Simple and Best Stress Management Techniques for Busy Professionals

In our fast-paced world, busy professionals often struggle with stress management, so we’ve gathered seventeen diverse techniques from CEOs to founders. From disconnecting work email from personal phones to identifying and managing stress triggers, these seasoned leaders provide a range of strategies to maintain balance and productivity.

  • Disconnect Work Email from Personal Phone
  • Incorporate Creative Sprints into Your Day
  • Monitor Sleep Quality with Wearable Tech
  • Practice Deep-Breathing Exercises
  • Utilize the Pomodoro Technique
  • Limit Social Media Consumption
  • Break Tasks Down, Delegate, Prioritize
  • Schedule Regular Personal Time
  • Enhance Communication Skills
  • Plan Your Day in Advance
  • Engage in Forest Bathing
  • Vary Your Workspaces
  • Embrace Mindfulness Meditation
  • Use Phone as a Productivity Assistant
  • Start Day with Meditative Journaling
  • Schedule Tech-Free Time Blocks
  • Identify and Manage Stress Triggers

Disconnect Work Email from Personal Phone

Lora Shaw, Vice President of Operations, Pet Palace

Lora Shaw, Vice President of Operations, Pet Palace

If possible, don’t connect your work email to your personal phone. It’s likely not reasonable to assume you won’t be looking at your phone after work hours, but keeping your work emails—or Slack—open there as well is a tough proposition. No matter how much you think you’ll ignore it, you’ll soon find yourself opening those emails and responding late into the night. Give yourself that buffer zone.

Incorporate Creative Sprints into Your Day

Vinika Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Webomaze

Vinika Garg, Chief Operating Officer, Webomaze

For stress relief, I recommend creative sprints. Take 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to complete a quick, hands-on creative task. Whether it’s doodling, crafting, or jotting down ideas, these bursts of creativity offer a mental break. 

As someone who juggles multiple roles, I’ve found this unique approach to be a game-changer. It not only refreshes your mind but also encourages innovative thinking.

By incorporating these brief, creative sprints into your routine, you can access a reservoir of previously untapped ideas while also reducing stress. It’s a simple yet effective strategy for injecting joy and creativity into your hectic professional life.

Monitor Sleep Quality with Wearable Tech

Grant Hensel, CEO, Nonprofit Megaphone

Grant Hensel, CEO, Nonprofit Megaphone

Track your sleep! I have an Oura ring and a Whoop for this purpose, both of which provide fantastic insight into sleep quality and quantity each night. Having this data has allowed me to dramatically improve my sleep quality through simple interventions like not eating, looking at screens, or exercising at least an hour or two before bed.

It has also led me to cut out alcohol, which had a strong negative impact on my sleep quality and on my recovery the next day.

Any modern car or computer has dozens of sensors to tell us if it’s working in tip-top shape, but we have been comfortable for far too long with our only biological check-up being an annual physical, at best.

Getting real-time insight into my health (especially sleep) has been an absolute game-changer for stress management. I’ve found that almost any stressful day can be overcome with the right quality of sleep before and after.

Practice Deep-Breathing Exercises

Bayu Prihandito, Founder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture

Bayu Prihandito, Founder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture

One effective technique I’d recommend for combating stress is deep-breathing exercises. Taking just a few minutes for deep breathing can significantly help in managing stress. This technique is all about bringing our awareness to the present and grounding ourselves. 

By slowly inhaling through our nose, holding the breath for a few seconds, and then slowly exhaling through our mouth, deep breathing helps in activating our body’s relaxation response, reducing tension, and clearing the mind. It’s a practical method that can be done whenever needed, whether between meetings or during a short break.

Utilize the Pomodoro Technique

Aaron Bond, Director of Operations, Bond Rees Ltd.

Aaron Bond, Director of Operations, Bond Rees Ltd.

A stress management technique I’ve found incredibly effective is the Pomodoro Technique, especially during those peak periods of relentless deadlines and meetings.

