Starting a business can be one of the most challenging things that you can take on in your life. While the rewards of owning your own business cannot be matched in the corporate world, the hours worked and rollercoaster ride of highs and lows can often be extreme.
One way to deal with the workload and manage stress is to compartmentalize your life.
When you start a business, you will likely wear many different hats, and in many cases wear all of the hats. You might be in charge of marketing, sales, legal, HR, operations, finance, accounting, IT etc. And you might add on top of all that a personal life of some degree.
When you add up all of the responsibilities from these different areas, you end up with a very heavy workload. Not only can all of this work create a lot of stress, but there can also be stress from the uncertainty that simply comes with owning and building a business.
By compartmentalizing your life, you can try to break down the week into different compartments and then assign your different areas of responsibilities to the different compartments. The key to this working is that you shut down your attention to a particular area to a certain degree when it is not time to work in that area and when it is time to focus on that area, you shut down thoughts and attention to all other areas.
Below are some examples of common compartments that can be built. By segmenting the week, we can not only improve focus and effectiveness, we can also stand to greatly decrease stress.
Accounting / Finance
Unfortunately, there are accounting needs that come with starting and owning a business. Whether it is paying bills, paying employees, balancing the books, or dealing with vendors, there is simply accounting and bookkeeping tasks that need to be done each week and month. If we don't stay on top of these items, not only can it have a negative impact on our business, it can also stand to create a decent amount of stress.
One way to deal with this is to pick a segment of hours during the week where everything else is shut down and attention is solely placed in the area of accounting, bills, payroll, etc.
In order to truly be successful, sales is something that you will need to do a little of everyday when building a business. But to pick a day (or days) of the week where we focus solely on sales, we can position ourselves for more success in this individual area.
This can be a good tactic when picking up the phone and making some sort of sales calls is a component of our sales strategy. This is something that we can often procrastinate on. But if we block out a compartment for making calls and shut down everything else during that time, we will likely increase the amount of sales activity we are getting in each week.
Two powerful marketing tactics for starting a business can be search engine optimization and social media. And effectively executing with either of these tactics can also be extremely time consuming. Setting time aside side specifically for blogging, improving the website, and interacting on social media can help to make sure enough time gets spent in this area.
While we spend so much time taking care of the business, we should not forget about spending some time to take care of ourselves. Since starting a business can sometimes mean working everyday and sometimes all day, this can take a toll on both your mind and your body. To help with this, you can set time aside to turn everything off and focus solely on working on you. This could be time spent relaxing, with family and friends, physical fitness, etc.
Do you compartmentalize?Â What do you do to get the most out of your limited time? Share your insights in the comments.