14 Jan What to do when you have one of those days!
No matter how hard you work on your business, sometimes you have one of those days. Where everything that can go wrong does go wrong and you are at the end of your tether. When everyone around you is negative. When you have customers screaming at you. When suppliers let you down. If you are running a small business, a day like that could really knock your confidence. Unless you are prepared with some basic stress management techniques.
One of the advantages of running an ecommerce website compared to a retail store is that when you have a day like this – you can just turn off your computer for a while and take a break. You can’t just shut your doors in a retail shop!
When everything seems to go wrong, it’s really important to take a step back and take a break. Calm down. If customers are on your back and you are under a huge amount of stress, it is usually better to take a break from your computer and calm down. Otherwise your blood pressure will go up and your productivity will go down.
Some stress relief tips for handling stressful days like this are:
- If you have a favourite pass-time that involves fresh air then take advantage of it. Play squash if you’re a sportsperson. Go for a short walk if you’re not. If you’re running a home business, any change in your day could help you. Go to the supermarket for a half hour or even a simple task like watering the garden, playing with your cat or hanging out washing could help. The key is taking your mind off your stressful situation so you can recharge and refocus. It’s like a mini holiday.
- On stressful days, take lots of breaks. Don’t work for more than an hour without taking a break – even for five minutes.
- Keep your home office tidy. If you are under stress and have to find a piece of paper in a hurry, you’ll be put under more stress if you can’t find it when you need it. Come up with a filing system that works for you and stick to it. Don’t let bad habits overcome you.
- When you respond to customers give them the facts, be polite and professional and don’t lose your cool. Treat them how you would want to be treated. Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’ if you have to.
- Set small goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. Break your day down into parts with goals that you know you can achieve. This keeps you motivated even under stress.
- Keep yourself healthy. A healthy body will have a stronger immune system that will help you cope better with stress. Try to get enough sleep every night and always eat breakfast – even when in a rush.
- Have some relaxation techniques at your disposal – for example, prayer and biblical meditation
- Most of all: be prepared for days like these. Everyone will have them at one time or another so if you are prepared there are no surprises. Make a schedule for your day and stick to it. If something goes wrong, stay calm and write down what has happened and how you will deal with it. Lists are a hugely useful tool.
When your business day is over, turn off your computer, change your clothes, take a shower and try to do something completely unrelated to your business. Your business is not going anywhere. You will thank yourself that you did.