At some point many of us entrepreneurs are bound to hit a moment of overwhelm in our businesses. We are multi-talented, multi-passionate and wear all of the hats, all the time. This pressure can, at times, get a little bit too much and can leave us feeling like we are not making progress in any direction.
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My Top 3 Tips on Beating Overwhelm and Taking Action
I have been in this situation myself very recently. I have a good client base and a steady amount of work coming in, but I was spending every waking minute working on client jobs. My clients are happy, but I am not. I am working in my business not on my business. I felt like I’m not making progress and taking things further. It was starting to get me down. I couldn’t fall asleep for fear of not getting my stuff done, I used to wake up in a sweat, I couldn’t focus on the future of my business or my day job. People were starting to notice. I had to stop.
When my staff reach a moment of overwhelm, I always tell them: “Stop, Look and Listen”. It was time I finally took my own advice.
In my group of business buddies I’m quite well known for getting myself out of situations like this. I have had many tricky moments over the past year but also used some key strategies to dig myself out and turn things around.
Here are the 3 key steps I take when overwhelm hits me.
1. Brain Dump
The first thing I recommend is taking the biggest piece of paper you have (a roll of wallpaper is great) and doing a brain dump of everything that is circling round in your mind. As the ideas come to mind, I like to categorise them. I prefer a big list or mind map layout depending on how complex my thoughts are. I do this once every few months to make sure I’m still on track and then hang my work up in my office where I can see it and reflect on it.
Once you have everything that’s been keeping you up at night on one piece of paper, I recommend you take some time to look at what you’ve got there. Think about the next 3 months. What would you like to achieve? Where would you like to be at the end of that time? I like to write 3 goals on the bottom of that piece of paper (Remember to keep it SMART). I then highlight all of the tasks to would take me closer to achieving those goals and I sort of “forget” about the rest. When you are multi-passionate it can be particularly hard to be focussed and this is going to hold you back a little.
After the last brain dump I decided that I wanted to focus on putting the foundations in place to be able to grow and scale my business. I wanted to focus on creating consistent branding, creating content and engaging on social media. The 3 months are nearly up and I’m pleased with the progress here so far.
3. Take Action
This is a key step, but it’s also the one that we most often forget about. Planning is great, but after planning comes action. You have now eliminated loads of tasks from your to-do list, so you should have plenty of brain space to focus on those things that you NEED to do to reach your goal. This is the moment where I like to look at what can be done when – and whether it’s me that needs to be doing it.
So let’s take my focus from my last brain dump as an example. The key areas for me were Branding, Content and Social Media – with the focus being “foundations for scaling my business”.
First of all, why were these even important to me? As I said above I’m quite good at taking action. When I started my business I had an idea, I implemented, found clients and went to work. No planning at all went into branding etc., so this meant that my brand is non-existent. If I want to grow and scale my business I need to fix this. Be recognisable. Be Me. I also wanted to create content that really helps people. I have loads of knowledge to share with my clients, but I wanted to share it with you too. I needed content to promote on social media and help with getting more traffic to my site. Hence why this became a priority to me. Social Media became my focus as I didn’t have time to engage with people and build relationships which is what my business relies on.
It’s now nearly time for me to repeat the above process. Doing so regularly helps me to not reach the state of total overwhelm and I always achieve what I set out to do when I plan in this way.
Comment below and tell me about your top tips for beating business overwhelm. I would love to know.
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