Here’s a bit of personal testimony to its effectiveness: There was a time when my to-do list seemed insurmountable, and the stress was palpable, affecting not just my work quality but also my overall well-being.

The Pomodoro Technique involves working for 25 minutes straight, then taking a 5-minute break. After four Pomodoros, or work intervals, you take a longer break of about 15 to 30 minutes. This method helped me in several ways.

Firstly, it chunked down my work into manageable intervals, making tasks seem less daunting. Secondly, the short breaks served as a mental reset, allowing me to refresh and prevent burnout.

I started each day by listing tasks and estimating how many Pomodoros each would take. Not only did this improve my time management, but it also significantly reduced my stress levels. The regular breaks kept me from feeling overwhelmed and maintained my focus and productivity throughout the day.

Adopting the Pomodoro Technique transformed my workdays from chaotic to structured, and my stress levels dropped remarkably. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that I recommend to any busy professional looking to manage their time more effectively and reduce stress.

Limit Social Media Consumption

Casey Marks, Chief Operating Officer, Marks Building Company

Casey Marks, Chief Operating Officer, Marks Building Company

At this point, the research into social media and how it affects us is vast and telling. As a busy professional, you already have so much on your mind at all times—why add more stress to your life by spending too much time on social media? 

You might think you’re immune to the effects of it, but the fact is, we’re all susceptible to the envy of other people’s lives and the constant bombardment of ads and negative content being spewed from social media feeds. Cut your time doomscrolling on social media as a quick way to improve your stress levels and overall mental well-being.

Break Tasks Down, Delegate, Prioritize

Rick Hovde, Founding Partner, Hovde Dassow + Deets

Rick Hovde, Founding Partner, Hovde Dassow + Deets

One of the most effective strategies for combating stress is to break tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. The prospect of a single mammoth task can be paralyzing. By dividing it into bite-sized activities, you not only make it less daunting but also set up a clear plan for moving forward.

Delegating responsibilities is crucial if you want to avoid the stress that comes with taking on more than you can handle. As a professional, you likely have a team at your disposal. Empower them to take on tasks that align with their skills, and you’ll free up significant amounts of time and mental space.

Remember, not all tasks are created equal. Some have urgent deadlines; others contribute more to your long-term goals. Categorize tasks as urgent, important, neither, or both—this way, you can focus on what truly matters in the moment.

Implementing these techniques requires a shift in mindset and habits, but the payoff in reduced stress and enhanced performance is well worth it. Professionals who master these time management and prioritization methods will find themselves not only more effective at work but also able to enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Schedule Regular Personal Time

Viktoria Krusenvald, ANWPB Board Certified Nutritional Consultant, Wellness Patron

Viktoria Krusenvald, ANWPB Board Certified Nutritional Consultant, Wellness Patron

As someone who often works over 60 hours a week, I understand how hard it can be to manage stress if things keep piling on your desk. I also know that the technique I most recommend is the one busy professionals tend to ignore. 

That, however, is single-handedly the main reason why this technique is so important: scheduling time for yourself every week, or at least every other week. The busier you are, the more important it is to take regular breaks where you completely unwind and disconnect to recharge your mental batteries.

This might mean taking a day completely off during the weekend (I know how busy professionals tend to work even during the weekend), or taking half a day off every now and then. 

Sometimes, I even schedule small dates with myself—this means I may take a day off to do some things that help me unwind, like reading, going on a walk, or having a slow morning with a tasty brunch just to enjoy my own company.

Often, I don’t even quite take the entire day, but I just take a long morning break where I go on a small self-date, and afterward, I have plenty of energy to handle my emails or other incoming issues. 

The busier you get, the more important it is to schedule specific time slots for relaxation and some time off. These small breaks are the greatest gift you can give to your mental health and your career in the long term.

