Patience is a virtue. And a necessary skill if you’re hoping to lead your team to success. If you’re a manager who could do with a little help improving their patience, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a hot-headed boss looking for a way to solve problems calmly, or an excitable entrepreneur who can’t make themselves wait, here’s how to be more patient: a guide for impatient managers.
What is Patience
Patience is the ability to endure problems or a delay in something without getting annoyed or worried. It’s persevering through difficult circumstances or tolerating something/someone without getting fed up. For example, patience is needed in circumstances such as waiting in a queue, waiting for someone to arrive, working with others and managing a team or business.
All of these skills are necessary for successful managers as life is unpredictable – things do go wrong and you will need to stay dedicated to your end goal.
Top Tips for Being More Patient
To help you out, here are our top tips for being a more patient manager or boss at work.
- Don't Wait Around
As a business owner or manager, waiting around is probably one of your least favourite things – whether that’s work related or not – as it feels that you’re wasting time being unproductive. But even if you are waiting for something, that doesn’t mean you can’t multitask!
Catch up with emails on your phone while you’re in a queue, read a book on entrepreneurship – do something that makes time go faster that’s also really productive and beneficial to your development. That way, it’s not wasted time!
- Break Things Down
If you’re working on a large project, it can be easy to lose patience and get distracted. Break things down into bitesize pieces to make this easier for yourself, and for your team. Not only does this stop the dreaded beast procrastination in its tracks, it can also stop you from feeling stressed once those deadlines start to hit.
To do this:
• Split the task into different parts
• Assign the tasks to the relevant people (if it’s not yourself completing the task)
• Create a timeline for completing the tasks with reasonable deadlines
• Schedule time out of your day to work on completing the tasks
• Review the final project when finished
- Understand Your Triggers
What’s the one thing that really irritates you? By identifying what it is that really bugs you, you can start to think about ways to recognise your trigger and how to overcome it.
The next time you start to feel irritated, stop everything that you’re doing. Take a minute to work out why you’re so worked up – is it happening now? Was it something that happened this morning? Once you know what it is, it’s easy to stop it in its tracks and come up with a rational solution.
- Distract Yourself
It’s easy to get down, angry or upset when you’ve lost your patience, but you have two options for dealing with it: you can sit there feeling sorry for yourself, or you can channel that energy into something positive. Focus on a different task, even if it’s just to distract yourself until you’ve calmed down.
- Find Healthy Ways to Reduce Tension
Developing healthy habits won’t stop you from losing your rag completely, but they can help you manage your problems more clearly and easily. Here are a few stress-busting tasks for tackling tension.
The oldest trick in the book, but an unbeatable way of helping yourself relax, exercise is the number one way to beat the stress. As well as improving your physical health, exercise also benefits your mental wellbeing because it gives you a way to set and achieve goals and raise your self-esteem.
Connect with People
You’ve got a pretty stressful job, which is why it’s important to release some of this tension during your free time by catching up with friends and family. A good support network can help you when you need someone to turn to and to relax and have a good laugh!
Set Time Aside for You
Having a bit of ‘me’ time (i.e. not working) is another way to ensure the boiling pot that is your stress level doesn’t bubble over. Try and set aside 2 nights a week for some quality time away from work.
- Try Some Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathe in. Breathe out. Notice a difference already? Your breath is a powerful tool for reducing stress and the best bit is you can practise this technique anytime, anywhere in just a few minutes.
Here’s a quick breathing exercise to try out the next time you get stressed:
• Sit comfortably in your chair, with your head, back and shoulders resting on the back of the chair
• Slowly breathe in through your nose until you feel like your belly is filled with air
• Breathe out through your nose to release the air
• For the next breath, place one hand on your belly and your other on your chest
• As you breathe in, feel your belly rise, then fall as you breath out
• Repeat until you feel calm
- Make Yourself Wait
Instant gratification might seem like the best option at the time, but studies suggest that delaying your reaction and making yourself wait can actually make the reward seem even better!
One of the best ways to practice patience is to get into a habit of waiting. We recommend starting small – put off grabbing for the biscuit tin for another 10 minutes, wait an hour before checking your work emails during your time off. The more you instil this behaviour into your everyday life, the more you’ll find yourself applying it to your work and other irritating situations you might be faced with.
Wait for it…
You’ve just shown great patience by reaching the end of this blog! Apply everything you’ve learnt in the last few minutes to your work and home life and you’ll have the patience of a saint in no time. While you’re here, why not check out these 7 habits of people who never get stressed for even more inspiration?