Feeling Stressed? Treating Your Job Like Your Own Business
By Phil Wilkins
you’re a sales person who’s on the road frequently or an office
worker who’s putting in 8+ hours a day, you likely feel immense
pressure at work and at home. And while you may not have the same
demands as the company owner or executive team, your stress is very
real and can quickly spin out of control, affecting not just your
work life, but also your family life.
this: If you travel a lot for work, you have to handle such things
as road rage from other drivers, airline regulations, travel
threats, and the usual delays and headaches that come with frequent
travel. Even if your job does not require travel, you likely feel
expected to put in more than 8 hours a day, and you are likely doing
the work that two or more people used to accomplish just a few years
of your extended time away from home, either on the road or at the
office, your spouse may be pressuring you to spend more time with
the family, or he or she resents having to take on so much
responsibility at home. Add to that the fact that people who are
stressed typically don’t eat as healthy as they should, and you can
see how quickly stress can throw your life and body out of balance.
In other words, it’s not just business owners or senior executives
who feel overwhelmed these days—it’s everyone!
to stay healthy and productive and not let stress throw your
life out of balance, you need to think of yourself as an owner, not
just of a business, but also of your life. And, just like a business
owner, you need to implement systems and processes that will keep
you in control and going strong for years to come. The following
suggestions will help you keep your job and your life in perspective
so you can perform at your peak in all areas of life.
Follow the 20:1:2 Formula: The 20:1:2 formula is the ideal way
to stay in balance. Basically, it’s a formula that outlines the
necessary time you need to devote to key activities that keep your
stress level low. Here’s how it works: Spend 20 minutes each day in
reflective time. This could be thinking, prayer, meditation, or
anything else that helps you reflect on your life and big decisions
you must make. Spend 1 hour each day engaged in vigorous physical
activity, such as walking, jogging, aerobics, lifting weights, or
anything else that gets your heart rate up. Finally, spend 2 hours
each day with your family. Have dinner together, talk about your
day, or do a hobby as a family unit.
sure any time you devote to the 20:1:2 formula is uninterrupted.
That means no cell phone calls, no checking emails, and no “shop
talk.” This is your time to forget about the daily grind and do
those things that truly matter. If you must, get creative and find
ways to incorporate the formula time into your day. For example, you
could drive your kids to school (thus spending 10-15 minutes with
them talking about their activities), and then head directly to the
gym before going to the office. Or, if you usually arrive home from
work at 6pm, then keep your family your priority until at least 8pm.
After the kids are in bed you can opt to check messages or do some
additional work from home.
Get your spouse’s buy in: When you’re making major career and
life decisions, you must get your significant other involved early.
Just as a business owner needs to get buy in from stakeholders for
new ideas and initiatives, so must you when it comes to the effect
your work life has on your family. In this case, your spouse and
children are your stakeholders. So before accepting that demanding
job, saying “yes” to that promotion, or deciding to put in more
hours, be upfront with your family so they understand what you’re
getting into and how it will affect them.
Together, come up with family systems that will take the burden off
your spouse and kids. For example, if you now must travel frequently
for work, hire some domestic help to assist your spouse with
childcare. Or, use the services of a landscaper to free your spouse
or older children from the rigors of yard work. Do what you must so
that your family doesn’t feel required to take on an additional
unfair burden just because you decide on a certain career choice.
The more buy in you have from everyone involved, the less stress you
and your family will feel.
Become a master at delegation: Know what your true role is in
your company and what duties you must perform to advance the
organization. The responsibilities you outline are the essentials
that you must do. For everything else you do that’s not on your
list, consider delegating the tasks to others. Think of it in
business owner terms: The owner of a medium to large size business
focuses on the big picture items and has staff to perform the
day-to-day operations. If the business owner were to do everything
him or herself, the business would go nowhere.
Similarly, realize that all the non-essential tasks you perform are
actually hurting your productivity. For example, if you’re in a
sales role, chances are your main duty is to bring in business. That
means you must constantly prospect for new clients and follow up
with existing inquiries. Those are your essential duties. If you
spend any amount of time doing things like filing paperwork,
assembling info packets, or mailing brochures, you’re essentially
missing sales. You’re spending your time on non-vital activities,
thus causing you to work longer and harder when it comes to those
essential tasks. Therefore, if you want to be more productive and
experience less stress, delegate the non-vital tasks and focus on
those things that directly impact your success and your bottom line.
Value your number one asset: All businesses have a number one
asset—the one thing that makes them the most money. For you, your
most valuable asset is not your home, your car, or your retirement
account—it’s your health. After all, if you don’t have your health,
you can’t work and support your family, nor can you do all the great
things you had planned to do with your life. Therefore, make a
concerted effort to reduce your stress and live a healthy lifestyle.
Eat right, exercise, and get the rest and relaxation you need.
co-workers or supervisors question your new focus, simply share with
them what you’re doing—how you’re focusing on what’s critical and
that moves the business forward, and how you’re prioritizing your
life just as a business owner prioritizes his or her company. The
more you keep your number one asset in tip-top shape, and share your
focus with others, the more success you’ll experience.
Your Life’s Business Today: Life is about so much more than just
work. Realize that if you let your job run your life, then you
really don’t have a life. And if you don’t have a life, then what’s
the point of work?
your life successful by doing what businesses do every day: decide
what’s important, devote the necessary time to key activities, learn
to delegate, and guard your most important asset. The more
diligently you follow these guidelines, the happier and less
stressed you’ll be.
Read other articles and learn more
about Phil Wilkins.
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