stressed worker

In a recent article on Fast Company, Crystal Paine revealed some of the ways she deals with the stress and the ever-encroaching dilemma of saying "yes." As the founder of, Paine knows what it is like to slave through the initial steps of a startup. From working all night to spreading herself too thin, Paine has seen it all and shares some valuable advice to maintaining your livelihood and sanity through the course of a startup.

Say 'no' for a while. One reason that most of us have dangerously high stress levels is the fact that we never say no. Taking on too many tasks can be a major issue in the startup arena, and to avoid it, Paine just stopped saying yes. Although it took her a bit of practice to create this habit, Paine was able to say no over a 6-month period, which created what she likes to call "breathing room." During this period, it becomes easier to identify viable options for the future and to dismiss ventures that have no worth for your enterprise.

Take a day off. When working the long and tiresome hours of a startup, having a day off in your future can offer the motivation to charge through endeavors that may otherwise cause you to give up. Paine likes to set Sunday aside for family and leisure time. Knowing that Sunday is a free day gives Paine motivation midweek, when she is up to her nose in work and struggling to make sense of it all. Try establishing a day during which you will do the things you love and set aside work related issues for a full 24 hours.

Say 'yes' strategically. As you begin to experience your breathing room, consider opportunities to say yes to. Focus on these opportunities and actively pursue those which you believe can grow and expand your business. Weed out the offers that will not further your cause. This way, you can dedicate time and effort to the opportunities that will build your business, and you wont waste effort and stress on those tasks that inevitably hinder growth.

By employing Crystal Paine's advice in your everyday work life, you can experience a less stressful, more relaxed work-life balance.

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