Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stress Management

One of the real shockers for me in starting my own company was the level of stress it created. The minute I got the financing all organized, bank account open and the money deposited, my stress levels went through the roof. It took me several weeks to get the stress under control, to a level I can manage. I really did not expect this to happen - before getting the company going, I was simply excited about the whole thing.

It is true that, since about last September, I have a dual workload. My responsibilities at the university haven't slackened - if anything, they have picked up speed in several areas, and, at the same time, I have to keep a company on track, designs rolling forward from the worktable into production, setting up the production and the marketing and... the list goes on. Just to get a sense of my own time management, I've started to keep track of the hours I spend on each task. I have found that my week at the university is roughly 40 hours - certainly a drop from where it has been in the past, but still above the legal commitment to 35 hours a week. I'm also spending 30 to 35 hours a week on the company business, and that is since I hired an assistant and started delegating a number of tasks! My relaxation hours, which I've also been keeping track of, seem to be around 15 hours a week - not many, all things considered. I don't include sleep in my relaxation time, or eating, just doing things to distract myself or calm myself or, indeed, relax.

I'm not sure how long I can keep this level of time commitment up - I expect that after a year or so it will start to wear mighty thin! For relaxation, a friend gave me some tips that have been useful, and I try to get out and walk a bit more than I used to, and to see friends and/or cultural events, but I must say that most evenings I'd sooner crash than go out.

I've got to do something more active to manage the stress, but I still haven't figured out what is right for me. Exercise, yes, almost certainly, but under what circumstances still remains to be seen. I also realized that I have to engage in some sewing projects that are not within the purview of the company, as I find sewing to be particularly relaxing - it's one of the reasons I got into it in the first place!

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