Executive Stress: 5 Tips to Lower Stress from Manhattan’s Most Elite Business Owners and Executives

Executive Stress: 5 Tips to Lower Stress from Manhattan’s Most Elite Business Owners and Executives

Manhattan’s elite business owners and executives know better than anyone else how stressful the corporate world can be. After years of working as a Manhattan/NYC Vistage Group Chair, I know firsthand that, in order to stay at the top of their game, they also must tend to themselves once in a while and lower their stress levels from time to time. Here are five tips from these experienced New Yorkers on how to lower stress:

1. Establish Boundaries

Set boundaries with yourself, your employees, and clients to avoid burnout. NYC executives know they have to be firm when it comes to respecting these boundaries so they can remain successful without feeling overly stressed or overwhelmed.

At least three times a week, top NYC executives know they need to tend to their physical health by exercising for 30-60 minutes. Exercise can be a great way to lower stress levels while also helping improve overall physical health. It can also make a huge difference in how you feel and the amount of stress that you experience.

Taking time out of your day as little as once a week for scheduled relaxation activities, such as yoga, meditation, or lunch with a friend or colleague, can also make a world of difference. This will help clear your mind and give you a chance to recharge so that you’re ready for more work when it’s needed. 

And, on an as-needed basis, don’t be afraid to take a break throughout the day if you need it. Taking a short break, as little as 20 minutes, has been shown to significantly reduce stress levels (Harvard Health Publishing). Regular breaks will allow you to recharge your energy levels, reducing stress and improving productivity.

2. Reorganize Your Schedule

All successful NYC executives and business owners, as well as failed NYC executives and business owners, share one number in common: The amount of hours they get in a day. 

For the average person, the ability to focus can be limited to as little as 4-5 hours a day (Washington Post). And while NYC executives are far from average, they also understand that their time, energy, and focus are still limited and hence valuable resources.

Prioritize tasks and reorganize your schedule so that the most important items are at the top of your list and everything else is delegated lower down on the list. This will help keep you focused at all times and make sure that nothing gets neglected in the process.  

Focus on the most important tasks first and then work your way down from there. Executives know that it’s much easier to tackle a few big tasks at once than it is to try to do a lot of little tasks all at once. 

3. Set Realistic Goals

Manhattan’s top executives know that short-term objectives are achievable when done in manageable chunks. Don’t take on too much by setting realistic goals for yourself and your team. Break big projects into smaller tasks to make them easier to manage, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. 

Additionally, allocate yourself specific KPIs and timeframes for each task and check-in regularly to ensure that you are on track. Reevaluating goals regularly will also help lower stress levels by allowing changes to be made in order to better achieve the desired outcome. By setting realistic expectations and taking the necessary steps to reach your goals, you will lower stress and increase productivity. 

4. Reevaluate Your Strategy

If you’re not satisfied with your productivity, do what New York Times bestselling author and time management expert Laura Vanderkam recommends and keep a time log of how you’re spending your 168 hours each week. Truth be told, the average American watches TV for 1-4 hours a day (source); this is time that top NYC executives and business owners spend meeting with prospective clients, existing clients, employees, and/or investing in themselves with exercise, meditation, classes, or spending time with family and friends.

Reevaluate the way you work from time to time. Find out what strategies work best for you and how you can become more efficient while reducing stress levels.

At times, some executives can be too caught up in the details. Make sure that you’re focusing on the tasks at hand, rather than getting caught up in the minor details. Prioritize the most important items and let go of anything that doesn’t need immediate attention.

When appropriate, delegate tasks like planning meetings or organizing office events to members of your staff. This will free up your time to focus on more important and pressing matters.

5. Change Your Mindset

Elite business owners and executives in Manhattan know that a positive attitude is essential for achieving success in any venture. It’s important to remember that no matter what challenges come your way, they can always be overcome if approached with a sense of optimism and determination.

Have a positive outlook when approaching work-related tasks, instead of worrying about what could go wrong or feeling overwhelmed by everything. Before starting a task, remind yourself of the benefits and successes you will gain by completing it. This helps to lower stress levels and motivate you to take on the project with confidence. 

For those moments of extra anxiety or when it feels like an insurmountable obstacle is in front of you, take a few deep breaths and pause for a moment before taking action. A clear mind is essential for making informed decisions that are best for both you and your business.

By changing your mindset and having a positive attitude when it comes to work tasks, you can lower stress levels significantly. And with lower stress, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving your goals and enjoying the rewards of your hard work.

Bottom Line

By following these tips from Manhattan’s most elite business owners and executives, you can lower stress levels while still being productive and successful in your professional life. With lower stress comes improved performance and better overall mental health – a winning combination!

By following these tips from experienced Manhattan professionals, you can lower your stress levels while still managing professional responsibilities effectively. Take time now to implement these tips into your daily life and enjoy lower stress levels as a result!