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Wellbeing / Stress management

Ten strategies for dealing with anxiety in business

If you think there aren't enough hours in the day and need a hand dealing with anxiety in business, these tried and tested tips will help you work smarter and manage time more effectively.

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The key is to manage time better by identifying what your most important priorities are, and then completing them in the most effective way. Here’s what to do:

Lesson 1: Prioritise

Instead of just listing what needs to be done, rank tasks from most to least important, and complete them in that order. Create extra mental space by putting some activities on hold temporarily – allowing you to focus on the most important priorities.

Lesson 2: Be ruthless with email

Use a private email address for clients and customers. Get everything else sent to a generic or alternate email address. That way you can deal with your client issues first, and the rest when you have time. Only reply to your emails at set times during the day, rather than respond the instant every email comes in. And turn off that audio email alert!

Lesson 3: Restrict your use of the telephone to particular times

Work more effectively by restricting calls to set periods during the day – for example – one period in the morning to make all your calls and another in the afternoon to return calls and do follow-up.

"Unexpected and unplanned interruptions and distractions can "steal" your day."

Lesson 4: If you don’t have time for something, just say so

There is no need to listen politely if you’ve already decided the conversation is not of interest. Simply say – “I am sorry to interrupt you, but I don’t have time for this right now.” There’s no point wasting time you don’t have.

Lesson 5: Limit your availability

Unexpected and unplanned interruptions and distractions can “steal” your day. Schedule time when you can’t be interrupted, and don’t answer your email or telephones. Just do whatever it is you’ve got to do – no interruptions.

Want more articles like this? Check out the stress management section.

Lesson 6: Protect your productive time

We all know when our most productive times are. Make sure you are uninterrupted at that time, and use it for the activities that need your brain the most.

Lesson 7: Plan your day the night before

Spend 5 minutes at the end of the day preparing for the next day. Do whatever works for you – make lists of activities, check your calendar or enter tasks into your electronic task list. In the morning, you’ll be ready to go.

Lesson 8: Don’t get buried by paper

When possible, try to “touch” each piece of paper only once. As the saying goes: “Do it, ditch it, or delegate it!”

Lesson 9: Group your appointments

If you have several appointments or errands, try to group them all in the same day so that all of your external travel and time is scheduled for one or two days in the week.

Lesson 10: Confirm your appointments

Never assume that your 1 o’clock is on! A simple phone call or e-mail message saves time, energy and anxiety.

Time is not scarce – it’s uniform and constant- but success depends on your ability to manage it.

Megan Tough

runs Complete Potential, a company that helps businesses solve their strategy and people problems. She loves being a solopreneur, and when she doesn't have her nose to the grindstone, is fulfilling her other passion of fitness and health.

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