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Stressed out of your mind? This is how you solve the problem

You have a million things to do and nothing will ever get done because you can't focus on the piles of things you have to do.  Most people who work a lot and have many things to be responsible for occasionally come to a point where they are on the verge of a complete burnout. This has happened to everyone I know who run their own businesses. It's neither surprising, nor particularly dangerous if you only know how to do to deal with it.

I hate people who say that you should live a more balanced life, simply because sure, they are right - but how do you do that when your work needs to be complete by the end of the month and everything is still in chaos? Is this really the time for some serious contemplative soul-searching? No, it really isn't. What you should be doing, is to search your soul at times when things are not so stressful. To do something fun sometimes. To get the energy to laugh. If you know it will be a little calmer next month and that the rewards will make it all worthwhile, well - then it's not so stressful to work hard in periods. The important thing is that you plan your time so you take care of your health and your family along the way.
This works well when you have more on your plate than you can handle and not enough time:

Avoid thinking about yourself as a victim
Immediately when you start identifying yourself as a victim, you are helpless. Remember that there is no knight in shining armor that’s going to rescue you. It's your situation and it’s you, more than anyone else, who has the responsibility to change it.

Stay put in the situation
Don't fall into the trap of starting to think about everything else you need to do when you are done with what you have on your plate right now. First make sure the current task is completed, instead of worrying about other things on the agenda and whose fault it is that you're not done with it all.

Take time to list all the things you must do and determine which ones can wait
Your first impulse will be to make all things equally important to do, but this is only stress talking to you. Think about how you can make your way to the goal shorter for each of the tasks on your list.

Release the anxiety of control
How much of the stress you feel is really coming from the outside – isn't it, in fact, the case that most of it really comes from within yourself? It usually is. Be kind to yourself. If you don't know how to be nice to yourself - you will have to learn it.

If there is anything on your plate that someone else can do (or perhaps it is really someone else's task) - then make sure to get rid of it.

Remember that high workload usually comes in cycles.
Sure, you might have a lot to do right now, but what about next week? You may be able to bear to bite the bullet now to enjoy quieter periods of time later on. It may also be possible to postpone a portion of your tasks until the situation becomes less busy.

Rest sometimes
A five minute break from work is a lot more valuable for your piece of mind and your attitude than if you should use those five minutes to keep working. Lunch breaks and other breaks exist so you can take mental breaks.

Call a friend and ask for advice
Often it's easier to let go of the anxiety with a friend than by talking it over with work mates. You know how it is with problems  - they often disappear just by talking about them.

Get physical
Take a walk, go to the gym, go jogging, swim - simply move your body on a regular basis

Take a nap
I often take a midday nap and the trick is to not sleep for long. I learned this from a business man a long time ago. He sat in his favorite chair and put his arm on the armrest. In his hand he had a bunch of keys. When he began to doze off, he lost his key ring on the floor and woke up by the sound and it was just the nap he needed to be able to rest his mind for a minute and return back to work. Thanks for the tip, Hasse. This method has helped me many times.

When you leave work - go home
Your work problems have no right to stay in your head when you leave work, especially if you have a lot of things to do. Some people, like myself, have their own mental ritual. When I go past the gate of the house where my office is located, there's an invisible border I cross where my work suddenly ceases to exist. Sometimes it's hard and it's good to have something that distracts. A quick walk after work does wonders to shake work related problems off.

If nothing helps
If you find it difficult to change your situation and still feel trapped, then you need to remind yourself of why you have chosen this job. Has it become something other than it was when you started? Would you still choose to do what you do today? If not, maybe it's time to do something else. If you choose to stay with your job, you must remember that it's your own choice and focus on what is positive. Remind yourself why there are more positive things than negative things about your job.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.