1. Find ways to make other people smile. I read a novel recently, and a character said, “Winning makes you feel great. Helping someone else win makes you feel great, longer.” Helping others gets you out of your own stress.
2. Create standards. Standards put priorities into practical application on a daily basis. In other words, they let you design your life. For instance, my standards include a definition of an ideal client, a minimum number of yoga classes per week and a maximum number of caffeinated beverages per day. Your list may also include specific business activity, such as a number of phone calls to clients or prospecting activity daily.
3. Address “nags” promptly. If there are things in your life that are nagging at you, such as bad news you have to break, or even just purchases waiting to be exchanged, take care of them. These little nagging tasks are incredibly draining and reduce your ability to deal with normal stresses.
4. Create systems. Creating systems – written step-by-step processes – reduces stress in two ways. First, it allows you to complete tasks without spending as much mental energy figuring it out each time. And second, when it’s time to delegate the task, you spend less time explaining it to your assistant. This ties in directly to the next strategy.
5. Delegate. My guideline for delegation is simple: if it doesn’t require your personality or expertise, do everything you can to delegate it. Delegated your data entry and bookkeeping, and see if you don’t feel 20 pounds lighter! For most of us, delegating does not come naturally*, but it is absolutely worth it!
6. Go easy on yourself. Every single person I know, including me, is harder on themselves than on any other person in their lives. Accomplishments we’d congratulate others for, we judge as not good enough in ourselves. Really take a look at self-judgment, and give yourself a pat on the back for all of the great things you do.
7. Let it out, carefully. Don’t keep everything inside, but be selective who you confide in. Go to people who you know will sympathize, but who will also encourage you to move beyond the stress, and into solutions.
*Teaching delegation strategies is one of my areas of expertise. Please get in touch if you’d like some help.