5 Ways to Reduce Job-Related Stress

Contracting work can be one of the most stressful jobs around. Schedule delays, long hours, working to maintain a crew or even wondering where your next job will come from are all serious stress factors. While you can’t rid yourself or your business of every stressful situation, you can take steps to reduce overall stress levels.

Organize Your Business Projects

A lack of organization is one of the biggest causes of job-related stress. Checklists and schedules go a long way toward ensuring your business flows smoothly. Divide each job into phases and track them with customized charts. Keep an ongoing checklist of things to be done and be sure to write a deadline next to them.

Every morning, organize your checklist so the most important tasks are at the top and complete them first. Keep specific schedules for entering payroll information, making bank deposits and performing other important financial tasks.

This ensures you’re already prepared to pay employees or handle tax-related dates throughout the year. Chances are if your business isn’t already organized, doing so will automatically ease much of your stress.

Learn How to Lean on Other People

Another big reason contractors become overly stressed is because they hesitate to relinquish any control. Maybe it was easy to run your company when you first started and didn’t have employees or a dozen contracts per year. Times change, though. As your company grows, it will be increasingly difficult to handle every aspect by yourself.

By the time you meet with clients, provide estimates, sign contracts, purchase supplies and perform the work, when will you have time to handle middle management tasks like tracking the business finances?

The ideal solution is to hire people to whom you can delegate some tasks. In addition to training an office manager – he or she can work full-time, part-time or as needed – you should have several qualified, experienced and trusted employees, including one or two who can operate the entire business while you’re away.

Give Yourself Time Off

Hiring trusted employees who can run your company in your absence brings you to what you need most: time off. No matter how much you love your contracting business and how organized you are, you’re a human being.

Human beings need down time. Start small. Do you usually work on a project until 10:00 p.m.? Stop at 9:00 p.m., get home an hour early and use that time to catch up on a favorite TV show or read a few chapters of a book.

Depending on the types of projects you take on, it may be unrealistic to take the entire weekend off each week, but it’s important to take at least one day off to recharge. Use that time to catch up on sleep, spend time alone or reconnect with family or friends.

Need a break? Check out these 5 pranks you can easily pull-off at work

Keep a Notebook Beside Your Bed

If you’ve experienced the phenomenon of forgetting everything to be done until you get into bed for the night, you know how frustrating it is to remember important details when you’re trying to sleep. Simply keep a notebook and pen beside your bed. When you remember something important, write it down. Knowing you’ll have a visual list the next day often makes it easier to sleep. Avoid using your phone to make notes, however – that blue light can make it harder for you to sleep.

Chew Gum During the Day

You may not feel mentally or emotionally stressed, but that doesn’t mean your body isn’t holding onto physical stress. If you’re the type of person who subconsciously clenches your jaw when you concentrate, you could be damaging your teeth and jawbone as well as causing muscle strain in your neck and upper back. Some people find that chewing gum prevents them from clenching their jaw while they’re concentrating on their jobs.

Of course, keeping yourself healthy is an excellent way to reduce stress. Try your best to begin each day with exercise and a healthy breakfast and always give yourself enough time to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. Being proactive not only benefits your personal health, but the health of your company and your employees.

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