Think back to when you first dreamed of running your own business. You likely knew you’d face obstacles getting it started and have plenty of hurdles to overcome. Did you foresee, though, the massive amount of stress you’d experience managing day to day operations years later? Are you now doing just what you absolutely have to do to get by, because the idea of growing your business seems totally overwhelming?
You are not alone. Many entrepreneurs can relate to the juggling act in which one pin after another keeps dropping, throwing them even more off balance. They’re so exhausted from juggling all of their tasks that finishing successfully seems hopeless. Have you considered giving up your act? Well, don’t! The delicate balance of maintaining your sanity while growing your business is challenging, but attainable. Following these simple steps can help you achieve the elusive balance of advancing your business without increasing your stress:
It is essential to have clarity into what you want to accomplish before setting out to achieve success. Otherwise, any new shiny object/project/opportunity/app/ program will look like a great thing to spend your time and energy on. Without a solid definition of what success means to you, you would jump from one unfinished project to the next and get nowhere, which causes unneeded mental clutter and stress.
Having clarity is 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 and be as descriptive as necessary, in order to visualize achieving each goal. Read your goals as a daily affirmation every morning to help you stay on track toward accomplishing them.
A goal without a plan never leads to action. The first step in planning how you will accomplish your goals is to break larger goals up into smaller projects. Then, prioritize them in order of importance. This strategy will help you feel less overwhelmed by all that needs to get done, so you can advance your business without feeling the need to pull your hair out.
Plan well into the future by scheduling projects for specific durations on your calendar. Some projects may be only a week long, others an entire quarter. Planning a project timeline will enable you to visualize along the lines of a theme. You can then weigh any task’s importance against the thematic project planned for that timeframe and your overall goals. It is worth filtering every opportunity and reprioritizing may be necessary.
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, stay focused, and move on to the next project only when your current one reaches maintenance mode status.
Eliminate (D List)
Running a business is, quite simply, demanding. You cannot do everything yourself and expect to grow your business stress-free. Accumulating responsibilities without having more time will inevitably affect the quality of your business and your stress level. Something always has to give each time you add more to your plate, be it your sanity, customer service, product quality or family time.
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 list of tasks you can either delete or delegate at no expense to your business. Follow through with eliminating those unnecessary tasks from your plate or assigning them to others to complete.
If you spend all your time micromanaging your employees, working on administrative tasks, attending meetings, etc., you will never achieve the business growth you desire. You absolutely have to spend time executing priority projects! Whether you need only an hour a day or four hours three times a week, schedule time on your calendar to work on them. Respect those commitments to yourself just as you would an important client. There will always be something else going on or someone else requesting your time. Hold those scheduled blocks of time sacred, so you can implement change and catapult your business forward.
Long-term success never comes easy. Finding clarity about your goals, planning how to achieve them, eliminating unnecessary tasks and executing your plan for success are great strategies that work, but not on their own. The keys are commitment and consistency. Consistently execute high-priority projects that are imperative to your success and you will undoubtedly reduce your stress, while growing your business. Supercharge your productivity with my top time maximizers at www.TimeMaximizers.com