I received the following question from one of my WP Membership Plugin customers the other night. I decided to write a post on this as I think this will equally help an online shop admin or a blogger in general.
"I only have a handful of customers and my stress level goes through the roof from time to time trying to deal with them. How do you manage stress with so many customers?"
Having a lot of customers is a blessing but it also comes at the price of an increased stress level. I try to follow a simple list of stress management tips to manage my daily stress. This list of stress management tips is divided into two categories:
- Tips that I regularly follow
- Tips that I would like to follow more often
Stress Management Tips That I Regularly Follow
1. Don’t over commit: We often take on more than we can actually do. That leads to overwork, stress, and missed deadlines. Take on only as much as you can handle without too much stress.
2. Learn to say no: This can be a little hard at times but in order to avoid over committing, you need to learn to turn down projects and requests from time to time. Turn down as much as you can afford to.
3. Prioritize Your Tasks: If you always have too much to do and not enough time then you need to take care of this situation, otherwise it is going to contribute to your stress level in a negative way. If you can focus only on what’s important, and eliminate the non-important tasks, you can work less and be more effective. Try to delegate some of your tasks if possible or skip the non-essential tasks.
4. Work on small tasks, not large projects: Tackling large projects can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on one small task within a project. Something you can easily do in a short amount of time. Break the bigger tasks into smaller chunks then focus on these smaller chunks one at a time.
5. Take breaks: Everyone knows this, but how often do you really take break? Set a timer to remind yourself. This is why focusing on a smaller chunk of work helps as you can take a break after every task. I use a desktop application called Workrave that reminds me to take breaks every so many minutes. It can be a little annoying at times as it pops up and tells you to take break but it does the job.
6. Drink water: Drinking lots of water can reduce stress. Water is essential for the biochemistry of the body. The brain needs water to function properly. Water is a natural de-stressor flushing out toxins and restoring balance to the body. It also forces you to go to the bathroom, which is considered to be a break. I have a two litter water bottle that I keep next to my desk and drink out of it all day long.
7. Take a walk: You don’t necessarily have to go out for a walk although I find that talking a walk outside is more ralaxing. I usually feel relaxed and ready to work again when I get back to my desk after a walk. It also gives me the time to brainstorm and most of the time I come back with new fresh ideas.
8. Take holidays: Shop admins don’t tend to take time off and go on holidays. It is very important to take some time off from time to time. Try to get ahead on your work or automate some tasks so you can actually take the time off. I try to take at least a 3-4 week vacation every year.
Stress Management Tips That I Would Like to Follow More Often
9. Exercise: This is a no-brainer. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress. I try to fit in half an hour exercise session on most days. Working out at high intensity will release feel good endorphins in your body, and you’ll feel relaxed and calm after the exercise.
10. Drink Orange Juice: Drinking orange juice twice a day has been scientifically proven to combat stress. The vitamin C helps to prevent the secretion of stress hormones, which makes it great for stress relief. If you don’t happen to have orange juice then try to eat vitamin C rich fruits.
11. Read a Book: Taking time out of your busy lifestyle to read is great for stress relief. It will help you forget the problems that are causing the stress. I aim to read for 30 minutes everyday.
12. Don’t Skip Breakfast: Skipping breakfast and grabbing a quick coffee instead is one of the worst ways to start the day. Snack on fruit, nuts and oat bars.
13. Go to Bed on Time: It is very easy to stay up late for the sake of work deadlines, watching TV, playing computer games, social outings etc. Lack of sleep can increase the stress level so force yourself to go to bed on time and get a good night sleep.
Let me know which tips are your favorites and also share some of your own tips in the comment area below.