Enhance Communication Skills

Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

Joe Coletta, Founder & CEO, 180 Engineering

As the head of a recruiting firm, I’ve encountered plenty of stressed-out professionals—some in my own team and some as job candidates I meet during interviews. One common trait I’ve noticed in most of them is a lack of communication skills.

In my opinion, interpersonal skill development is key to maintaining a stress-free work life, with communication skills being the most essential. Effective communicators are able to address their stressors better than those who struggle to speak for themselves.

I can’t count the number of times a candidate has promised to get back to me by the end of the day with paperwork or any information I ask for, only to delay it and be profusely apologetic later. If you can’t do something by the end of the day, be straightforward; that will save you the stress of trying to match an impossible deadline and missing it eventually.

I’ve had similar experiences with my own staff members, especially eager-to-please new hires. It’s understandable that you’re anxious during your onboarding, and if you can’t take more responsibility during your initial days, it’s best to be clear. Ask questions when you don’t understand something, and request an extension of deadlines that seem too tight.

If your coworkers are stressing you out, communicate it to them. Miscommunication and poor communication can lead to unnecessary anxiety and make even your dream job seem like a nightmare.

Plan Your Day in Advance

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

Ben Lamarche, General Manager, Lock Search Group

It hasn’t been easy handling the workload that comes with being General Manager at a fast-paced recruiting firm, but I’ve built a few habits that help alleviate the stress. Besides being more disciplined in my daily routine, i.e., avoiding distractions during work hours and not working outside of office hours, planning the next day before I go home from the office has helped me stay anxiety-free. 

I strongly recommend professionals reserve the last 15 minutes of their workday to chart a plan for the next. This can especially provide a sense of control to those who dread returning to the office the following day because of the abundance of pending assignments. 

I simply handwrite a page of my Daily Planner journal at 4:45 p.m. each day, reserving well-defined, realistic time slots for high-priority tasks while listing lower-priority ones separately.

I see this practice as short-term SMART goal-setting—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive goals I aim to achieve during my next workday. I also number those tasks priority-wise; this way, if I cannot finish something in its allotted time, I can abandon it until I complete more important assignments.

Engage in Forest Bathing

Jon Torres, CEO, Jon Torres

Jon Torres, CEO, Jon Torres

One effective stress-management technique for busy professionals like me is forest bathing. This practice, known as Shinrin-Yoku in Japanese, involves immersing oneself in nature, specifically dense forests, to alleviate stress and improve overall well-being.

Forest bathing doesn’t require intense physical activity but focuses on mindfulness in a natural setting. Research suggests that spending time in a forest environment can reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, and enhance mood. 

To incorporate this technique into a busy professional’s routine, allocate short breaks during the workday to visit a nearby park or wooded area. Take deliberate, slow-paced walks, engage the senses, and disconnect from electronic devices.

This approach not only offers immediate stress relief but also fosters long-term endurance, making it valuable for busy individuals seeking balance between their hectic schedules.

Vary Your Workspaces

Adam Shlomi, Founder, SoFlo Tutors

Adam Shlomi, Founder, SoFlo Tutors

When I was growing up in SoFlo, I had to learn how to manage my stress after days of constantly hopping from task to task. It was a never-ending deluge of sales calls, admin work, and brainstorming new ideas. 

Varying my workspaces surprisingly improved my mental health drastically and allowed me to tackle each task with a fresh start and motivation. While I still had a lot on my plate to do, going to different physical spaces to work provided a kind of structure to my tasks throughout the day. Additionally, going to places that I enjoy—like a coffee shop, or sitting outside in good weather—allowed me to make my work a lot more enjoyable.

Embrace Mindfulness Meditation

Scott Foley, Career Coach, Scott Foley Career Coaching

Scott Foley, Career Coach, Scott Foley Career Coaching

Mindfulness meditation is a technique that involves taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment. 

Mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress by bringing your attention to the present moment, which can decrease anxiety caused by worrying about future tasks or dwelling on past events. It enhances self-awareness, allowing you to recognize stressors and respond to them more calmly and effectively.

