Stress management is all about setting limits! Let’s talk about a few easily implemented ways to set some limits and prevent your work from intruding into your personal life and space.
1) Don’t mix home and office spaces.
Whether you run a home-based business or are a small-business owner who conducts much of your work at home, you must define a dedicated at-home office space to maintain your sanity and productivity. If an extra bedroom is not available for office conversion, a well-organized desk in a quiet corner is fine. No family computer, no kid’s homework, no store coupons or magazines. Just your work – so you can sit down and do it when it needs to be done, then shut the door, literally or figuratively, on it all and enjoy your time with family and friends.
2) Do what works for you.
Just because “everyone” is on Facebook doesn’t mean you must be – if you have no one to show you the ropes and/or do the necessary ongoing maintenance. I know more small-business owners who’ve made this mistake. They added major stress to their work lives by signing up for this or that social media site… and then worried non-stop about how far behind they were on updates because the site they chose doesn’t fit their personality or their business needs. (See my post on which social media sites are good for which kinds of businesses/people.)
3) Get that reading material off your desk!
How is it in the age of ebooks and online newsletters that we’re still drowning in paperwork and print periodicals?! Storing your printed reading material on your desk just lets piles of everything stack up faster because they take up so much room. Put a wire basket nearby that’s labeled “To Read” – and move your reading material straight from the mailbox into it.
Or do what a colleague does and keep a book bag with your business-related magazines and newsletters in the car. You’ll never again be at a loss for something to do when waiting at the doctor’s office or arriving early for a meeting. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can get through the stack when it’s broken into five- to 10-minute chunks like that. And flipping through those pages is much more relaxing than grabbing your smartphone and checking messages for that same period of time.