How to Reduce Stress When You're Self-Employed

When you're self-employed you may find that you're under a lot of pressure to hit deadlines and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope."1

So when you're self-employed and always under pressure to meet demands that may not match your experience or knowledge, how do you reduce stress?

1. Stick to what you're good at

When you start a business, it's usually because you have experience in an industry and feel as though you could go at it alone. Whether this is in web design, beauty treatments or construction, it's likely that you'll have enough experience to make a go of it. However, when it comes to running a company, there are other skills that you may need; such as accounting, marketing or human resources.

These may not be areas of strength for you, so how do you stop them from becoming a headache?

The simple answer is to delegate them.

If you're not sure where to begin with accounting then you could have a look at hiring an accountant or take a look at using a simple accounting platform such as our sister company QuickFile, where you can easily stay on top of your bookkeeping as you go.

Marketing can be tricky to get right, your brand is what you'll be recognised by, so it could be best to get professional help when it comes to getting it right. Whether this is help with designing a logo and your company colours, or even the nitty gritty such as social media. By delegating these you can help maintain your reputation and make sure your brand remains consistent across all platforms.

If you feel as though the suggestions are a little out of budget, then don't panic, there are free online tools which can help you with things such as automating your social media.

2. Set some boundaries

You may feel as though you need to dedicate all times of the day and night to getting your company off the ground, but this may mean mixing your work and home life. While this could be good for the business, it could lead to you not getting enough down-time and eventually burning out.

This is where setting boundaries can come in handy, it allows you to stop working for a while and get your essential down-time.

Setting your working hours and sticking to them can be the best course of action, however, things may come up that need immediate attention. That's OK, after all, you still need to be there for your business. However, most of the time, you need to stick to the times you have set. After all, if you never switch off and reset - you can never reach your full capacity.

Defining your workspace can be another way to go about setting yourself some boundaries. If you work from home, having a specific area to go to where your family know not to interrupt you can give you time to get really stuck into the business. The longer you focus on the business, the more time they can have with you once you're free and have completed your day's work.

3. Build and maintain your support network

Self-employment can be a lonely place. You may find it helps if you actively stay connected to others - especially when working from home as you may not get to go and meet other people.

So how can you get to know others who may be able to help?

Co-working is a great opportunity to meet others who may have similar skills to yourself, or who may have complementing, but different, skills. This can allow you an opportunity to bounce ideas around while learning what does and doesn't work for others who you meet.

Networking can be almost akin to swearing to some people, and that's OK. The thought of meeting such a multitude of new people at the same time can be a little daunting. But you never know until you try it - partnerships can be forged with others and your company could see a huge boost in performance.

Summing up

Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration on how you can improve your mental wellbeing when it comes to being self-employed. With the prevalence of working on mobile phones it can seem even harder to switch off and get some down-time. Just remember, your company relies on you being at the top of your game in order to work, so getting some down-time can be a great help in the long-run.

1. World Health Organization - Stress at the workplace
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