Learning to manage your work and life stressors

It’s as old as time – stress, and the havoc it wreaks on the body and in one’s life. Whether it’s the stress of running a business, taking care of loved ones or working for someone else, stress breaks us down and impedes our ability to be productive and fully engaged in life. But there’s a lot we can do to stop stress in its tracks and turn worry and tension into triumph.

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Where stress starts

Think about your most recent experience of stress – maybe it was hearing some unexpected news, sitting down to pay bills or realizing you missed a deadline. Acting on impulse and perceiving danger, your brain cued your body to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, resulting in a higher heart rate, muscle tension and quickened breathing.

In the instances where there is indeed a physical threat, this impulse serves us well. But when our perception of stress triggers an exaggerated response of our body’s fight or flight reaction it can negatively impact our emotional and physical health, and our ability to be our best. The key lies in identifying what situations we can manage proactively to find a healthy balance.

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Identifying work and life stressors

In the US, 66% of workers feel they do not have work-life balance1 and small business owners report that managing their business is more than 4 times more stressful than raising children2. And yet, there’s no real way to get around some business stress – it’s part of being human.

SMB owners face BIG small business challenges: budgeting, productivity/sales, inventory, equipment and operations, and employee issues. Environmental issues are a concern, hitting many businesses bottom lines (read our April issue on ways to improve sustainability at work) and security threats remain a rising hurdle. Differentiating one’s business from the crowd is also an on-going stressor since marketing now is a 24/7 undertaking.

In a Harvard study of 30,000 participants, researchers found that reframing our perception of stress as helpful rather than harmful reverses the physiological impact of stress and improves our lives.

But with just a few small business stress management tips, issues can be diffused and reimagined, opening up opportunities for a better way of doing things:

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Money issues – they plague us all, but fearing the worst doesn’t help the numbers. Creating a working budget that you return to regularly, setting aside funds for growth or rainy days, and being realistic with what is working for your expenses is the most important part of not letting money fears rule you. Look for smarter ways to save and spend here.

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Lack of control – whether its inventory delays, equipment breakdowns or employees that lack reliability and productivity, there’s only so much you can manage yourself. Create contingency plans when operations and productivity are interrupted and learn to delegate by letting others know what is expected of them.

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Prioritize what’s most important – start by accepting that you cannot do it all. Just because we get information 24/7 and think others are doing everything and then some, resist being overloaded. Stay focused on your key business and mission statement, and if you are trying to be all things to all people, cut it out. Use our planners to help prioritize.

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Invest in stress-busters – if you can identify places where you can manage business stress, do it. Investing in reliable, secure office equipment, time-saving software and technology, in good people and a positive working environment are all smart ways to beat stress before it starts. Adding our Xerox® eConcierge Supplies service can also help you worry less about office supplies while you enjoy a free lifetime warranty.

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Mind what matters

Above all else, be a good steward for your own health and welfare. Your profit margin, project deadline or kitchen remodel will mean nothing if you’re not around to enjoy them. Foregoing vacations, working overly long hours or constantly putting others’ needs before your own can result in poor health, premature burnout and resentment at worst, and poor performance/productivity at best.

Daily, make sure you get enough sleep, eat properly and partake in regular exercise (try something new like meditation or yoga, the benefits are significant); avoid information overload by deliberately turning your phone off and reduce your social media intake. When you take the steps you need before stress takes its toll; your business and your life will benefit and thank you.

Let Xerox help you stop the business stress before it starts. Explore more tips here. Contact your reseller or Shop Xerox for a free consultation today.




2 https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/SBOR_2017_May.pdf

3 Journal of Experimental Psychology: 2012, Vol. 141, No. 3, 417–422.