SEO can be an extremely stressful business and many SEO professionals can suffer with the effects of stress and anxiety. The feeling of unease, nervousness and worry can lead to a lack of productivity and a feeling of overwhelm. Anxiety can be detrimental if you have your own business and are trying to run it.
Small business owners need to face “imminent events” and “something with an uncertain outcome” almost every minute of the day. The fact is that when anxiety starts to kick in, it can be extremely difficult to focus on productivity, to do good work and to deliver value because the anxiety tends to compound.
Worry, Anxiety and Stress
As the anxiety builds up, you may feel a lot less able to deal with your business and handle the work that needs to be done. You will also notice that your productivity is lower. The result? You start to miss important deadlines, you don’t follow up with clients and networking opportunities are missed so that you do not expand your business as expected. All of these problems can lead to increased fear, stress and worry. The pattern becomes a downward spiral which must be stopped before it eliminates your business altogether. You do have the power to deal with anxiety in a proactive way and to mitigate it by making the right choices.
Don’t Let Anxiety Take Over
It is important to know that anxiety is normal, particularly when you are running an SEO business. It is important to understand that these feelings will arise and that you can deal with them before they take over. It is important to recognize the feelings and address them by making a conscious decision that they will not take over and dictate the direction of your day. Dealing with anxiety means that you find ways to manage it. It is never completely “eliminated”, there will always be feelings of nervousness, unease and worry, but those feelings can be managed.
One way of dealing with these feelings is to realize that they are completely normal and that they can be managed. A deliberate choice needs to be made about how we those feelings are reacted to. Realizing that you have a choice gives you the power to decide how you will feel and act because if you do not deal with those feelings your anxiety will quickly become out of control. Webstrategies suggests some steps you can take to be more productive and grounded:
- Acknowledge your feelings. There is no way to move forward if you don’t acknowledge the way that you are feeling.
- Remove Yourself from Those Feelings and Your Thoughts. You will need to step back from the feelings if you tend to be overrun with anxiety. Retaining control means distancing yourself from thoughts and feelings. Realize that you are not associated with the feelings that you have. This will give you the power to react to your feelings and thoughts as they arise.
- Schedule Your Day to Minimize Anxiety. When you have your own SEO business, you have some control over the structure of your day. You can arrange your day in such a way that it does not increase stress or anxiety. You need to know what can trigger the feelings of anxiety and stress so that you can avoid situations that can bring them on. Plan your day by ensuring that deadlines are met and do not create too many deadlines so that it is impossible to complete your day.
- Get Your Head Clear. Journaling is a great way to clear your head (also known as a brain dump). It gets all of the clutter out of your mind and allows you to focus on the tasks ahead of you. If at any time during the day when you are working you start to feel overwhelmed, write a list or just start writing to clear your mind again.
- Practice gratitude for the things that are right in your life. Don’t focus on what is wrong, what you failed to complete in your business and what you feel is impossible. Look at the things that are right, that you have control over and remind yourself by making a list of those things or a few of them, each day.
- Give yourself enough time to complete the work you need to do for each client. Prioritize the time needed to work on projects and assignments and block out chunks of time to complete those assignments and projects. Avoid multitasking and close email out so that you can focus on the task at hand. Eat the frog. This means completing those tasks that you dislike the most first. When you complete the tasks you dislike then they are not weighing you down for the rest of the day.
When you choose how you will deal with stress and anxiety as an SEO professional, it will quickly get you back on track. Whenever you feel as though the work that you are doing is just too much to handle, you can take a break from the work, get up and exercise or stretch and do some breathing exercises or mediation. Once you have cleared your head, you can tackle the tasks that need to be completed with a clear mind.
Knowing that you have a lot of work to do, it can quickly become overwhelming. It is important to put all of these tasks into an order of priority. If you are unable to deal with stress and anxiety at any point, make sure that you get some support. Help is available in plenty of different forms; there isn’t one definite answer or solution. This could mean reading books that have meaning, working on personal development, working with a life coach or sharing your struggles with trusted friends. The most important thing to remember is to give yourself a break. Everyone makes mistakes and you are not going to be perfect every day. Getting through your day with goals accomplished is important, but you won’t get everything done every day. A year from now will it matter if you had a bad morning or a hard week? A trend will develop when you look back on your previous year – either you changed, regressed or made progress.