As a small business owner, it’s common to feel scattered, unfocused, and overwhelmed.
You juggle so many projects, tasks, and responsibilities, it would be a miracle if you didn’t feel overwhelmed some of the time!
But, this doesn’t mean you need to stay stuck in those moments of overwhelm.
In fact, there are even steps you can take to avoid overwhelm in your business through planning and having a process.
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.
Set Realistic and Firm Boundaries
In my experience, this is something many, many business owners really struggle with.
We get into the habit of working, giving, responding and helping nearly 24/7…whenever the need arises.
The problem with helping people unquestioningly (while admirable), is twofold:
- You are training people how to treat you (and people will understandably take as much as you’ll give), 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.For this reason, it’s SO important to set realistic, firm boundaries around your time and resources.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.
Establish Systems for Recurring Tasks in your Business
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! You then avoid overwhelm in your business by planning.
For more on this, check out my post, How to Systematize Your Small Business to Have More Freedom and Flexibility.
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 1-3-5 lists.
They work like this: Choose 1 big goal, 3 medium goals, and 5 small goals you want to accomplish.
These can be personal or professional tasks, and this process will give you actionable goals you can work towards and then cross off your list.
Have a Plan for Removing Distractions and Staying Focused
The first thing I had you do 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!
One of my favorite methods for staying uber-focused and on-task is the Pomodoro Technique.
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 help to reduce wasted time, help you practice better time management skills, and just generally make you much more focused and 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 if You Make a Plan
Hopefully, this post has shown you that you can avoid overwhelming 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.