How to reduce stress and boost productivity as a small business owner

How to reduce stress and boost productivity as a small business owner

Zoe Brown

Zoe Brown
3rd July 2020

The greatest asset to your business is you. In-between marketing a business, keeping accounts up to date and dealing with customers, small business owners often forget about the importance of looking after themselves.

Experiencing high levels of stress and pressure can lead to burnout, something that can have a big impact on you, your family and the business itself. The impact of COVID-19 has only increased stress for SMEs.

To help small business owners improve their wellbeing and in turn boost their productivity and focus at this time, we’ve been working to bring you a range of helpful guides and resources, the latest being a webinar with professional performance coach, Phillippa Hurrell (which you can catch up on here).

Here are some key takeaways and top tips on what you can do to improve your wellbeing as a small business owner:

Look after yourself with the six healthy habits

Do you know what it takes to make you feel and operate at your best? Are you doing these enough?

62% of our webinar attendees who answered our poll knew what these were but weren’t doing them regularly and consistently, with a surprising 21% saying they were not sure what makes them operate at their best.

As a business owner, you need to ensure you’re taking time out to look after yourself to avoid heading into burnout. Some of our webinar attendees listed not being able to sleep and leaving tasks unfinished as some of the ways they know when they need a break.

Making time for the following six healthy habits regularly reduces your chance of burnout and will help you feel better and able to work more effectively:

1. Getting out and exercising

2. Making sure you get enough high-quality sleep

3. Taking time to relax, rest and recover

4. Looking after your relationships and social life

5. Having the right diet

6. Limiting or reducing your alcohol consumption

Understand stress

Running a small business is stressful. 64% of webinar attendees who answered our poll said they had experienced stress in the last week, with 18% saying they had been stressed in the past month.

Understanding how your thoughts form and how you can use techniques to stop yourself getting stressed or distracted will help you perform at your peak.

Something we’ve all experienced are thought spirals, thought spirals are when repetitive negative thoughts spiral around in our heads, causing a greater sense of panic and stress. Simply following these four steps can help you distract yourself from the thoughts and move on:

1. Notice the thought

2. Distract yourself (could you go out for a walk or do some meditation?)

3. Ask yourself whether the thought is true and what impact it would have if it is

4. Reframe it into something positive

Have a business plan to remain focused

53% of webinar attendees who answered our poll said they had a business plan but don’t really use it, with 11% saying they didn’t have one at all.

Having a written plan for your business allows you to remain focused on your goals and take clear steps of action to achieve them. Start by spending some time thinking about where you’d like to be in your personal and business life in the next 12-18 months.

Catch up on our webinar

To find out more on the above and get more helpful insights and top tips from Phillippa, you can watch the on-demand recording by submitting the form below.

If you want to know what to expect, here’s what Phillippa said about the webinar:

“It was a great pleasure to meet lots of business owners today. COVID-19 has impacted many businesses, we could see the knock-on effect of this with 80% of the attendees experiencing stress recently. I can relate. Knowing this made what we were talking about even more important.  

We focused on protecting the asset, looking after you, so you can feel and operate at your best. The vast majority of people know they need to do this, but struggle to.

We then looked at the power of our thoughts, mindset and perspective. 90% of our happiness is down to us and how we choose to think. We focused on how we can choose to focus on beliefs that will help our businesses now and help us come out of COVID-19 stronger, because we can always choose what we do next.

Lastly, we thought about what we really want to achieve in our businesses and we talked about the four things that can help us to achieve this.”

What are you waiting for? Access the webinar recording and slides below. You can also view other articles written by Phillippa here.

Watch the webinar recording:

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