Unfortunately, regardless of what your business is, things can get a little stressful from time to time. Fortunately, regardless of what your business is, we have some tips which can help you manage it.

1.  Don’t underestimate the power of lists

A to-do list is your best friend, but like all relationships you and your to-do list may hit a few rocky patches. Sometimes your to-do list can feel never ending, overwhelming and leave you feeling a little lost as to where to start. Essentially, sometimes your to-do list can result in the opposite of productive.

Surprisingly, the best thing to do at that point is to actually make some more lists! Take your big long scary to-do list and break it down. First put it in priority/ deadline order, then take a calendar and figure out what you can realistically get done today, what you can do tomorrow, then the day after that and so on. This means that when you wake up each morning you have a bite size and accomplishable list to focus on, knowing that you don’t have to worry about the rest of it because time has been allocated to do those things on other days.

2. Recognise when you need to take a break

When you’re self-employed regular working hours don’t tend to mean much, you work when the work needs doing which more often than not means you are working 24/7 and it can feel impossible to switch off from work. However, one of the benefits of being self-employed means that you can choose how and when you work. So recognise when you need to take a break, whether it be 10 minutes or an hour. Spending time on unrelated hobbies is a great way to reserve a portion of your week just for you. Or if you’d prefer you can block off a portion off your week where you don’t work, but you have to be strict with yourself!

Taking time to rest and refresh means that when you get stuck back into work you’ll be much more productive and maybe have a fresh perspective on how to tackle whatever you were working on.

3. Keep it social

Being self-employed, especially if you work from home, can get very lonely. Why not use some of your breaks to spend time with your loved ones and friends. Grab a lunchtime cuppa or go for a short walk with friends. In addition, our mental health and brain function is connected to our facial expressions. When we are stressed we hold a lot of tension in our facial muscles, so smiling and laughing with friends is a great way to relieve the tension and make us feel relaxed.

4. Let nature do its work

There have been many studies that show that spending just a few minutes in nature can be a great stress reliever and make us feel better in general. So get out there when you can, take a 10 minute walk (exercise is also a great de-stresser so why not combine the two?), eat lunch outside or if finding green space is a challenge where you are then perhaps plan a few trips that will get you to the great outdoors every now and again.

5. Finally, when your finances are stressing you out- get an accountant!

Here’s where Bedford Accountants can help. Let’s face it, when you’re self-employed one of the biggest contributors to stress can be dealing with finances, tax and HMRC. We can take all that stress off your hands. It’s unlikely that you got into your business because you wanted to spend ages going through receipts, so by handing over that portion of your to-do list to us you’ll have more time to spend focusing on other aspects of your business or taking a well deserved break!