Stress management – how top business leaders deal with stress

By | 14th October 2015

Stress Management

Stress has been labelled as the ‘silent killer’, and rightly so – it’s a reaction to internalising the worrying about things out of our control. The unfortunate thing is that stress can have serious consequences for your health – both physical and mental. Stress is a normal part of life, like preparing for a big pitch or the excitement of closing a lucrative deal. Living in a constant fight-or-flight mode, however, isn’t. A blog post by technology info site, MakeUseOf looked at the stress management approach of some of the world’s top business leaders.

Here’s what you can learn from them to help optimise your own stress management regime:

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates – focus on keeping it simple.

The technology guru believes that the key to successful stress management is to focus on the task at hand. Our minds easily go off on a tangent – especially at night – when there are many tasks at hand. The key is to simplify what you are doing by focusing on one thing at a time. There’s really no such thing as multitasking and with good reason. It’s impossible to do more than one thing at a timeand do it right. Really concentrating all your efforts on a single thing leaves little to no space for stress-ridden thoughts about what needs to be done next.

Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs – clear your mind.

Our minds are filled with thoughts, ideas, problems and solutions to problems we come across, but it’s trying too hard to tap into this frame of mind that causes unnecessary stress. The late Apple boss believed that the true secret to stress management lies in eliminating the clutter and restless thoughts we are confronted with daily. Be calm, wait for your thoughts to stop racing and take a look at your problem with a clear mind. Skilling yourself in the art of meditation is a great way to get rid of all the noise in your mind.

Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson – don’t forget about what’s really important.

Branson believes that stress management rests heavily on prioritising the important from the really important things in life. It’s all about perspective; it might be a massive blow should your business go under, but a family member in danger is disastrous. Putting your loved ones first helps to take your mind off trivial matters on the work front. A business can be rebuilt, but good health and lost family time can never be recovered.

SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk – remove stress from the equation.

The South African born technology tycoon and innovator feels strongly about not letting stress take over, as it only stunts progress. Although this is easier said than done, Musk does have good point. There’s no point in wasting time and mind power on things you have no control over. Musk’s stress management approach is one of powering through – keep your head down, focus on what needs to be done now and the stress will subsequently subside.

YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki – find a balance.

Wojcicki’s approach to stress management entails that you find a balance between work and your personal life. This is a lot harder to put into practice and something most professionals struggle to achieve. The key to achieving this balance is to take a step back and really determine what is important to you, outside of the work environment. You can get practical about implementing a system to ensure you spend time with family, friends or your favourite hobby by creating a ‘time-out’ calendar. That said, it’s up to you to ensure that you don’t allow work to interfere with times allocated for personal activities – you’ll only fool yourself.

Dealing with your finances is one less thing you no longer need to stress about. SMEasy’s online accounting and business management software is designed to simplify and optimise financial management so you can focus on other things. We take care of daily business management tasks like the creation of quotes, invoices and cash flow. Are your invoices up to scratch? Try our free invoice assessment and we’ll give you feedback on how you can improve and optimise your invoices.


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