As a small business owner, it’s common to feel scattered, unfocused, and over-extended. It seems like it's impossible to avoid overwhelm in your business.
You juggle so many projects, tasks, and responsibilities, it would be a miracle if you didn’t feel that way some of the time!
But, this doesn’t mean you need to stay stuck in those moments of overwhelm.
In fact, there are many steps you can take to avoid overwhelm in your business through planning and having a process.
Strategies to Avoid Overwhelm in Your Business
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how you can grow your business and avoid personal and professional overwhelm through careful organization.
1. Set Realistic and Firm Boundaries
In my experience, this is something so many business owners really struggle with.
We get into the habit of working, giving, responding, and helping nearly 24/7—whenever the need arises.
While admirable, the problem with helping people unquestioningly is twofold:
- You are training people how to treat you, and
- This will make you a prime candidate for burnout.
For this reason, it’s SO important to set realistic, firm boundaries around your time and resources.It’s SO important to set realistic, firm boundaries around your time and resources so you do not burnout.Click To Tweet
Some ways to do this include:
- Having set office hours, even if you work from home
- Turning off email and social media notifications outside of work hours
- Having set times during the workday when you check and respond to emails
- Deciding how much help and advice you want to offer for free, and where it crosses the line into paid help…and then clearly communicating this to your clients.
2. Establish Systems for Recurring Tasks
Having systems in place for your day-to-day tasks and procedures will go a long way to avoid overwhelm in your business.
Once you have systems in place for these tasks, it becomes much easier to hand them off to your team members or to an outside contractor.
Systems also significantly reduce wasted time spent trying to figure out how a process works, or who should be doing it, or when it should be done.Systems significantly reduce wasted time spent trying to figure out how a process works, or who should be doing it, or when it should be done.Click To Tweet
Instead, you and your team are free to simply follow the processes and systems you already have in place. Here, you avoid overwhelm in your business by planning out your processes.
For more guidance on how to create systems in your business, check out my post, How to Systematize Your Small Business to Have More Freedom and Flexibility.
3. Use 1-3-5 Lists to Set and Crush Goals
I’m all for to-do lists, but sometimes it helps to give your lists a little more structure.
This is why I like the app 1-3-5 lists.
It works like this: Choose 1 big task, 3 medium tasks, and 5 small tasks you want to accomplish. That’s it.
This is a helpful method to prioritize the work that needs to get done every day. And it's better than a typical to-do list because it forces you to be super intentional. And I am a big fan of only doing work that matters to achieving my goals. No one should be doing unnecessary work.
4. Have a Plan for Removing Distractions and Staying Focused
The first strategy I shared was to set some clear and firm boundaries around when you’re going to work.
Unfortunately, unless you’re also minimizing your distractions while you work, your office hours may not be all that productive. EEK!
One of my favorite techinques for staying uber-focused and on-task is the Pomodoro Method.
Here’s how it works: Start by deciding which specific task you want to get done (grab one from your 1-3-5 list!). It could be writing a blog post, cleaning up your inbox, making some phone calls—whatever.
Now set a timer for 25 minutes, and work steadily during those 25 minutes.
Sounds easy, right?
The key, however, is that during those 25 minutes you will ONLY work on that one task, and you will work your little heart out!
No checking email, no web browsing, no social media, no answering phone calls—nothing.
This process will has the following benefits:
- reduce wasted time
- improve your time management skills
- enhance your focus
- increase your efficiency
Though this practice, you'll become so much more productive!The Pomodoro Technique will help to reduce wasted time, help you practice better time management skills, and just generally make you much more focused and productive!Click To Tweet
You Can Reduce Your Overwhelm in Your Business if You Make a Plan
Hopefully, this post has shown you that you can avoid overwhelm in your business through planning.
Feeling overwhelmed from time to time is inevitable, but coming up with some proactive strategies can greatly reduce how often those feelings of overwhelm occur.
I’d love to know: Are you feeling overwhelmed in your business right now? How can I help? Let me know in the comments below!
UPDATED on March 22, 2021