We all know owning a business is not easy and owning a service based business that requires your direct time, focus, and energy is even harder. But I’m here to tell you, it’s 100% worth it if you can find ways to manage the stress and overwhelm that come with being a #bossbabe.
I’ll be honest, there WILL be days that you have 3 clients emailing you “urgent” tasks, clients calling you/texting you before you sit down at your desk, an email inbox with 50 emails that need to be tackled, not to mention your own business tasks you need to tackle such as website updates, inquiry responses, and invoicing/expense management. It can be a lot!
So how do we avoid overwhelm when it all seems to be overwhelming?
- To-do lists
- Time management
You may be wondering, “What in the world do you mean by automation?”.
Automation is taking anything that would have to be done by hand and making it happen automatically. Automating some of your reoccurring tasks or to-dos will free up space in your mind and to-do list for other, possibly more important things you need to take on.
What can be automated?
- Paying bills
- Task Management – do you have reoccurring tasks that happen every week? Stop having to remember to write them down every week by using project management software such as Asana and create reoccurring tasks.
- Client Requests – use an integration software, like Zapier, to automatically integrate tasks from your email accounts to your project management software. You will have a self-producing to-do list ready to go every day.
Anything that can eliminate a step of you having to remember to do something will save you time and energy. This can lift a huge weight off your shoulders.
Do I even have to say it? Write your shit down! Create a brain dump. Get it out of your head and onto paper.
How many times a day do you have the, “Shoot! I can’t forget to do [insert task]?” moment but don’t actually write down the task? Think of how much unnecessary stress you are putting on yourself by asking yourself to continue to remember that task? Why not get it out of your brain and on to paper? You will feel so much better once it’s written down so you won’t forget.
Every night before you shut down work for the day write a list of everything you need to do the next day, and I mean EVERYTHING. Even if it’s 20 tasks long, just write it down. The next morning, when you sit down to get working. Prioritize those tasks in to a top 5, “I must get these done today” tasks, a next 5 “I should get these done today, but if I don’t the world won’t stop”, and then the remaining 5-10 tasks are “I could do these, but I don’t have to today”.
As long as you finish those top 5 tasks, you’ve had a fantastic day. If you can get some of the next 5 tasks done, you’ve had a super fantastic day! And think of all the satisfaction you’ll feel when you start checking off those boxes.
Time management is also in the duh category when it comes to avoiding overwhelm, but I think it’s something that’s super important to discuss over and over again. When you work for yourself, there is no one standing over you making sure you stay on task and on time. This is solely up to you.
Things like social media, internet surfing, and other mindless, time-wasting tasks can be a huge time suck when you aren’t intentional about how you are spending your time.
Just as you write out your to-dos the night before, write out your schedule for the next day as well. Be super detailed with how you are going to spend your time and make sure you schedule in everything. When are you going to wake up? Do you have a workout scheduled? What time are you going to break for lunch? What time is intentional business building time? How many hours do you have to devote to client work? Do you have any client calls scheduled? Write it all down.
When you write down your schedule, we are significantly more likely to stick to it then if we just fly by the seat of our pants. And trust me, I know days can go haywire and things can get out of your control. But when you have a plan in place, it makes it that much easier to get back in control when things are out of control.
Overwhelm is often simply a feeling of when we are not in control of our tasks, to-dos, and schedule. When we have a plan in place to streamline these, it makes the chances of us getting overwhelmed that much lower.
But what do you do, when you actually have 3 clients calling/emailing you at the same time with requests that absolutely MUST be done RIGHT NOW?
Stop. Pause. Breathe.
Obviously, we are only human and can only do one thing at a time. So, we must make decisions. What can you get done the quickest? What may seem like an urgent task but can actually be done later today? And what just might have to be done later?
Whatever the answers are, be honest and upfront with your clients. If you know you simply can’t get the work done in a quality way today, tell them that. Don’t avoid the work because you are afraid of telling them you can’t complete it. Honesty is the best policy and will get you far.
Chances are they will understand and let you know you can complete it tomorrow. Or, they will find another way to complete the task.
A good policy to follow: I cannot guarantee a task received with less than 24 hours notice will get completed. Try it, I think you’ll really like it.
Have you downloaded my FREE 31 Day Guide to Opening Your Work-at-Home Business? In it, we discuss how to set up your business and how to actually get paid for working from home. CLICK HERE to download.