business operators in Australia in 2019, the top challenges that the owners face include financial issues (48%), attracting and retaining customers (13%), lack of family time (12%), and not enough time to do the work (12%).
Don’t wait until you can’t handle your stress. Take note of your stressor at its early stage to help you manage or remove the stressor entirely so you can cope better.
Tip #2: Assess and Take Control
Once you’ve found out what causes your stress, look for ways on how you can manage it. Business owners or sole traders tend to put in long hours at work to meet the demands of their business. If limited time causes your stress, try to rank your tasks and prioritise what’s important. Delegate or reschedule the rest. Money problems are also common for SMEs. If your business is suffering from cash flow problems, you may want to check alternative financial options to help you manage your business operations consistently.
Tip #3: Take a Break
Running a business takes a lot of time and energy. You need to ensure that you’re taking breaks, even if it’s just for a short time to prevent burnout. You can step out for at least 15 minutes to calm your mind. Do something that’s unrelated to your business or simply rest during your break before going back to work.
“You might be surprised at how well a planned break works for your productivity throughout the work day.”
It might seem counterproductive at first, but it’s been shown that we need breaks to perform at our best. Don’t feel guilty and make the most of the free time. You might be surprised at how well a planned break works for your productivity throughout the work day.
Tip #4: Create a Work-life Boundary
Most people are working from home these days, but there should still be a balance with your time. Avoid burnout by setting a line between your work and life.
Make a working schedule and stick to it. After your work hours, turn off the notifications and work emails so you can focus on taking a rest. It may be challenging to do at first, but this is essential for maintaining a healthy mind.
Another way to improve your mental health is by having healthier habits like drinking more water, getting more sleep, and exercising for at least a few minutes per day.
Tip #5: Get on Top of Your Finances
A common cause of business stress is company finances. Make sure to keep your records up to date, submit your taxes correctly and on time and maintain adequate cash flow to fund your operations. The last thing you need for your mental health is late bills and unpaid staff.
When it comes to accessing cash flow, there are a range of alternative financing options if you don’t want to go through tedious applications of a bank loan. Accounts receivable finance, peer-to-peer lending, invoice finance, and more offer fast and flexible facilities that will help support your business’s cash flow.
Tip #6: Ask for Help
Look after your wellbeing by putting yourself first before your business. Spend time with your loved ones for social support. These tools and resources may also help you manage your mental health better:
- Beyond Blue – They provide information for supporting people with their mental health problems and offer online counselling services.
- Heads Up – This platform focuses on providing tools that will help improve the mental health of business leaders and employees.
- Ahead for Business – A digital hub developed with and for small businesses to support their mental health.
It’s important to talk to a mental health professional to guide you on what can help you feel better. You can also suggest this to your team, so they have time to take care of their well-being, too.
Whether it’s long hours or a lack of breaks, most business owners have been there at one time or another. While we can’t step in and solve all your problems, we at TIM Finance are here to help business owners like you to solve your cash flow challenges. Get the capital you need to keep your business operations going and reduce business stress today.