Stress is a normal part of each day. As manager or buying agent you're burden with the accountability of the buck stops here. You likely feel elevated levels of stress during the holiday busy season. Here are some tips to keep your stress in check to survive, thrive, and enjoy the season!
Shooting from the hip can create chaos because your team has no defined course of action. Having a plan is half the battle. Set yearly- quarterly-monthly-weekly-daily goals. This allows you to break down your goals into smaller pieces and work through them on a manageable level. Start each day by reviewing your priority list. This keeps you on schedule and you know you are covering your bases.
Re-evaluate Results and Goals
Don’t set it and forget it. Check in with how you are tracking towards your goals. Did something change where your goals or tactics need to be reconsidered? Maybe your buying contract didn't pan out to the savings you needed or your medical supply shipment didn't arrive. Be prepared to come up with plan B such as a back up vendor source or re-evaluate your analysis for additional savings. Revisiting goals will nip concerns in the bud before they become bigger stressors.
Uncover the Root Cause
Stress can cause us to overact to challenging situations or be upset at the messenger. Remember to take a deep breath and attempt to get at the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. What caused the effort to fail – billing error, shipment issue, patient usage estimate was off, or was it a staffing issue? Try to put the issue in perspective with the big picture of your business. Attempting to stay calm and look objectively at events can steer you to the right solution faster.
You are not alone. Your staff or co-workers are there to support you and make the business a success. Train them well and empower them to take on more responsibilities. Reach out to them when your to-do list is overwhelming. Letting go of your internal control-freak can be the best thing for your stress level and helps your staff grow.
Get a Life
You need a life beyond your business. When you leave for the day check out of business mode. Enjoy your family, friends, hobbies, and outside interests not related to your work. Decompress and let your mind enjoy other topics. This refreshes your body and soul to tackle the next business day ahead.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but with a little pre-planning and getting down to the root causes of challenges you can overcome stress and drive your business to success. A little chocolate can always help too!