Hey, it’s kind of a great place to be in, right? If you’re overwhelmed it shows you’re busy and busy means business is going well, so high five!
But as a business owner – and I know this as well as anyone with managing my Addison’s disease and recurring pituitary tumours – overwhelm can be hugely detrimental to health, wealth and wellbeing so it needs to be sorted out before we burn out.
One of my mentees recently asked how they can manage overwhelm as they’re at the point where everything they want to do in their own business is stacking up and that’s just creating even more overwhelm. Urgh.
So, here are eight things I suggested and it’s what works for me:
Shut it away
Keep everything in one place that I want to do in my business. It’s a separate note book that can be put away and isn’t always in my line of sight. And, hey, we all need an excuse to buy an extra notebook.
Is it business critical?
Remind yourself that it all gets done eventually, so unless it’s really urgent, like business critical, I will not allow it to stress me out. Easier said than done you might think, but give it a try. Perhaps you want to create a lead magnet for your business so you can grow your email list. Look, doing it in a week or two isn’t going to have any detrimental affect on your business, so it doesn’t need doing today.
Set boundaries and expectations
Stick to your own boundaries with clients; times, preferred methods of contact, etc and never let that waiver. Have separate spaces for them and separate spaces for you. For example, I only communicate with clients via email, a dedicated Facebook group or something like Voxer. Whatsapp is for family and friends and if anyone messages me on there to do with business it’ll be forgotten, so they’re asked to email me instead.
No free phone calls
I never accept phone calls unless they’re booked in, ever! Phone calls are a massive time zap in my opinion, as opposed to emails. With calls you have the problem of having to stop what you were doing, go through the ‘how are you / how was your weekend’ and all the awkward small talk before they get to the point, then you have to get back into what you were doing before the interruption, which typically takes about 23 minutes (something like that anyway – I talk more about this in my second bestseller, The 20% Rule). With emails you can just focus on the issues / question and address it in your own time. I charge for any calls if they’re not part of any service I provide. This is also stated in my terms for clarity. It’s amazing how many people suddenly don’t need to phone you when they know it’s going to cost them more!
This is THE most important one… Allocate time to work on your own business – Thursdays is my time, for two hours, during a co-working session I host for my members and mentees and make sure that time is spent completely on my business, no one else’s. Once you’ve decided a time / day you’re going to dedicate to getting your stuff done, you must NOT ever give this time to someone else, you do it once and you’ll do it again. Pop it in your email signature now that you are not available between X and X on this day as you’ll be working on your own business. Your business, your rules, remember.
Stick to your boundaries
Second most important thing… Stick to your own boundaries and rules. You must be strong and strict. If you let someone get away with something once you’re telling them its okay. If you tell them from the off that it’s not okay – obviously need to be kinder than that – they won’t do it again. This is also why it’s best to have it in your terms.
I only revisit my own to do list on my dedicated day (Thursdays) and sometimes I think ‘I don’t need to do that now, cus I am taking a different direction’ or ‘Bloody hell, I’ve done that’ and that happens because I was realistic from the start and didn’t think everything had to be done urgently or right away.
Lastly, when you’re ready, think about what can be outsourced to someone else. I know it’s hard, but there comes a time when it needs to happen. I have a fabulous black book of service based business owners who can help with most things, so if you’re ready to outsource or need some help doing so then book a Power Hour with me here and we’ll get things sorted.
Look after yourself! Without you there is no business.