3 Stress-busting tips from successful leaders

The responsibilities that come with being a leader can be overwhelming, and that overwhelm can lead to a great deal of stress. But the difference between an overwhelmed leader and a thriving executive, is the ability to meet big demands without burning yourself out.

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Being a successful leader isn’t just about knowing how to manage a team, it’s about knowing how to manage your stress level when faced with a great deal of responsibility. To help you keep on track, here are three stress-busting tips from top CEOs who know how to do it right:

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1) Set goals for yourself (not only professionally, but personally)
Former Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison has said, “The thing I learned early on, is that you really need to set goals in your life, both short-term and long-term, just like you do in business. Having that long-term goal will enable you to have a plan on how to achieve it. We apply these skills in business, and yet when it comes to ourselves we rarely apply them.”

Setting goals for yourself will keep your priorities in check, making it easier for you to determine which opportunities to accept, and which to decline. This will not only help with your time management, but will alleviate stress when it comes to working towards finding that work-life harmony.

2) Stay focused and learn to say ‘no’
Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

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It’s important to be able to say no, regardless of the great opportunities that may cross your path. Ditch the fear of missing out, and stay focused on your top priorities. This will help you to manage your workload, and free up some time.

3) Take time to celebrate wins, and reflect on losses
Wiley Cerilli, CEO and founder of Good Uncle, a successful delivery meal plan business targeted towards students, once stated, “I know it’s stressful being a CEO, but you have to celebrate with your team. Set goals earlier on that you can hit to build the team’s confidence in their ability to achieve them and your ability to properly set them.”

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If all of your time is focused on starting new projects, getting the work done, and moving on to the next big thing, then all of the stresses you face will not be worthwhile. It’s important to step back, celebrate big wins, and reflect on areas that could use improvement. Being mindful will not only reduce your own stress, but will be of benefit to the people who surround you.

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Don’t get swallowed up by the stress that comes with being a leader, be proactive, and manage your stress before it takes control over you. Your ability to thrive under pressure will catapult your success as a leader, and will impact not only your work life, but your life as a whole.

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