Working in a startup is a unique experience! Yes, it gets hectic but it’s worth a try. There are pros and cons but I have always worked in a startup and, trust me, I don’t regret it. People may complain about being dumped with a lot of work. They look at it as slogging like a slave. But I feel a lot can be learnt and that too at a fast pace. You can even experiment with working in different departments if you are willing to learn.
At the same time, working with a startup can be extremely stressful – long work hours, too many things to do, tight deadlines and few resources. Running a startup is definitely difficult, but so is working for one. There are times people feel ‘What am I doing? Why am I doing this?’ If you ever feel something similar, introspect the reasons you joined a startup.
Startups require a different calibre. It can be a daunting task, at times the stress level crosses the threshold level which can be dangerous for one’s own well-being. It is very important to watch out for these signs and take immediate actions.
Warning: Do NOTHING at the cost of your Physical and Mental Health. Here are seven ways to manage the stress.
Take Frequent Breaks
Maybe your role demands you to put in long hours, but you need to understand that your body and mind also need breaks. Do a quick analysis and see how often you need breaks. For some it could be every 3- 4 hours and others could need one every 2 hours. You need to find out what is your requirement.
The next step is to figure out how many breaks are affordable without hampering the work and scheduling them accordingly. Taking breaks doesn’t mean you have to spend long hours idling around. They can be quick 5-10 minute breaks from your current tasks. It could be any physical activity like stretching the body, breaking knuckles or just reading up on some news. You can do a quick catch up with colleagues, listen to your favourite song or just take deep breaths closing eyes for 10 minutes – do anything that works for you to make you feel refreshed!
Prioritise And Be More Organised
Working in a startup is stressful not only because there is so much to do but also because everything is of high priority. It is very important to plan out your tasks, in what order you’ll do them and how much time you can allocate to each task. Prioritise and plan your tasks in advance to avoid chaos. Writing down the things to do in a day and rearranging them according to priority will help you take control of your day.
Build A Support System
It is very important to build a support system to bank on. Keeping the right people close to you can be of great help. It could be friends, family, well-wishers, anyone you think you can fall back on and talk your heart out to. When you know that there is someone who can listen to you, encourage you and make you feel better, half the battle is won.
Have “Me” Time
Don’t forget about yourself! When work gets too demanding, we forget about our hobbies and the smaller things that make us happy. Keep some time aside for yourself amidst all the hectic work. It could be something as simple as reading a book or taking a walk in the park. Do anything that makes you feel relaxed and distracts you from your worries for some time. Have that “ME time” once in a week at least to listen to yourself.
Identify The Triggers And Talk About It
At times you feel you are doing everything you could possibly do but you may be overwhelmed. Identify what is making you feel stressed. There could be underlying factors or personal issues – relationships, health or financial problems, or other issues at work which are pulling you down. As a defence mechanism, you may be burdening yourself with more work, to suppress the issues. DO NOT SUPPRESS! Vent out, talk to someone who can help you with this or seek help from counsellors.
Have A Life Outside Of Work
For most people working at startups, their life revolves around work. It is important to have a life outside of the office. Take vacations, spend time with family and friends. If your work doesn’t allow you to relax every week, then make it a point to visit a new place every month or just spend quality time with your close ones.
Eat Healthy, Stay Hydrated, And Get Some Sleep
Your food choices have a huge impact on how you feel during the day. Having healthy meals on time can help you balance your blood sugar levels and avoid mood swings. Skipping meals or unhealthy eating habits can have adverse effects on your health. It can also affect your productivity at work. Drink plenty of water and get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep will definitely hamper your productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills and ability to focus. The more rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle your job responsibilities.
Every year heap of freshers join startups, aspiring to contribute as much as they can to make a difference. Ups and downs are very common in a startup environment. The key to staying stress-free is to realise that failures are common and are stepping stones to success. Don’t let stress get to you. Learn ways to handle it, if you think things are going beyond your control, do seek help from professionals.
Good luck and have a stress-free work life!