According to the American Institute of Stress, 75% of American workers believe that they have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. It’s easy to overwork yourself in the advancing technological and competitive society that we live in today, especially as a small business owner trying to thrive. Many small business owners take their work home with them and work overtime, causing added stress to their lives. Without work-life balance and separation between the two, small business owners will likely become unhealthy, overworked and stressed.
An important first step to achieving workplace wellness is making sure you have a dedicated office space to conduct your business. Whether that be a home office or rented office space, you should keep your work life and your home life separate. Next, make sure your office space is functional and that you have ergonomic office accessories.
Ergonomic office spaces drive productivity and motivation, which is beneficial when running your own business. An ergonomic office can be created by making sure everything is accessible and organized and by purchasing an ergonomic office chair, a laptop/monitor stand, an adjustable desk and blue light filtering eyeglasses.
All of these items will help prevent you from adopting the unhealthy habits that many employees and employers fall victim to over time, such as leading sedentary lifestyles and poor posture. Start by ensuring you have a clean, accessible and organized workspace to promote efficiency and professionalism to co-workers and clients. Next, invest in an ergonomic office chair and a laptop/monitor stand. These items can stabilize your back, neck, and shoulders, preventing back pain caused by slouching. Similarly, an adjustable or standing desk will allow you to change positions throughout your day, ultimately counteracting the development of a sedentary lifestyle.
Lastly, no matter where you work, it’s likely from a computer! Blue light filtering eyeglasses can block the blue light that is radiating off of these digital screens you use every day, such as your computer, smartphone, and tablet.
Simply adding a few items and practices into your day-to-day life will allow you to better yourself and ultimately your business.
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Balancing your responsibilities may seem like an obvious task but it’s where a lot of people fall short. As a small business owner, you’re most likely thinking of ways to better your business and help it grow constantly. This can actually be unhealthy! Finding a balance between your work and your personal lives is essential to your well-being. Without downtime, you will likely overwork yourself and burn out quickly, causing you to be in a bad frame of mind and hurting your business.
In order to balance your work responsibilities while still having some much-needed downtime, you should keep a detailed calendar and a to-do list, set personal and professional goals, allow yourself to take breaks and stop over-committing to tasks. By keeping your workspace organized and maintaining a detailed calendar/to-do list, you will be able to keep track of your tasks seamlessly. Taking breaks throughout your day or on the weekends will give you the time you need to recuperate, which will allow you to be more creative and driven. Lastly, if you stop over committing or over-scheduling you will have more time to focus on important tasks. It will allow you to do your best work in small quantities, rather than mediocre work in large quantities.
By creating an ergonomic workspace and balancing your responsibilities more realistically, you will already be on your way to a less stressful work life. Nevertheless, you can keep making strides to limit stress even further. Some factors that cause work and personal-related stress are lack of sleep, constant distractions and inability to delegate tasks.
Lack of sleep can cause you to feel sluggish, agitated and unfocused. This can cause you to produce mediocre or inadequate work, which contributes to stress. You can combat this by simply ensuring you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep. Hitting your eight hours nightly will allow you to feel restored, less stressed, more alert and improve your memory.
Constant distractions can also cause you to become overwhelmed and stressed. As mentioned before, overcommitting to tasks and being interrupted by other obligations constantly causes unnecessary stress on your own life.
The distractions you’re facing as a result of overcommitting can be solved with a little delegation. A lot of small business owners don’t see hiring an extra set of hands as a realistic or worthwhile investment early on. However, there are plenty of tasks that are causing unnecessary stress and distractions to your day-to-day that could be completed by a part-time employee. Hiring someone part-time is inexpensive when compared to the time you would get back to focus on bigger picture tasks.
Being a small business owner will most likely consume a large part of your life, especially in the early stages of development. It will be difficult for you to want to take breaks to reassess when you have so much to accomplish. Although, without those breaks, you will overwork yourself into a negative state, ultimately hurting your business in the end. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, in order to take care of your business.