Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Dealing with stress in your business life.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12

    Dealing with stress in your business life.

    Stress and being a business owner or manager often go together. Are there any techniques to reduce this stress?

    In my business life, stress levels have fluctuated from severe at times to hardly any at all. Low levels of stress are associated with the "good times." Everything is going smoothly: there is no shortage of sales, the organisation is running smoothly, and the bank manager is calling you about investing all that extra cash sitting in your bank account into one of their investment products. Whatever pressure there is at a time like this, it is normally about meeting production deadlines or your own targets and ambitions. And given the sense of well-being that goes with this, I'd hardly call this stress to be overly concerned about.

    It's when things are going in the wrong direction that stress really starts biting. Sales aren't where they should be, cash flow is hurting or there is severe friction within the organisation.

    I reckon there is positive stress and negative stress. And whether the stress is positive or negative is not so much from the cause of the pressure, but more how we react to it.

    Positive stress is best seen as pressure that makes you perform better.
    Negative stress is where you actually become less effective than you can be.

    In general, when stress first arrives, most people will lift their game. So virtually any stress is at first positive stress. However, too much pressure for too long, and inevitably the stress turns negative. You start performing at less than your best.

    This means that classifying stress is really driven by 2 factors - severity and duration. Acute stress may be severe, but of short duration. Generally this is not too harmful. Chronic stress is of long duration, and after a while even low levels of pressure can produce a state of stress that is harmful.

    The enemy isn't really acute stress. Chronic stress is the killer.

    One of the indicators as to whether you are over-stressed is what you are doing about it. Are you responding, reacting, or simply shutting down? Understanding this helps us to manage the problem.

    There are only a few things that really help in dealing with chronic stress.

    Exercise.
    Exercises helps offset the effects of chronic stress on the body. It will help relieve muscle tension and promotes the release of natural endorphins that will help with a sense of well-being. Working out hard also takes your mind off the problem for a while. There is a relationship between a healthy body and a healthy mind.

    Taking a break.
    When working in an environment of chronic stress, it is critical to take a break every now and then. To clear the mind, get some perspective, and give yourself some space. However, it is here that most people fall down in dealing with stress, because the thought is that you can't afford to take a break because of the pressure.

    I have read on a number of occasions that it takes 10 days or so of a total break to relieve a severely stressed condition. How many of us have not taken a ten day break in years? If not, chronic stress is probably slowly grinding you down.

    A quick tip when you can't take a break.
    One of the most common causes of chronic stress is ongoing cash flow pressure on the business. Without going into what you might or should be doing about solving the cash flow problem, there is one thing you can do about the chronic stress effects. Give yourself a break.

    Don't even look at making payments of accounts more than once a week. Personally, I only look at account payments on the last working day of the week. It is a habit I got into when I was feeling cash flow pressures, and I've kept it up ever since because frankly it makes my working week far more effective. For the rest of the week my priority is doing the stuff that might bring in more money. Figuring out which bills I can or cannot pay only happens on Friday.

    As a related aside on this, I was fascinated listening to a guy once who was in the business rescue business. Essentially, he'd be appointed as an administrator of businesses in trouble and his job was to move them back out of the danger zone. Whilst there was some variety in the problems for each enterprise he had worked on, the common one to all was cash flow. His first step would be to call in all the creditors and offer a simple deal.

    He needed the space to work the business back into profitability so that they would all eventually get their money. To achieve this, he could not afford to be continually interrupted by calls from people asking questions about when they would get their money. So from the beginning of the month until the last two working days of the month - no creditor was to call so that he could focus on the stuff that made the money. On the 25th (or first working day thereafter) of the month, he would take whatever money was available and pay whatever bills he could, spreading it around as fairly as possible. If they wanted to talk to him they could only do it in that two day window at the end of the month.

    So it seems this technique might work for stressed organisations too, although I was so entranced with the fact that he was using a similar technique that I forgot to ask what his success rate was.

    Have you got any little tips and techniques that you find help dealing with business stress in your life? Please share them here and help us all just that little bit more.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    222
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Well this is something have been dealing with for some time and have noticed throughout my life that a member of my family has to deal with this.

    Dealing with stress is a difficult thing to do. I find one has to keep an eye on what is important in ones life. The likes of family.
    Engrossing yourself in Stressful work so that you can make a bit more money at the end of the line is not worth the stress it creates vs you spending your regular hours with less stress and having a relationship.

    In saying that as a business owner or manager you going to have to bite the bullet as some stage and work extra to get ahead. So weigh up your options before you get to involved with a project that doesnt bring you in the kind of money that is worth the stress.

    I personally can go for ages under pressure without any issues etc. Until i relax. Then things tend to catch up with me and i go down for the count.

