As an entrepreneur, you may often find yourself buried in work. The good news is there are dozens of strategies you can use to stop feeling stressed.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, you need to determine the root cause of why you’re feeling that way. Once you’ve done that, remember that less is more, so take things one step at a time. Plan your projects in advance, resist perfection, and set reasonable deadlines. Sleeping well, exercising, and even listening to music can all help as well.
We’ve rounded up 61 useful strategies to stop feeling overwhelmed. Remember, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Read on below to learn more about these approaches.
What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed By Your Business?
1. Analyze why you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Ask yourself: is it because you have so much to do? Knowing the reason will help you think of ways to manage your concerns.
2. Devote some time for quiet before you start the day.
It pays to have some calm before the storm. You’ll only feel more overwhelmed if you start your stressful day with more chaos.
3. Work according to your rhythm.
Do you function better at night? If yes, then do your work during that time. As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to choose to work when you want.
4. Stop multitasking.
It’s not good to do several things at one time. Apart from feeling overwhelmed, you may end up with subpar results. Worse, you may end up doing every little thing again! That said…
5. Less is more.
It’s best to take everything one step at a time. Remember: more work doesn’t always equate to a better output. In fact, it can take your focus away from the essential things.
6. Portion your activities for the day into smaller chunks.
Instead of only focusing on the big picture, make sure you’re focusing on the smaller details first. For example, if you’re planning on launching a website, start first with the step of creating an account. Each small step is easier to achieve (and less overwhelming.)
7. Plan ahead.
Having a blueprint at hand will stop you from getting too overwhelmed.
8. Start from the top down.
For example, if you want to generate more sales, you need to work on your sales and marketing campaigns. It should never be the other way around, where you create campaigns with no clear idea of what you want to achieve. Is it bigger sales? Brand recognition?
9. Script your day as you’d like to experience.
Review and revise the day script as necessary. This will help you align things – and see how you could have done it better.
10. Address the ‘heavier’ tasks – in alignment with your highest energy times.
Compared to your smaller projects, they demand more effort. As such, it’s best to do them when you’re most energetic.
11. Focus on the process.
Thinking of just the outcome will soon have you feeling overwhelmed. As mentioned, take it one step at a time.
12. Resist perfectionism.
While it’s nice to have every single thing be perfect, sometimes, it’s not possible. The drive for perfectionism can make you feel more overwhelmed than ever. Sometimes, ‘good is good enough.’
13. Writing is therapeutic.
Scribbling down tasks, lists and just your thoughts will help you filter what’s urgent and what’s not.
14. Take a deep breath.
Whenever you find yourself feeling deeply overwhelmed, pause and take a deep breath. It will help relax your body – and your mind.
15. Visualize your happy place.
Is it the beach? Or at home with your family? Think of the things that make you happy, and you’ll end up feeling calmer.
16. Be kind to yourself.
Don’t berate yourself if you’re overwhelmed by the many tasks you need to do.
17. Be kind to others too.
It pays to be nice to other people. For one, helping others feel good. It reminds you that you’re part of a community.
It also puts things into perspective – which is vital if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
18. Don’t be a hero – take your breaks.
Don’t deprive yourself of well-deserved free time.
19. Use a deadline tracker.
A good old calendar will suffice, though you can use smartphone apps as well.
20. Block time in your calendar for 1-3 important tasks.
If you’re scheduled to do several tasks, block your calendar for 1-3 activities – especially those with the highest priority objectives. It can also help you plan, which is excellent if you often find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
21. Create feasible deadlines.
As an entrepreneur, you know how much time it takes to do a specific task. So it would make no sense to cut your deadline in half. It won’t make you productive – it will only make you panic. Remember: rushed work isn’t the best work.
22. Plan projects according to realities, not according to demands.
The same deadline planning applies when it comes to clients.
Be sure to contemplate obstacles and impediments you may face in advance.
It’s important to follow your customer’s schedule, but you have to push back if their deadlines just aren’t possible.
It’s best to have a set of realistic objectives instead of fantasies.
23. Remove the low-priority things in your schedule.
If Task C is something you can postpone for the day, then move it.
I recommend the love/hate exercise, which can help you gain clarity along the way.
With this exercise, you get more energy to do your crucial tasks.
24. Know that you can’t say yes to everything.
You’re only human, and you have your limitations. Saying yes to everything will overwhelm you to the core.
That said, you need to…
25. Keep a ‘no’ list.
If there’s something you don’t want to do – at least for now – don’t do it.
26. Remember: you don’t have to do everything today.
You’re an entrepreneur, not a robot.
There’s always tomorrow. Deadlines are made by you – you can move them as needed.
27. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. That’s why you have employees in the first place!
28. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Just like delegating tasks: if you need assistance, let people know. More often than not, they’ll be more than happy to help you.
29. Turn off your distractions.
Social media activity may be taking most of your work time. As a result, you could be left with only a few hours for a big project. Lock your phone up or disable your laptop’s Facebook access for a set time.
30. Organize your space.
An untidy desk will make everything seem stressful – even if it isn’t. Organizing everything on your table will make everything seem better!
31. Invest in Smart Technology.
Maybe you’ve been deferring your vacation because of the many demands of your business. That’s why you need to make use of Smart Technology. With these devices or programs, you can continue to do your tasks even if you’re away from the office.
32. Failure is a part of business.
Failing doesn’t mean you’re a terrible entrepreneur. Giving up right away makes you one instead.
As they always say, fall seven times, stand up eight.
33. Be mindful.
In other words, you need to be aware of your experience – without judging it. Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help minimize rumination – dark thoughts that can negatively affect your emotions.
Better yet, mindfulness can improve your focus and working memory. As you know, both of those are essential for every entrepreneur!
