Self-care is a big buzzword these days. From books about the Danish concept of hygge to TED talks to “Treat. Yo. Self” on Parks and Recreation, it seems like everywhere you turn there’s yet another discussion about self-care. Although self-care might seem like another Millennial fad, it has existed for decades and has long been encouraged by healthcare professionals. From a business standpoint, proper self-care can reduce stress and improve office efficiency. More importantly, self-care combats burnout -- an epidemic problem that sabotages productivity for businesses. For a business owner, proper self-care is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance -- particularly during the holiday season, when stress levels are at an all-time high and you’re told to think of everyone but yourself.
Self-care is more than face masks, bubble baths, and taking a shower. It’s knowing what’s causing you physical, emotional, and psychological distress and consciously removing that distress through stress management. Doing so will not only improve your overall wellbeing but positively impact your bottom line. Job stress is a major detriment to businesses -- more than ⅓ of Americans suffer from chronic work-related stress, 79% of workers don’t get enough sleep as a result of stress, and 69% of workers have difficulties focusing as a result of sleep deprivation. This ultimately hurts productivity, work performance, mental clarity, creativity, and staff morale.
If you don't put your needs first, then ultimately you will not be able to perform well an show up for others consistently and happily.
— Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project
This holiday season, give back to yourself. Take some time to identify the bottlenecks that are burdening your business and causing you unneeded stress. Explore technological solutions that remove those stressors and improve overall efficiency. Think of how you can do better by working smarter.
Here are 6 tips to get you started:
1. Find salvation in automation
Automation is a godsend. Business professionals no longer have to worry about important details falling through the cracks or overload themselves with monotonous to-do lists. Automating recurring tasks keeps businesses efficient by streamlining what needs to be done. Not only does this simplify your work schedule but it also frees up valuable time and allows you to focus your attention on what really matters.
There are many tools available that allow for automated scheduling, payroll processing, email marketing, expense tracking, reminders, task management, and more. Some software solutions go above and beyond and allow for multiple tasks to be automated from one centralized location, preventing the need for multiple tools to automate your workflow.
2. Declutter your device
While many preach the virtues of decluttering your work area, we advice decluttering your device. There are so many new apps, services, and solutions available these days that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed as a result. Get rid of the apps and software you don’t need. Don’t overload yourself with too many options. There are software solutions available that have everything you everything you need to run your business without having to subscribe to multiple services.
3. Embrace mobility
One of the best things about the twenty-first century is mobility. Being able to manage your business from your smartphone or tablet frees you from having to spend your days and nights at the office. Working remotely allows you to check-in and check-out of work at will, freeing up time that can be better spent with family and friends. Some technologies allow you to monitor activity and generate reports on the go. If you’re a service manager that has to keep track of what your techs are doing, there are mobile solutions that allow you to make and track schedules, view notes, scan item barcodes, take pictures, and store vital information -- all from the palm of your hand.
4. Stay up-to-date
In today’s world, staying ahead means staying up-to-date on technology. As annoying as software updates and new hardware models can be, it’s vital to keep your technology updated so it works correctly and keeps your business running efficiently. Old hardware that no longer meets technological standards can result in slow performance, finicky behavior, and general frustration. After all, who doesn’t hate it when a device takes forever to load?
If you haven’t updated your software in awhile, you should do so now. Software updates mean more than bug fixes and new features -- they keep you protected from cybercrime. Always install updates the moment they are available.
5. Back up your business data
Cloud technology will save you more than time and money -- if your system suddenly, catastrophically crashes, it could even save your career. The Cloud allows businesses to store important data in a secure, offsite location without having to invest in a large server and network infrastructures. Investing in an affordable Cloud-hosting service will give you more than increased office efficiency -- it’ll give you peace of mind.
6. Look for support
No man is an island. When it comes to self-care, one piece of advice that is consistently advised to people is to not try to do it all. Don’t burden yourself with responsibility -- give yourself a break and reach out for help when you need it. When you’re exploring business solutions, keep this practice in mind. Does the solution you’re reviewing offer technical support? Are there resources available to help you through implementation and training? Are you assigned an account manager? These are all questions you should ask yourself.
During the holiday season, people are usually told to think of others first and put themselves last. While giving to others is never a bad thing, don’t shy away from giving to yourself. This Christmas, consider how to improve your quality of life by adopting self-care practices into your business strategy.