It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to work themselves into a whirlwind of stress and anxiety. For some, it’s a normal state of activities. For others, the stress of running a business and figuring out what to do next can be suffocating and paralyzing. You can’t get much done like this. You have to fight your way from under it all and come out with a clear mind and a plan to keep thriving in your business and life.
The good news is that you don’t have to fall victim to overwhelm. Here are five simple steps that I take to keep myself and my business running smoothly.
Simplify. Pare things down and determine what is important and what’s not as important. Rid yourself of unrealistic expectations. Much of the stress we experience as business owners is self-imposed. You have all these grand ideas and tight deadlines (a recipe for a disaster) without a plan or people to help you execute effectively. You may want to write a new book, design a shoe line, and record six new videos for your upcoming course—all this in 30 days.
Okay, take a deep breath, have a seat…let’s work through this… While all of your ideas are great, you just have to decide what is most important to finish first. Which project can you do now and use it to gain momentum for the rest of them? Prioritize your plans and give yourself room to finish. Can you finish a book in 30 days? Yes. My clients do it often. You can also record six new videos and depending on your connections, you may even design a shoe line in the time frame. The key is taking one task and focusing your attention there first. I always suggest working on profitable projects first, so that you can make money even while you’re continuing to build.
Strategize. Use your journal to sort out your thoughts and plans. Clear your head on paper by doing a brain dump. Write down every nagging project that comes to mind. List it all out so that you can see what needs to get done. Then you can start strategizing a plan on how to accomplish your tasks. I use my Success Journal to brain dump, clear my mind at night and rewrite my goals. I do it then because I don’t want my thoughts and pending projects to prevent me from sleeping well. By getting everything out on paper, I am able to organize and delegate and plan on paper. I want you to try this exercise for a week.
When you’re done, prioritizing and planning, partner with someone to discuss what you’ve come up with. I usually meet with my assistant to discuss my strategy. Together we brainstorm it further, make adjustments and move forward putting my plan in action. If you don’t have an assistant, talk with someone you trust about your business plans. Everyone needs a sounding board, talking things out helps you to also get more clear about your intentions.
Systematize. Get yourself into a systematic routine. The lack of systems is one of the biggest causes of chaos and confusion in your day. You need systems for everything to run smoothly. With systems in place, you can hire help and put them to work easily. You can also keep yourself on track when you have systems in place. For example, we have a system for my newsletter and blog. It is sent every week on Thursday, I have a list of blog topics to choose from in advance so that the content is written and ready to go by the end of the week.
Some business owners have a hard time getting back on track after the holidays or a vacation. However, if you put systems in play, you’ll step back into a smooth operation with ease. I create systems for everything in my life: packing, grocery shopping, developing content, event planning, sales, and marketing, etc. Once you’ve figured out a formula that works, write it down in steps so that you can repeat it again or share with someone else and still get your desired results.
Good systems keep you focused as well. It will stop you from cluttering your day with unnecessary tasks. Stick to your routine and trust the process to get consistent results.
Here are a few things you can do…
• Set a day to send your marketing emails.
• Set a day for your newsletter.
• Block off time for daily sales calls.
• Block off time for balancing your books.
Start Now. Don’t over-think the process. Eliminate the self-imposed barriers that stop you from moving forward. I’ve talked with clients who thought they couldn’t market on social media without a website; or felt they needed to write a book before starting a blog, or needed to research their field for six more months before marketing their services. These are just excuses that get you discouraged and overwhelmed because you think you have to accomplish one more big thing in order to do what you should be doing in the first place.
When I started my coaching business. I had my basic website in place and a mailing list that I converted to an email list. Then I just jumped out there and opened for business. I had to make many adjustments along the way. I learned a lot from my customers, clients, and hands on experience. I got better and better as time went on. If I had waited for all the knowledge I have now to start my business…I wouldn’t be in business to this day.
Get out of your own way. Do that one thing that is immediate and next for you to get closer to reaching your goals. Don’t overthink it, don’t add to it…just take the next step.
See Your Way Out. Visualize your outcome with daily morning meditation. I use the visualization pages in the Success Journal to create a big picture of what my week will look like. The act of creating my vision page brings so much into focus for me. From getting clear on what I want to happen to finding the images that match my goals, it all comes together in a uniform way. Once I am done, the vision board inspires me and gives me a sense of accomplishment, because I know what to expect and focus on in the days ahead. I often do my vision pages on Sunday afternoons, it’s the perfect time, when the house is quiet and I have a moment to just focus on my goals and nothing else.
Save yourself from a paralyzing attack of overwhelm by implementing these 5 steps into your weekly routine. You’ll be so much more empowered to succeed and live stress-free.
Do you use The Success Journal for your business and life? Share below your thoughts on these steps and the tools in the comments!