Use Phone as a Productivity Assistant

Bobby Lawson, Technology editor/publisher, Earth Web

Bobby Lawson, Technology editor/publisher, Earth Web

Quite often, the magical little devices in our pockets (our phones) can be called distractions from a productive workday. 

However, I’ve actually found that they can make my day a lot more productive and successful if I use them wisely. I speak to my phone as if it is my PA, whether it’s to set a reminder for a small task I need to do later during the day or an alarm to go off to highlight that I’ve been spending too long on a specific thing and I need to move on.

My phone has become the perfect tool to keep me on track and ensure I’m doing the things I need to do rather than just plodding through my day and hoping I achieve. 

Of course, you can do this through a diary and taking notes. For me, doing it audibly through my phone makes it more natural, and it doesn’t stop the workflow that I’m in, as I will be continuing to work while I simply tell my phone to set a reminder for something.

Start Day with Meditative Journaling

Brian Meiggs, Founder, My Millennial Guide

Brian Meiggs, Founder, My Millennial Guide

As a busy entrepreneur who’s no stranger to high-stress levels, the stress-management technique I rely on is meditative journaling. I devote 20 minutes each morning to stream-of-consciousness writing, where I dump every worry, frustration, and anxiety swirling around my mind onto paper.

The goal is not eloquent prose; it’s a brain data dump. I write about fears regarding my business, things on my to-do list stressing me out, interpersonal conflicts—literally anything causing mental tension. The act of expressing these stresses in writing does wonders for gaining clarity and emotional relief.

Additionally, when anxieties crop up later in the day, I re-read my journal entry, which reassures me that I already processed those feelings. This prevents doubling down on stress. It’s like telling my brain, “You already worked through this earlier. You got this!”

By starting each day mindfully acknowledging every mental strain, I process challenges so they no longer control my headspace or productivity. For entrepreneurs, creativity and strategic thinking get severely compromised when we’re overwhelmed. Journaling helps me contain stress so I can proactively operate at my best.

The technique only requires a simple notebook and pen, along with a willingness to unload freely without self-judgment. But meditative journaling gives me a renewed mindset, lowers physiological stress reactions, and empowers me to fully focus on priorities. It truly does wonders for any busy professional struggling with anxiety, worry, and burnout.

Schedule Tech-Free Time Blocks

Renan Ferreira, Head Of Communications and Director Of Sales, RealCraft

Renan Ferreira, Head Of Communications and Director Of Sales, RealCraft

It’s easy to say you’ll take a break from technology as a form of stress relief, but I find this tough to stick to as your devices are always within reach. I find it much more beneficial to allocate specific time blocks during the day to disconnect from electronic devices.

This can help reduce information overload and provide a mental break from constant connectivity. And when you schedule it into your day, the success rate of it actually helping is much higher.

It’s important to schedule something like this into your daily routine because constant exposure to emails, notifications, and other digital information can lead to information overload, contributing to stress. Tech-Free Time Blocks allow professionals to disconnect, giving their minds a break from the constant influx of information.

Disconnecting from technology also allows for moments of quiet reflection and creativity where you may find that you generate new ideas or solutions to problems during these Tech-Free Time Blocks, contributing to a sense of accomplishment and reducing stress related to work challenges.

Identify and Manage Stress Triggers

María Eugenia Sørensen, Founder, Clínica Dental Sørensen Mataró

María Eugenia Sørensen, Founder, Clínica Dental Sørensen Mataró

Finding out my stress triggers has been pure gold for me. It’s all about understanding what specifically pushes my buttons—be it jam-packed days or endless emails. Once I figured those out, managing my stress became so much easier. 

I’ve learned to space out meetings and carve out email time, avoiding those panic moments. It’s a personal journey, but knowing my triggers has definitely made both my work and daily life more manageable and enjoyable. This small step can make a huge difference.

Last Updated on by kalidaspandian

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Mehar Jolly

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