Managing stress in business
Lessons from weight management
Years ago, I read that people who weigh themselves regularly have far more success in managing their weight than those who don’t. It’s as if the practice of being focused and aware of your current state gives you the information and impetus you need to meet your goals.
I’ve actually been recording my weight in Bizeo for some time, using a manual KPI, and I’d agree. Not only knowing my weight but seeing its trend over time has been really beneficial. It’s given me a greater understanding of my health as I get older.
Stressed out business owners
Recently, I decided to extend this experiment to measuring my stress levels.
The more business owners I speak to, the more I realise that stress is a massive problem in business. So often, we forget to look after ourselves, especially our stress levels. Many people can’t cope if they don’t receive a regular pay cheque, yet business owners face the daily uncertainties of business income and expenses to provide those steady pay cheques. We need to keep our heads when those around us panic about new challenges or uncertainties. And the personal crises of friends and family often end up on our shoulders as well.
Not to mention that the usual remedy for stress relief—taking a holiday—is one of the more stressful things you can do as a business owner (if you don’t have Bizeo!). You’re away from the office, your finger is off the pulse and things aren’t getting done without you there. And then there’s the enormous pile of work that ambushes you when you step back through the door.
To start measuring my stress levels, I developed a rough guide to what determined stress levels at various points on a scale from 1 to 10. Then I started using another daily KPI so that, when Bizeo sends me a daily email asking for my weight, it also asks for my current stress level.
At first, I thought this would be a gimmicky exercise. After all, I understand my stress levels very well after:
- spending nearly 26 years in business
- being the single parent of a teenage daughter
- facing (many times!) the various personal and business crises that challenge us all from time to time.
I didn’t think I’d learn anything new—but I did.
Advantages of stress management
I learned that, just as weighing yourself regularly keeps you focused on your weight, recording your stress levels and seeing their history has a similar effect on stress. While this, in itself, doesn’t reduce the stress, it does keep you focused on what you need to do to keep the KPI within a tolerable range. After all, this is the fundamental promise of Bizeo.
This focus also helps you see trends and adds that extra mental impetus to do something positive when your stress levels have been high for too long or are trending in the wrong direction.
I’d definitely recommend trying this for yourself.
Try Bizeo for free
Of course, you don’t need Bizeo for this—you could easily do it in Excel (though Excel won’t email you each day to remind you!).
However, if you’d like try it in Bizeo, you can get a free subscription that allows you to monitor up to 20 KPIs. (We’ve just removed the 30-day limit on the free version, so there’s no excuse not to try it!)
But no matter how you do it, please do take the time to do something for yourself. We need all our businesspeople to stay healthy and strong.
And, as always, please let me know how you go. You can comment below or leave a post on our Facebook page.