When you're running a small business, sometimes stress provides a much-needed boost to your life and career. On the other hand, stress can also negatively affect your life and hamper your progress at work, affect your personal relationships and be the cause of various illnesses.

Fortunately, stress at work can be managed, if not outright prevented. Here are a few ways to do just that!

Prevent Misunderstandings

Make it a point to clearly understand what others expect from you and to communicate what you expect from them. This will help avoid misunderstandings.

Effective Communication

Efficient communication skills are vital to success, whether it is your career or personal life. You can prevent misunderstandings and other problems by building effective lines of communication with your colleagues, associates, family and friends.

Focus On What You Are Good At

Sometimes you may feel the urge to do everything yourself in an attempt to achieve perfection. However, this can also add to your anxiety and leave feeling you tired and stressed out at the end. Prevent this by delegating tasks so that you can concentrate on doing your job more efficiently.

Avoid Procrastination

Every now and then, we all have the tendency of postponing tasks with the intention of doing them later — but this is a stressful situation waiting to happen. Rather than delaying, it is better that you delegate the task — so you can stay on track and on schedule.

Take a Break

Taking time off is necessary to rejuvenate your mind and senses. It provides you with much-needed time to relax and let go of things. Everyone needs time off. You may think that you can't afford to. But can you afford not to?

Hint: the answer is no. Take a vacation.

Learn To Say ‘No'

Don't be tempted to give in to taking on projects or jobs that you do not have the time for or those that fall outside your scope. Instead focus only on those that will promote the growth of your business. It is not a crime to say ‘no' — especially when you feel overloaded.

The key to preventing stress is to recognize potentially stressful situations before they arise.