    I have found a formulae that works well.... Put yourself under pressure and set asside one day of the week where you dont do ANYTHING. No work / friends or anything related to work. And take a break... keep your self settled and find your happy medium. This will help you find your rythem and allow you to catch up on rest that your brain needs to handle all the information. And trust me it works.

    Exercise i think is a bit overused as a method, as it is the "Fashionable" thing to do when you need to relax. What comes into question is the influencial side of marketing in this. I dont think Exercise is good for your Stress when you have a lot on your plate. Then again each person is different.

    Also something i find that works brilliantly is a distraction to your everyday pattern. Join a Forum and post your issues or problems you may have/ ideas you thinking of. It will give you the time needed to take a break while you wait for a response. I find this the perfect form of taking a break.

    These are from my personal experience and what i have seen.
    Hope they help someone.
    Wellinformed.co.za - Networking Forums SA partner site. Let's support each other for a better South Africa.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    1,065
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 97 Times in 63 Posts
    First of all Dave, a quality post!

    This is imo a VERY important topic and the cause of downfall for many. Stress, stress, stress!

    I guess we are all different and the paths we take to success teach us to experience and handle situations differently. Some of us start filling up the flat one in the bottom drawer every week. Others play a round of golf every Wednesday. Others appoint a good looking secretary and others fire their secretary. I think we all behave differently when it comes with handling stress.

    Stress (positive) imo is an essential part of what keeps us motivated, therefore it is an essential part of being human. Negative stress is something that can also be described as depression.

    Depression kicks in as soon as you start loosing faith that you will make it. Depression also makes you doubt yourself and in your abilities to overcome the obstacles in your way.

    A further phase is denial. Shifting blame and absolutely looking at every single excuse in the book as to why you are failing. Blaming your employees, blaming your partner, blaming the stupid dog for eating your lucky shoes.

    I remember sitting in my car some mornings knowing that we were in DEEP trouble. Switching off deliberately all negative thoughts and changing my mind frame, put a smile on my face looking in the mirror and say to myself I am the best looking broke bugger in the world! Walk into the office with a broad smile and greeting everyone with a cheerful voice. I also knew this totally annoyed my then partner to bits It actually freaked him out completely! I remember doing exactly the same in front of my client’s office for meetings. My car became my programming space. Where I motivated myself and told myself how good I was and how wonderful I was.

    I think setting realistic targets and constantly planning so you are completely aware of real factors influencing your situation can most certainly contribute to make stress less. But the moment you say to yourself or anyone else,... " I have no idea as to why this is happening!!!" you lost it and stress will destroy any chances you had. There is an explanation for everything in business. The fact of the matter is that if you are aware of what is causing problems you actually have a chance to do something about it. Otherwise curveballs will switch of the lights and only blank space will be left.

    I am a firm believer that money is not worth any concern, as money does not drive success. Any person will be able to drive success, with ideas as the vehicle and money to pay the toll. If you cannot pay the toll, use the roads that do not charge toll. You will still get there, it might just take longer. However, if you cannot drive the vehicle… Now that is a different story!

    Once you realize that you are the solution to this problem you already kicked stress a major blow.
    Last edited by Chatmaster; 24-Jul-07 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Spelling, wat else?

  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    I remember sitting in my car some mornings knowing that we were in DEEP trouble. Switching off deliberately all negative thoughts and changing my mind frame, put a smile on my face looking in the mirror and say to myself I am the best looking broke bugger in the world! Walk into the office with a broad smile and greeting everyone with a cheerful voice. I also knew this totally annoyed my then partner to bits It actually freaked him out completely! I remember doing exactly the same in front of my client’s office for meetings. My car became my programming space. Where I motivated myself and told myself how good I was and how wonderful I was.
    Man, that brought flashbacks. I'd forgotten how effective that was/is. Particularly the power of a smile in the car to reprogram your own attitude before you walk in to the lion's den. Maybe I need to re-open my mobile university - I just don't drive as much as I used to though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    I think setting realistic targets and constantly planning so you are completely aware of real factors influencing your situation can most certainly contribute to make stress less. But the moment you say to yourself or anyone else,... " I have no idea as to why this is happening!!!" you lost it and stress will destroy any chances you had.
    Two catch phrases come to mind that I have found so true in this:
    • Face your fears and they disappear, and
    • Your fears are always far worse imagined than realised.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy_inc
    I personally can go for ages under pressure without any issues etc. Until i relax. Then things tend to catch up with me and i go down for the count.
    That is actually a pretty clear indicator that you are carrying fairly serious stress. Don't fool yourself. There is a physiological effect. It's just not hammering you yet because you're still young. As you get older, it hits harder. (That might apply to most everything )

    You do draw attention to one of the problems with chronic stress in particular; you don't even realise you are suffering until you stop long enough to actually start really relaxing.

