Managing a business can be stressful in normal times, and 2020 is bringing even more challenges than usual. Changes in supply and demand, increased workloads for some industries, layoffs in others, navigating new workplace tools and schedules, making sure your team stays safe and healthy—that’s a lot to manage. If you’re going to be effective in leading your company, you need to make sure you’re managing your stress.
Eliminate the stressors in your life that you can control. For instance, if you are constantly worried about work, consider creating boundaries to make your personal and career balance clearer. Turn off your phone and e-mail on weekends. Employees will learn your schedule. If you’re continually available, others will expect you to reply to e-mails, phone calls, and appointments 24/7. Once you set a new schedule, expectations will evolve as well. Don’t say yes to all requests, and delegate tasks when you can.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough quality sleep, which recharges the brain and helps you have a clear head the next day. Eat balanced meals regularly, as diet can affect mood, health, and energy. If you’re tired and hungry, even the most minor annoyances will bother you. If you’re especially stressed, take a break. Focus on your breathing and be mindful of the present moment. When you calm down and return to your task, you’ll have a better mindset.
Instead of simply reacting to stressors as they come, try to prevent them when possible. For instance, if you work at a place where noise is an issue, make it a habit to use ear plugs. Another thing you can do is stay on top of deadlines instead of waiting until the last minute to finish tasks. That way, if you encounter a problem, you’ll have time to find a solution instead of creating a stressful situation.
Even if you’re a manager, you need a support system. Maybe there are other leaders at the company that would be good sounding boards, or community groups where you could talk to other managers in similar situations. Talking to others, even if it’s friends and family, can be helpful, and you never know, someone might help you see something from a new perspective that sheds light on a challenge you might be facing.
However you best manage your stress, make sure you’re taking care of yourself in some way. Supervisors and managers are often the ones setting the example for the workplace culture, so if you’re constantly frantic and overwhelmed, there’s a good chance your team will be, too. If it’s been hard for you to minimize stress in the past, 2020 is the year of change—evaluate deadlines, routines, and tasks with an open mind to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your company and yourself.