34. Don’t let stress ‘stress’ you out.
Use it as a motivator instead. It’s all about taking the stress and transforming it into something that inspires you to keep moving forward.
35. Avoid blowing things out of proportion.
It’s not the end of the world if your marketing campaign didn’t bring in the sales numbers you thought it would.
36. Shout or cry if you must.
It’s okay to give in to your emotions when necessary. What’s important is that you don’t give up after your mini-breakdown.
37. Be flexible.
There will be times when you won’t meet your deadlines, even if you’ve worked hard. That’s why you need to stop being rigid – it’ll stress you out more.
38. Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place.
It’s easy to lose hope when things overwhelm you. But if you look back at your motivations, you’ll find the strength to soldier on.
39. Engage in optimistic self-talk.
Instead of telling yourself, “It’s too hard,” say, “It’s hard, but I will keep on going!” Remember, negative thinking will only worsen the stress and anxiety you feel.
40. Balance your life.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Take a vacation. Escape whenever you can. You’re entitled to have some fun, even if you’re a struggling entrepreneur.
41. Set boundaries.
Tell your employees – and yourself – that you’re only working for a set time during the day. If you don’t set boundaries, you’ll lose your precious quiet time. Otherwise, everyone will get used to contacting you whenever and wherever.
42. Listen to the right kind of music.
Music can affect your emotions – in a positive way, of course. Slow music can quiet your mind and relax your body, while upbeat songs make you more optimistic.
43. Turn off your work email, call, or text notifications when you get home.
The last thing you want is to feel stressed out at home. Leave everything work-related (that can wait) in the office.
That said, it will help to use a clear autoresponder, so that they may be able to reach you in case of a true emergency.
Of course, you need to educate them what constitutes a true emergency – and what doesn’t!
44. Don’t skip meals.
Even if you need to get a lot of things done, you shouldn’t forget to eat. In fact, skipping meals will only worsen the overwhelming stress you feel. Worse of all, it can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
45. Chew some gum.
If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-upper, then reach out for a pack of gum. According to a study, it’s good for reducing stress – especially if you’re overwhelmed by multiple tasks.
46. Cut back on other caffeinated drinks.
While coffee can perk you up, it can make you jittery and more anxious.
Instead, it would help if you try to…
47. Drink some tea.
Tea is more than just a delicious drink. It’s a beverage that will help you calm down whenever you feel overly stressed. Linden tea is best for anxiety, while oat straw tea should help reduce fatigue. Rosemary tea, on the other hand, is perfect for rejuvenating your mind.
48. Get a good night’s sleep.
It’s a powerful stress reducer that can calm you down. On top of that, being well-rested can significantly improve your decision-making and judgment calls.
Working out for a quick 5-10 minutes can do wonders for your health. It helps release endorphins, which are the body’s natural stress relievers.
50. Perform progressive muscle relaxation.
This deep relaxation activity can help reduce stress. It can also help minimize insomnia, which may be stressing you out as well.
What’s great about this exercise is that you can easily do this in the office. You can quickly tense/tighten and relax your muscles while you sit on your comfy chair.
51. Do yoga.
Yoga is an activity that consists of poses, meditation, relaxation, and controlled breathing. It can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate – and relieve work-related anxiety too.
52. Try aromatherapy.
Place a diffuser in your office and sniff essential oils to soothe your mind.
Clary sage is good for alleviating pressure, while sandalwood is good for anxiety. Lemon can help improve your mood, while orange is ideal for meditation.
53. Consider taking stress-relieving supplements.
Apart from following the strategies above, taking supplements may make you less overwhelmed.
According to experts, these supplements may combat your work stress – among other things:
- Ashwagandha, which can relieve stress and elevate mood
- B complex vitamins, for stress relief and mood improvement
- Kava, which can help calm your anxious thoughts
- L-theanine, a component in tea that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation
- Rhodiola Rosea, which can help alleviate anxiety, irritability, and exhaustion
54. Give (and get) a hug.
According to a report, hugging can lead to fewer negative emotions after a long, stressful day. In fact, a 20-second hug can help reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Hugs are very comforting – they’re perfect after an overwhelming day!
55. Don’t neglect your health.
Use some of your time off for wellness check-ups and doctor’s visits. If your body and mind are not functioning well, your company won’t either.
56. Turn off your brain from time to time.
It will help if you free your mind of work-related stresses whenever possible. Your brain deserves a much-needed reprieve as well.
57. Laughter is still the best medicine.
A hearty laugh can do you good, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed in the office. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can help:
- Stimulate organs, thus increasing the flow of endorphins (feel-good hormones) in your body.
- Lower heart rate and blood pressure, essentially relieving the stress you’re feeling.
- Soothe tensed muscles.
- Elevate your mood.
- Improve personal satisfaction.
58. Spend time with your pet.
Maybe you’re so overwhelmed with work that you don’t spend much time with your pet anymore. That said, you should make it a point to bond with your pet. After all, it can help reduce stress by lowering the cortisol levels in the body.
At the same time, petting can increase oxytocin levels. This hormone is responsible for ‘bonding’ and attachment.
59. Confide with a good listener.
Sometimes, a pleasant talk is all it takes to stop feeling overwhelmed. Conversing with someone acting as your sounding board can help you focus on your ideas as well!
60. Try to hire an accountability partner.
As the name suggests, this person holds you accountable for everything you do. They can remind you what you need to do – or delay what you can for the time being.
61. Remember that people are looking up to you.
It’s best if you always act like a model CEO. You don’t want your employees to see that you’re panicking. Thinking about the people who depend on you will surely improve your focus.
While your business is important, your health is crucial as well, so you should know the things to help you ease the stress and overwhelm as an entrepreneur.