Self-employed people often have much more stress on a daily basis than someone working for a firm or a large company. Whether you are a doctor, attorney, CPA, dentist, coach, accountant, or retail business owner, you don't have some of the "stress buffers" you might have if you were not the boss (or one of the bosses).

1. Plan Each Day's Schedule The Day Before & Review It 
Knowing whom you'll see, what procedures you'll do, and how many patients or face-to-face appointments you'll have the next day helps you plan emotionally and physically for each day. If the next day is packed, you'll want to try and get to bed in good time. Walking in "cold" to an office, where you don't know what you'll face and when, is a *big stressor*, and can be reduced by some planning ahead.

2. Try Not To "Double/Triple Book" Patients Or Clients
Common in medical and dental practices especially, this type of scheduling allows for cancellations, "no-shows," late clients, and also increases daily revenues. This has two negative results: It causes you much stress, and you run on *adrenaline* more than you need to, and it usually means your clients or patients get less of your time and see that you are rushed. This can be a turn off for many clients and patients. Clients can sense if a professional is rushed or not focused on them. This is one of the most common reasons people switch doctors, attorneys, dentists etc. If your business cash flow is so tight that you feel forced to double or triple book, have your CPA help you determine where you can cut back on overhead and still have your income where you need or want it to be.

3. Take 3-5 Minutes Out *Alone* Between Patients/Clients
Go to your office or to the quietest place in your building or home. Sit, recline and relax for 3-5 minutes or more if you have time. Allow your body and mind to calm down for just 3-5 minutes between clients or patients and you will benefit greatly as far as your energy and stress levels are concerned.
4. Schedule Daily Lunch Time And Take It!

For the busy professional, it is often easy to skip lunch due to going off to see hospital patients, making phone calls, doing dictation, etc. You *need* that food and time off to fuel your body and relax your mind. Even if it cannot be at the same time daily, take a 30-60 minute break to eat lunch and
relax. If your staff deserves it, you surely do!

5. Let Voicemail, Your Secretary, Or Other Answering Device Take Most Calls Unless you are an "at-home sole owner business" and have the time, when working, it's best to let voicemail or an answering service take your calls. If you simply must answer the phone, and don't have "Caller ID" service (HIGHLY recommended for at-home businesses!) answer, and if possible, ask to return the call later that day or the next, depending on its importance. Many calls can't be put off, but many need not even be answered. If you are a sole small business owner, "Caller ID" is *well* worth the money if it is available in your city.

6. Pay Attention To Your Attitude
This is simple and basic, yet so important to how we feel. How we feel is directly related to what we are thinking about and how we choose to perceive things in our life. If you have a positive and optimistic attitude as you start each day, you will have more energy than if you worry, think negative thoughts, or fret about the future. Your clients and patients can usually sense if you are in a good mood or if you are tired, or "down." Odd as it sounds, if we pretend to feel better than we do, it will often manifest itself and we will actually start to feel better!

7. Delegate Specific Times For Phone Calls And Dictation
Since phone calls for most professionals can really pile up during the day, you need to develop a system for returning and sorting them in order of priority or in the order received. You can do this in 2-3 short sessions during the day (preferable) or all at once at the day's end. Dictation can be done right after seeing a client or patient (while all is still very fresh in your mind) in your office, the exam room, the hallway, or in a nurses station area, using a mini tape recorder. Many find it is less stressful and more time saving to do it right after seeing a client or patient. If at *all* possible, avoid taking dictation or any other work home.

Author's Bio: 

Dennis R. Tesdell is an experienced personal development and self-care coach as well as an author on personal growth, self-care and self improvement issues. He may be contacted at,
or through his website at for information on his services, free newsletter,etc.