Do you love chaos? How about stress? Anxiety? Feeling overwhelmed and out of control? Probably not, and yet, most small business owners and entrepreneurs experience those feelings on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Can you relate? Do you feel like your business is often running you instead of the other way around? Does your dream of growing your business seem hopeless because the stress of simply maintaining it is often too much to handle? The ever so delicate balance of maintaining your sanity and growing your business can be challenging but implementing simple strategies can help you achieve that elusive balance. Start using those strategies today to foster the growth of your business and reduce your stress.

Clarity

You must have a good grasp of what you want to accomplish before you set out to achieve success. As Steven Covey says, “You must begin with the end in mind.” If you don’t know where you are heading, any new, shiny object/project/opportunity/app/ program will look like a great thing to spend your time and energy on, which means more responsibilities leading to more stress.

Having clarity is all about big vision thinking. What are your long term goals? How do you want your life and business to look in X years? Your goals should be true to your desires. Write them down but don’t get caught up in semantics. Just be as descriptive as necessary in order to visualize accomplishing each goal and read through your goals as a daily affirmation every morning. Saving your goals on your phone is a great idea because you’ll have access to them wherever you go, which can help you stay on track. Having clarity on where you want to go is necessary to figure out how to get there.

Plan

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry put it, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Stop just wishing and start planning because both passion and clearly defined goals alone will not help you attain success. Break your larger goals up into smaller projects and prioritize them in order of importance. Doing so will enable you to reduce stress and not feel overwhelmed with all that needs to get done. Focus on one project at a time and move on to the next only when your current project reaches maintenance mode status.

Plan well into the future so you won’t have to deal with any surprise deadlines for time-intensive projects. It’s smart to schedule large projects for specific durations on your calendar after prioritizing them. Some projects may be only a week long, others an entire quarter. The strategy works because when any new shiny object/project/opportunity/app/program comes your way, you can weigh its importance against the project planned for that timeframe and your overall goals. Even though planned projects usually win, it is worth filtering every attractive opportunity.

Sometimes, reprioritizing is necessary and that is ok!

You should also plan to accomplish your goals one project at a time instead of haphazardly wasting your time and energy on fruitless projects with little return on your investment. You have a finite amount of energy and time so refuse to spread yourself thin over multiple projects. Slow down, plan ahead, and stay focused so you can advance your business without needing to pull your hair out.

Eliminate (D List)

Running a business is complicated and more demanding than any one person can handle. Simply put, you cannot do everything yourself and expect to grow your business stressfree. Accumulating responsibilities without having more time will inevitably affect the quality of your business and your mental stability. Something always has to give each time you add more to your plate, be it your sanity, customer service, product quality, or family time.

What is the first thing that goes when your plate is overly full? You need to eliminate responsibilities to clear the way for new ones that arise. Otherwise, you will not be eager to take on new projects that you know will successfully grow your business. Your natural reaction will be to avoid them because you are already overwhelmed. Create a D List which is simply a list of tasks you can either delete or delegate at no expense to your business. Follow through with eliminating those unnecessary tasks off your plate or assigning them to others to complete.

Execute

Schedule time on your calendar to execute the projects that will grow your business. Perhaps you need only an hour a day or maybe three hours twice a week. The key is to hold those scheduled blocks sacred so you can use that time to implement change and catapult your business forward. There will always be something else going on or someone else requesting your time. Respect your commitments to yourself so you can execute your plans to grow your business. Establishing clarity on your goals, planning a course of action on how you’re going to achieve them, eliminating that which you can delete or delegate, and executing your plan for success will noticeably reduce your stress and grow your business.

Implementing those strategies takes commitment but the result is worth it! Make the effort to consistently execute the high priority projects that are imperative to your success so you can reduce your stress while growing your business. Get my Top Ten Time Maximizers to save time and grow your business, visit TimeMaximizers.com.