    If you go away for a long weekend, and find that you get restless just sitting around doing nothing - you're probably in the danger zone and need a longer break to break the stress habit your body has gotten into.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    1,065
    Thanks
    107
    Thanked 97 Times in 63 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy_inc View Post
    Dealing with stress is a difficult thing to do. I find one has to keep an eye on what is important in ones life. The likes of family.
    Engrossing yourself in Stressful work so that you can make a bit more money at the end of the line is not worth the stress it creates vs you spending your regular hours with less stress and having a relationship.
    Very, very good statement!

    I need to comment on this... When I was in my early 20's I had the exact opposite idea of handling stress. My Idea was that I should forget about family and holidays and work my backside off to reach my goals, then I would enjoy life and start with kids and give them what I never had. The end result was nearly loosing my wife and completely loosing touch with myself. I never just took a break and reflected on my own emotions and fears. I reach the top in a large company I worked for back then within 2 years and suddenly everything hit me all together because of one extremely bad incident. I realized that I lost more than I made and that money certainly didn't solve the issues I thought it would. It took a long time for me to realize my mistakes and to realize I have one life to enjoy. The moment I realized this, things turned about sharply and I achieved even more than before.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    361
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 41 Times in 32 Posts
    Having over the years liquidated most of our assets for the business, and with "retirement" age looming, cash flow is the highest cause of my chronic stress.
    Personally, I find my stress levels impossible to cope with during a "Cash flow drought" when partners do not understand the seriousness of the situation, "and I don't feel heard"!
    As I am by nature a "fearful" person, my associates never take me seriously when I advise that cash flow is restricted, personally I am not in a position to motivate or drive any correctional actions.

    I have occassionally "throw my toys out of the cot", and then gone for a drive whilst I "switch off" by listening to loud classical music.
    When I get back to the office, there is generally an attitude of "right lets get down to it and take some action".

    I also have a guided meditation tape, which I sometimes use when I cannot get to sleep thinking about the payments due. After a good nights sleep somehow the problems always seem more manageable.

    Any action, which for a substantial period of time, does not permit you to dwell on the situation causing the stress, is a great relief.
    "Remember when rock" concerts at the Barnyard Theaters - Lion King excellent!
    Fishing if you have the ability to "Switch off"! is great for some but hell for others.

    Anyone operating their own business, needs to find out what works best for them, and my suggestion is to try something that would normally never be something you would have considered before. (Back massage, jaccuzzi, reflexology!)
    Devoting some of your time to some need, even if it is just "playing" a game with a child - is for me - the best medication for stress!

    Yvonne

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    222
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatmaster View Post
    Very, very good statement!

    I need to comment on this... When I was in my early 20's I had the exact opposite idea of handling stress. My Idea was that I should forget about family and holidays and work my backside off to reach my goals, then I would enjoy life and start with kids and give them what I never had. The end result was nearly loosing my wife and completely loosing touch with myself. I never just took a break and reflected on my own emotions and fears. I reach the top in a large company I worked for back then within 2 years and suddenly everything hit me all together because of one extremely bad incident. I realized that I lost more than I made and that money certainly didn't solve the issues I thought it would. It took a long time for me to realize my mistakes and to realize I have one life to enjoy. The moment I realized this, things turned about sharply and I achieved even more than before.
    I am glad that i am on the money Considering i am in my 20's
    Wellinformed.co.za - Networking Forums SA partner site. Let's support each other for a better South Africa.

  8. #8
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    When you stop and think about it – and I strongly encourage you to do so - stress followed by recovery stimulates growth. Without recovery, continual stress leads to burnout or breakdown.

    Read Rich Schefren's full blog post
    He goes on to use the example of weight training, and needing time for your muscles to relax. It also makes me think of pruning a garden — the stress induces healthy growth, without it the growth is limited.

    The entire post is definitely worth a read, and I think highlights and captures one of the main challenges we face as small business owners.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  9. #9
    Email problem
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    19
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    ...But in today's world of work is there really time to relax and grow, it sometimes feels that the world is just spinning faster and faster.
    It is said that today's record is tomorrow's standard !!!

  10. #10
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    If you feel the pace is getting to you - try a cellphone holiday.

    Just switch your cellphone off for a week. It's amazing!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Fundamental business principles - Get and keep customers
    By Dave A in forum Entrepreneurship and Business Management Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-Oct-09, 08:20 PM
  2. A NEW BUSINESS CONCEPT FOR SOUTH AFRICA
    By Ashley Fischer in forum MLM Industry Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 21-Mar-08, 09:55 AM
  3. Do business with customers you like
    By Ann Williams in forum Marketing Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-Jul-07, 12:46 PM
  4. SARS intensifies Small Business Tax Amnesty campaign
    By Snoopy_inc in forum Business Finance Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 21-Jun-07, 10:00 PM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •