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10 strategies for managing the stress of a start-up

One of the most common complaints I hear from entrepreneurs is that they are overwhelmed by the workload and stress associated with starting their business. Then there are the additional challenges of balancing the demands of family and friends. Having too much on your plate can turn your dream into a nightmare.

Some people will tell you to just have a bigger plate, which means hiring help. But with the pressures of the economy and the limited access to external funding, we all know that this is not always possible or appropriate. I recommend the opposite, or get things off your plate that should not be there in the first place.

In reality, many entrepreneurs are their worst enemy, trying to do everything, work inefficiently and imagine things that need to be done, which will never happen. Here are some tips on how to look at work, make difficult decisions, and keep your health and mental health:

  1. Maintain a big picture perspective. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the daily details, as they all seem to be big objects, increasing your imaginary workload. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your true goals and eliminate items that do not relate.
  2. Set realistic deadlines. The more your workload increases, the greater your temptation to set unrealistic deadlines. This results in poor quality work, which generates more work to repair previous efforts. Allow a stamp on each item.
  3. Prioritize work items. Relimit relentlessly your list and complete them in order, resistant to the urge to jump the most difficult. The more high-priority items remain on your list, the more stress you will experience and the consequences will add new items.
  4. Keep a list of things to do. Most people can not handle more than five items in their heads, and when your list goes on, it seems infinite. Note, but even in this case, keep it in the top ten priority items or less. Several pages of work items will not be completed.
  5. Block time for priority tasks Do not let your day be monopolized by the distractions and crisis of the moment. Close your door, or move to another place where you will not be interrupted to finish the first item on your list today.
  6. Count Completions At the end of each day, check, count, and celebrate your positives. A sense of progress is important here. Look positively at your progress as a glass half full, rather than half empty.
  7. Take a break to recharge. Even a few minutes each hour to relax will revitalize you. Regular breaks without work, such as a trip to the gym or time spent with family, will ultimately be more productive than getting rid of a problem all night long. Have a good night's sleep.
  8. Discuss hard with a mentor. Do not be afraid to discuss your challenges with a trusted friend or business advisor. This will clarify the problem in your mind and allow you to see it from other angles. You must stop and regroup when you hit a brick wall.
  9. Stay in control of your emotions. Stress is a normal part of life. Do not let it lead to anger and frustration, or loss of productivity. We can choose how we deal with difficult situations, and the best approach is always to stay calm and in control.
  10. Eliminate Ghost Work Objects These are objects that you never intended to do, and which you probably do not need, but you wear on your list because of the guilt or direction of someone else. You can not complete an item you do not understand.
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Wearing all the hats needed to start a startup is difficult in the best situations. Then your business really starts to take off, and it becomes even more difficult. As an entrepreneur, you must seriously apply the discipline of these principles early and always to survive and, hopefully, enjoy the trip.