How successful people stay stress-free and busy

Sophia Ellis
Sep 12, 2017

Have you ever read the resumes – or even just a list of the previous job titles – of any of your favorite entrepreneurs and business leaders? There are plenty of examples of high-performing individuals who thrive on seemingly-impossible routines. How is it possible to remain stress-free with that much going on, and still continue to excel in a role?

After some research into the habits and routines of a number of top performing individuals, there are several characteristics I’ve identified which seem to be universal, regardless of the position or industry.

1. They outsource.

Many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders will tell you this is one of the hardest things to do, but it’s also essential to reaching a new level of success. Just like a company, we all have a core competency. But when we become preoccupied with tasks that don’t utilize our core skill set, we get frustrated and our work quality decreases. Learning when and how to outsource the tasks that cause you stress is key.

We may not all have huge teams to help us out, so here are some tools and services you can use right now to take over the tasks you shouldn’t be spending any more time on:

  • Fiverr.com – the biggest online marketplace for freelancers, you can order creative tasks (editing, designs, translations, etc.) for as little as $5
  • Upwork – hire a virtual ghost writer or assistant, or even freelancing developers and marketing experts
  • Calendly or X.ai – use an AI assistant to take over your scheduling via email

2. They’re honest about time management.

This is another difficult yet essential skill that I know I definitely struggle with. It’s instinct to fill up our to-do lists and schedules and then rush to get it all done. When I don’t get to everything on my list, I get stressed out. But, by knowing how long your tasks take, and working out how much time you can actually dedicate to them, you can avoid unnecessary stress. Try using MyHours to see exactly where your time goes so you can optimize your schedule.

3. They’re not available 24/7.

Think about how many phone calls you answer and emails you open that end up stressing you out, and ultimately distracting you from what you need to be getting done now. Instant communication is a curse and a blessing. People who stress less and get more done know this. To stop the stressful distractions, reign in your communication time. Inform your colleagues when you’ll be available for a call, or when you can respond to emails, instead of attempting to be available 24/7. A great way to start is by setting up an auto-response email to tell people when they can expect a response from you. Alternatively, you can use an app like Calendly, that lets co-workers schedule calls with you based on your predetermined availability.

4. They track and plan to improve.

I’m guilty of plotting my deadlines on my calendar and glancing at them nervously every few days. This is one of the things that needs to stop, so I can be less stressed and more productive. You can avoid stress – and that sinking feeling you get from procrastinating for too long – by properly planning ahead. Breaking up one big task into smaller, more manageable tasks is a great way to track your progress, and avoid stress. Use Google Calendar and share your tasks and deadlines with colleagues if you really want to boost your motivation to stay on top of it!

5. They work mindfully.

So this is probably the biggest difference between those who are successfully productive, and those who feel like they’re always struggling. A lot of us have lost the ability to work mindfully without getting distracted. But those who can focus their full attention on one task at a time are far more likely to be productive. If you’re constantly thinking about the next task on your list, or you get distracted by a random notification, you can’t possibly produce quality work in the time you’ve got. This is the perfect recipe for unnecessary stress.

Here are some tools to help you work more mindfully:

  • Freedom this app blocks certain websites across your devices, so you can’t absentmindedly check your Facebook whilst you’re meant to be working
  • Focus Booster This task timer uses the Pomodoro method to help schedule breaks into your work time

I hope these tips help in alleviating some stress and increasing your overall productivity. With just a few changes in your routine, you’ll be a productivity pro in no time! For an all-in-one productivity solution for teams, try Hibox for free today.

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