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How small business leaders can reduce stress and build resilience

Ways you can reduce stress, build resilience and look after your own wellbeing to set yourself, and your business, up for success.

Capitalise Apr 14, 2022


There are plenty of perks to being a small business leader. You’re the boss. You feel in control. You can set your own goals. But, as you’ll know, this flexibility and independence can sometimes have a downside: stress. 


Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce stress, build resilience and look after your own wellbeing to set yourself – and your business – up for success.  


1. Prioritise your time 


Prioritising your time and saying no to things that don’t really deserve a slot in your schedule can be really tough. But taking too much on is the fastest way to fall into a downward spiral of stress. Looking after yourself is key to keeping your stress under control and your business flourishing. 


Try separating out tasks using two key questions: 

1) Do I have time for this?

2) How important is it?


And then use your answers to prioritise tasks in order of importance that you can tackle in a realistic timeframe. Making sure you're weaving in “me-time”. 


Prioritising your time might mean getting better at assigning tasks to someone else. John Hunt, professor at the London Business School, found that only 30% of managers think they delegate well. And only one in three of those were considered a good delegator by their team.


Do you think you could benefit from freeing up more time? 


2. Try time blocking


Once you’ve mastered prioritising your time, consider giving time blocking a go and you’ll be on to a winner. Time blocking is a great scheduling and time management tool that asks you to divide up your day into blocks of time. Dedicating each block to accomplishing a specific task.


Blocking out time for important tasks helps to enhance concentration and reduce procrastination. You’ll know the exact tasks you need to focus on and the exact length you are set to stay focused on them. You may find you’re better able to get fully immersed into tasks and block out any other distractions.


Reflecting on priorities and determining when to work on those tasks can help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. You’ll have a clearer picture of what you need to do and with successful blocking you’ll have spare time available for yourself. 


Take time to unplug from work 


You may be working in robot mode when it comes to your business, but unplugging is vital to your wellbeing. Looking after yourself and prioritising your time to do the things you love is key to your success as a business leader.


When you’re working, you want to be present. And this will be tricky if you are unable to unplug. Try taking a digital detox when you finish for the day. Ensure you're not checking your phone and answering new emails. Even if you think “they’ll only take a minute”. 


A study by the American Psychological Association found that “time off helps reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with anxiety”. 


Try to remember that resilience requires recharging. So make sure you’re spending time reading, walking, seeing family and friends. And weaving in the activities that help you de-stress. 


It will help you log back on and get back to your work routine with more energy, less stress and greater motivation after having time away from it.


4. Make sure you’re looking ahead 


Looking ahead is a great way to build personal and business resilience because you’ll have more time to understand a situation and determine the best way to respond. By always keeping an eye on current trends, industry disruptions and business risks, you’ll be better able to manage unexpected changes in a calmer and less stressful way. 


Looking ahead will help you better understand and plan towards where you want to be. And provide you with a better grasp of what you need to get there. Reducing the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed, under pressure or out of time, when business or personal needs arise. 


Getting more proactive will also offer you greater focus and control. In fact, research shows that feeling a higher level of control helps people feel happier, more free and less stressed. Meaning you’ll be better able to thrive through different and unpredictable environments. As will your business. 


Remember that regularly tracking your businesses financial health as well as keeping in shape physically and mentally go hand in hand to achieve business success. And building out a proactive and flexible business model, requires a happy and healthy leader. 


If you’re looking for a tool to help you, check out our free Capitalise for Business platform.  By offering all your finance insights in one place, you’ll be able to better spot risks and opportunities ahead of time. 


A healthy leader, a healthy business 


The single most important thing for your business is ensuring that you’re feeling healthy. Taking small steps to combat stress and build up resilience will have a huge impact on your success as a leader. So you and your team can do your best work. 


Make sure your workload is realistic, you’re sleeping enough, moving enough and always making enough time for yourself. When you prioritise doing all these things, you and your business will thank you.


Discover a healthier way to do business and get your daily dose of health and wellbeing from our friend Mr Motivator, the UK’s favourite coach in our exclusive video course. 


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