Owning a business is stressful

Stress comes with the territory, If you own a business, you have responsibilities to your customers, employees, your family and yourself. So how do you manage the stress?   We have collected advice from several professionals. 


a few of our favorite conversations


#395 Simple Tips for Stress Relief

Your body reacts to stress.  You can break the cycle with a few simple deep breaths

Andrea Liebross

#420 How to Get Unstuck

To much to do? Recognize you can control the stress by setting priorities

dr. gatz ferrance

#404 The Me Method

Life pulls you in lots of directions, but sometimes, you have to focus on yourself.

my stress relief strategy

For most of my career both in corporate and as a business owner, Sunday night was always tough. It didn’t matter if it was a busy weekend or a quiet one, around 8 pm the Sunday night stress set in. I could feel myself getting wound up with the knowledge that Monday morning was just a few hours away. And as I thought about the week ahead, I could see the countless emails, innumerable voice mail messages, the new requests from clients, changing deadlines, and unexpected crisis.

It was easy to feel completely overwhelmed. So my solution was to work all weekend but the truth is that didn’t help. The more I did, the more I felt I had to do, it became a vicious cycle, until I adjusted my Friday afternoons. The shift in my schedule helped me shift my mind set.

Friday afternoons are now my time. I don’t make appointments on Fridays after 1:00 so there are no afternoon meetings, few phone calls or interruptions. This is my time to wind down and plan.

Organize: I have long been a devotee of the inbox zero strategy. So I take some time to answer the last lingering emails in my inbox. With multiple email accounts    it takes awhile. But I respond, delegate, and move emails to my action required folder, so before I close my email there are no stray emails in my inbox. It won’t stay that way for  long, but I don’t spend the weekend dreading a stack of unanswered emails waiting for me Monday morning.

Friday afternoon is also my time to balance my checkbook, log mileage, and do miscellaneous bookkeeping. This gives me a chance to clean out my pockets and purse as well.

Skim and Summarize: I moved to a Rocket notebook about 3 years ago, so there is significantly less paper floating around. On Friday afternoons I consolidate my notes, erase pages I have completed and scan others, transfer information to project folders and teams, or send them to my cloud-based to do file.

Review and Plan: Before I head out the door, I look over my action items. This is when I have to make tough choices. There are always too many items on my list, so I pause and consider why something didn’t get done. Maybe there wasn’t time, or maybe I didn’t make time. If I am not making time, maybe that task just isn’t worth doing. If that is the case, I cross it off my list.

If it is important and worth doing, I put an appointment on my calendar to work on it the following week or delegate it to someone else. Sometimes I have a great idea, but the timing just isn’t right, so I will accept the fact that it isn’t going to get done in the near future. I keep a notebook of ideas and plans and things I might get to someday. Writing it in my “someday notebook” gives me permission to take it off my to do list, allowing me to focus my  immediate attention on a smaller list. And when things slow down, I will browse my notebook and move things back on to my to do list.

Plan My Weekend: I am a business owner, so there are always things to be done, but the Friday afternoon drill lets me divide the week. I still log on to my computer on the weekends, but it is for the more fun, creative projects such as writing or editing podcasts. And to make sure I don’t sit at that computer all weekend, I use Friday afternoon to schedule walking time with friends and outings with family.

The Result: I am able to manage my Sunday night stress and I can look forward to the week ahead.


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