Three Research-Based Tips For Managing Stress, Multiple Priorities, and Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

July 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

Jedi Mind TricksThis post, affectionately known as “Jedi Mind Control for Over Achievers” will teach you solutions that work for actual entrepreneurs.

Whether you’re an educator, a young entrepreneur, or a seasoned entrepreneur, balancing multiple priorities is a reality. A much needed skill is HOW to effectively balance these priorities, but, it’s not a class in school. So, here, we lay out some proven solutions.


#1 Engage in 27 Minutes of Mindfulness a Day.

Summary: Your Brain will Expand if you More Effectively Manage Stress, and Shink if you Don’t.

Overwhelmed by Brigid SchulteIn New York Times Best Selling Author Brigid Schulte’s book Overwhelmed, she shares the results of a Harvard Study in which subjects practiced 27 minutes mindfulness a day: Their brains expanded! That is correct, subjects engaging in 27 minutes (daily) of meditation, yoga, or other “mindful” activity showed increased gray matter.

What about other effects? Competing priorities and responsibilities can cause other sacrifices in our life beyond stress.  Dr. Tricia McNair of Brigham and Women’s did a study showing that not getting enough sleep, and low self esteem can cost us five years! More than stress, even (two years).

So here’s what to do: Take back control.

#2. Get Happy

Summary: Dr. McNair’s study shows that happiness adds nine years to our life span.

  • Smiley FaceHappy friends are contagious, research shows. Surround yourself. A “rich and fulfilling social life” is thought to be a common factor among the happiest people. (See study summary).
  • Some scientific studies suggest that happiness is a choice, and that you can linger on positive thoughts, smile, and engage in other actions to literally boost your mood. What work are you choosing to do, for instance?

Case Studies:

Lydia. When personal brand builder Lydia Fernandes had enough with the corporate world, she went out on her own and never looked back.  Much more happy and fulfilled, she later won an international award for her work.

Josh.  One winter, Josh was working in an unheated warehouse, with 60 employees, for his packaging business. It was the holiday season and he madly raced to get space heaters, product, and make it all work. Five years later, he would sell off the warehouses, work out of a commercially-zoned townhouse, and be a middle-man doing only sales (no packaging). Deep breath.

Jane. When semi-retired executive Jane Angelich jumped into entrepreneurship, it gave her something back she had been missing…even doing it on the side: Her dreams.

#3. Establish a Good Work Life Balance

Summary: This can add back three years to our life span.

Take a slice of the balance pie by negotiating for the biggies:

  • Work LifeTime: Research shows flexibility around the hours worked are important. For instance, could you take a 9 to 5 time frame and shift it from 7 to 3? Could you work 7 to 4 for several days in a row and have a Friday off? What are the policies of your workplace and, if an entrepreneur, what policies are you willing to be flexible around?
  • Location: This is critical, research shows, for employees. If they are not near their office, are they allowed to work – on a big project day, for instance – from home? What other location flexibility is offered?
  • Schedule: If an appointment came up in the middle of the day (personal), could you go ahead and make it, and come in early the next day? Flexible schedule for items such as personal appointments, school pick up, and unforeseen situations is a third key item.
  • Home: The above are all work-related factors, but, be sure to negotiate for support and assistance at home. Work and home are where you log the most hours, and where – research indicates – the most support is needed for success.

Case Study: An employee of high-profile event planners Linder and Associates was given the flexibility to commute into work early, and leave early, which produced great results for all involved.

Case Study: With a large marketing company, one would assume Ethan occupies an entire floor of a building downtown. Not so. He built a separate wing of his house as his office, where staff come, leaving him plenty of time for his landscaping hobby and time with his son.

There are many other tips and techniques, but we’ll stop there. Please discuss, and engage in your own fact-finding missions on this topic.


1. What techniques do you use for decreasing stress and balancing multiple priorities that are most effective?

2. Go on a fact-finding mission: What techniques do three people you know use? Interview them.

3. Look up articles on stress management and balance. What is your favorite and share with the class, or a group.

More from EITC (Entrepreneur in the Classroom)

More Information The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. Just register for full access to the Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum. Click here for more.

Related links

Follow NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Twitter

Like NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation on Facebook

Follow EITC curriculum author Kathy Korman Frey on Twitter



Entry filed under: Educators, Entrepreneur, Helpful tips, Teachers, Teaching tools, Young Entrepreneur. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Thank you, Entrepreneurship Educators 2014 Inspirational Young Entrepreneurs – Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winners

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