As a business owner with your own LLC or partnership, you may feel constantly connected to devices both during and outside of a workday. This is one factor associated with business stress. In a tech-centric world (especially in the workplace), it is challenging to part with things that provide efficiency and connect people almost anywhere.
The Growth of Tech Stress
The reality of our virtual dependency is that more individuals than ever are attributing heightened stress levels to excessive technology use. In fact, online gaming addiction was named a legitimate disorder in 2019.
The trend of living with a smartphone seems to be growing throughout the generations. According to the Pew Research Center, 93 percent of Millennials, 90 percent of Gen Xers, 68 percent of Baby Boomers and 40 percent of the Silent Generation use smartphones on a daily basis. Many tech-savvy individuals also report that they struggle with sleep disorders and suffer from eye strain, headaches and other physical and mental health concerns.
With billions of individuals across the world using the internet, it’s no secret that spending too much time online can also pose other risks. Whether it be from failing to safely secure files, not installing virus protection on your device or falling for a phishing scam, identity theft can run rampant on the internet. If just the thought of someone stealing your personal information stresses you out, you’re not alone. There need to be ways for you to minimize and reduce your entrepreneur stress.
How to Combat Tech Stress & Business Stress as an Entrepreneur
There's enough stress involved in owning your own business—when technology makes it so you can work wherever and whenever, it's hard to find the balance between work and home. So, what can you do to limit both business stress and technology stress inside and outside the workplace?
Since it’s essentially unavoidable to go screen-free in most offices (and impossible as someone trying to make their own business successful in 2020), being tech-smart is the best way to remain stress-free in your digital life. If you find that technology is more of a source of stress than a convenience, consider taking some measures to unwind, and take a look at these steps below to help you best utilize technology.
Plan Each Day Out
Consider taking time at the end of each workday to plan for the following day. Setting time aside to block off sections of your day for specific tasks can help reduce procrastination. There are a variety of apps and tools that can help you effectively plan out each day of work. That way you can start the day knowing exactly what you need to work on and accomplish, reducing your stress levels and organizing your workday.
When determining your workflow for the next day, be mindful of not multitasking. Being task-oriented and limiting inefficient multitasking can help reduce stress levels, and it can also help tidy up your devices. Some studies show that only 2.5 percent of individuals can multitask effectively, so you might be more productive if you take your workday one project at a time.
Many fail to realize that when you multitask, you’re not truly focused on any one project. It’s nearly impossible to have your head in the game when it’s scattered across five different projects you’re working on all at the same time. Choose a project and work on it until completion and you’ll save yourself time, energy and stress.
Practice Device Safety
Malfunctioning equipment, unsecured digital information and cyber theft are big contributors to business tech stress. Safely securing files, updating software and avoiding mixing business and personal funds, files and devices will ensure no overlap occurs and devices are adequately protected on all fronts. Carelessness in maintenance or internet surfing can leave you victim to cybercrime, device failure or file loss.
If this is an issue of concern for your business as an owner or employee, consider looking into an identity theft protection service like LifeLock as an employee benefit to safeguard personal information better. Having peace of mind when it comes to being proactive and taking a few preventative security measures can save a lot of future hassle and business stress in the long run.
Unplug Every Night
Although you may not always be able to unplug during a workday, taking time to part with technology may result in higher productivity levels while working. It can also aid in relief from headaches, eye strain and even mild insomnia. Whether you choose to spend time enjoying the great outdoors or at home with a good book, there are countless screen-free ways to spend your time off the clock.
Technology is a double-edged sword. You have it at work and you have it at home. This means people think you’re accessible 24/7. Set boundaries and limits on how much time you spend on technology at home when it comes to your business. Stop checking your emails on your smartphone after work is done. Turn your phone off, silence notifications or leave it in another room to avoid the temptation to check. There’s not much that can be done late at night or over the weekend anyway since businesses are closed. Set a dedicated end time to your workday too, and follow it. Let your evenings be free of tech and any work-related tasks.
You can only drain your battery so far before it starts affecting your mental and physical health. It's ok to put down the technology at certain times every day. Even the richest entrepreneurs in the world like Jeff Bezos make time to disconnect from his technology to dive into a good book and reduce business stress during the day.
Let Technology Help, Not Hinder
Technology has helped people from all over the world connect in ways that once seemed unimaginable. With an abundance of information at our fingertips, it is extremely useful when starting a company, recruiting, conducting business or researching. Technology serves as a valuable resource and a communication convenience, but don’t discredit the importance of communicating face-to-face.
Make sure you still set up meetings in the office. Send out invites with the time of the meeting and get together in a conference room to discuss projects that need the help of multiple people or even multiple departments. Being hands on with others and communicating in the same space can still be more productive than utilizing tech where people need to follow along on their screen.
Social isolation and workplace distraction can be side effects of too much tech use, so utilizing devices for their benefits and maintaining interpersonal connections in person can help to alleviate unnecessary workplace business stress and tech overload.
Only Answer Emails at Set Times During the Day
One of the biggest contributors to business stress is emails. When you are a slave to your email, you're constantly checking it to see what you're missing. However, most emails aren't urgent. If something needs to be handled immediately, most people will pick up the phone and touch base with you. Relax and know that the emails can wait — you'll get to them when you get to them. Set aside 30 minutes once or twice a day to focus on answering emails and eliminate distractions.
Make a conscious effort to keep your email closed when you aren't scheduled to be checking emails. If you get notifications on your phone, turn your phone on Do Not Disturb or Silent so that you aren't constantly being reminded by dings, rings and buzzes that you're getting emails.
Refrain from answering emails first thing in the morning. Use the morning when things are slow and quiet to focus on the work you need to attend to. Opening your inbox to find things needing your attention will only stress you out and put your mind elsewhere instead of on your most pressing work.
If you want to reduce your stress levels, take some responsibilities off of your plate so you can focus on more important parts of your business. Incfile is here to help you manage your business — from filing your taxes to ensuring your business complies with state laws, we make sure you have the resources you need for your company's ongoing needs.