There's an intense creature lurking in your office. You know him well. He's the overwhelm monster. He can make you feel anxious, irritable, suffocated, panicked... and you'd give anything to kick his tushie out of your space.
Running your own business means wearing a lot of different hats. With so many tasks to juggle you can easily wind up stressed and scattered. And that's a big problem because those feelings impact your ability to thrive in your business. The key? Learn some strategies that support you accomplishing far more each and every day.
Here are 5 quick ways you can work smarter:
It is really important to create a work environment that allows you to focus. Close extra browser windows, turn off email notifications, silence your phone (yes, for real!). If you immerse yourself without distractions you will accomplish far more than if your mind flits between tasks.
Find yourself resistant to the idea? It's understandable. We are so used to "being on" all the time, reachable anytime. It's okay to cocoon yourself and let productivity happen without distraction. Allow yourself the permission to do it.
Break Goals Down
I hear so many business owners declare "I want to make 6 figures" or "I want to book 20 clients a month." Depending on where your business is at, such goals can be utterly immobilizing.
It all goes back to the reptilian brain. Extreme change, whether positive or negative, creates a fear response. If your goal is too far from where you're at, your body goes into fight or flight mode. The ultimate result? Your fear response will paralyze you.
So break goals down, think small. Start with a goal of $2,000 income a month or 1 client a week. Break bigger projects down into sizable chunks: Instead of write a blog post, split it up into "create outline, write a headline, find a great image", etc. You'll reach your goals far more quickly and feel much less overwhelm in the process.
In small business there will always be far more tasks to accomplish in a given day than humanly possible. The first step is accepting that fact and learning to be okay with it. Be gentle on yourself. You will never solve the problem of too much to do even if you bring on extra help. You simply need to learn how to manage it.
So how do you do it? Create a list of tasks (remember: keep them narrow and focused) and then select your top 2-3 most pressing tasks to work on each day. Focus on just those 2-3 tasks for the day. If you have extra time, great! If you don't, no problem. There's always tomorrow. You will accomplish far more when you focus on less each day.
Put Things Away
Okay, okay, this tip might drudge up memories of your mom telling you to clean your room... but it's important! Gretchin Rubin, author of The Happiness Project talks about how outer order creates inner calm. It's so true. Ever notice how spas are always immaculate and minimalist in decor? Order soothes us. And it matters just as much in your business as anywhere else.
Take those few extra moments to save a computer file in the right folder, print and file your business invoices and keep your desk clear. The energy of an organized space will fuel your productivity and reduce frazzle. Promise. It is absolutely worth every minute of effort (and this is coming from someone born without the organizational gene!)
When you have a dentist appointment or trip to the hair salon booked you make it there. Sure, you are accountable to someone else, but you get there because it's scheduled.
Apply the same principal to your business. It could be picking a regular day and time of the week to batch create social media posts, review your business numbers, or write content. Regularly schedule time into your week for specific tasks and stick to it. When you know there are dedicated time frames to focus on certain tasks, you will feel less panicked about everything on your plate.
Follow these five strategies and you will notice a huge transformation in how much you accomplish everyday. The momentum from your increased productivity will continually push your business forward. Huge score!
Tell me in the comments below, what do you find helps you stay on track?
Want to see better results in your business? Snag a copy of my Daily Tracker - the key to ensuring you take action to move your business forward everyday. Click here to receive your copy as part of my free mini-course on turning your knowledge and insight into a profitable e-course.