Managing your time and staying focused as a business owner can be difficult at times.
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I don’t know about you, but there are times where I can feel so overwhelmed in my business it’s then led onto procrastination. And on those days, I sit in my home office at the end of the day and think ‘what have I actually done today? What have I achieved?’ When you realise, not much at all, the guilt sets in. Then the whole cycle of , ‘what a waste of a day’ comes up, then you’re hard on yourself for not having done anything and you think of all the things you could have done. Then it’s a case of – ‘I’ll just have to try and be better tomorrow. I’ll have to try and catch up’.
Have you ever felt this way? I know I have.
This happened a lot for me last year, but it wasn’t due to overwhelm. It was due to grief. I was completely frozen. My mind didn’t want to compute at all or kick into gear to do anything and at one point I was like this for a couple of months. Then the guilt really set in.
I felt guilty every day because I felt like I was letting people down when I ‘should’ have been doing more.
I soon fond out that grief can come out in so many different ways – ones that you may not expect and this was one way for me. At one point I thought I was going mad because I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get anything done. I was coming into my home office every single day, sitting at my desk ready to get stuff done, and I couldn’t. The maximum I could do was send a couple of emails and then I just sat there and procrastinated for the whole day. Or it felt like it anyway.
It was only when I spoke to my grief counsellor that she said that this was normal. I felt so relieved and it lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. So then I had to keep reminding myself of that when I wasn’t feeling productive and I was still a bit frozen.
I kept saying to myself, this is normal. It’s going to pass. It’s just going take a bit of time. This is temporary. Just be patient Hollie, just be patient.
I was doing all of those things, reminding myself of all these different things, but at the same time, I was also very conscious that clients needed to be served. So I got savvy with how I served. Even when I felt frozen and I was so aware of this feeling as well, I found that if I pushed myself and I just did one thing, and no matter how hard and difficult it felt just to get started, I did. And I found that once I got started, I was actually fine to keep going. It was actually just the initial getting out of the box and getting going, that was the most difficult part for me.
So even though this is my perspective on time management, overwhelm and procrastination from a grief perspective, I wanted to share that with you to remind you to be kind to yourself when you’re finding yourself procrastinating and finding yourself overwhelmed and frozen. There’s a reason why. You’re not going mad. And for me, being told that it was normal really did lift a huge weight from my shoulders.
A few other things that may help you, if you ever feel like this too, where you’re procrastinating and you feel so overwhelmed, but actually you really need to get stuff done in your business, and get focused and stay focused as well is just get started. No matter how hard, no matter how difficult it feels, just do it.
You’ve got to push through because once you do push through that initial big barrier, where it’s like a big brick wall standing up in front of you and you just can’t get past it, things will get easier.
Other things that can help you stay focused so that you actually get things done in your business when the overwhelm is fully there and fully present:
- Turn all distractions off, including your social media. That is the biggest distraction ever, right?
- Put your phone on airplane mode (if you can) because it literally turns you off from the whole world so that you can actually stay focused and get stuff done.
- Set an intention of what you want to achieve by the end of the day.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many things. Choose two to three key tasks and do those and just get really focused on the task at hand as well.
- Look at outsourcing tasks.
- Give the Pomodoro technique a go. You might find that you can smash through your to-do list in half the time you estimated.
- Go work in a different environment, like a coffee shop, a local library.
- Look at when you are at your most productive and what time of day this is and take advantage of it. If you’re an early bird, what can you do before 9am that is going to make you feel really good and productive? The same if you are a night owl. No one ever said running a business had to be nine till five. It’s your business. You can choose when you work. Nobody else needs to dictate the hours that you work. You can choose to work when you want to work. Obviously work around your other commitments, but do what works for you and what feels good for you as well. That is the whole point. And yes, it might take a bit of trial and error, but once you find what works for you, great, go for it.
Another thing you can do is look at your time and how you use it because running a business can be fun.
It can be playful and exciting. It doesn’t have to be tiring, stressful, and overwhelming all of the time. And that’s the thing is, you want to be making sure that you are staying focused, that you are moving the needle in your business because you don’t want to get three, six, or 12 months down the line and think, what have I actually achieved with my business this year?
Ultimately the results that you get in your business do have a direct impact on your personal life, in terms of how much money you’re paying yourself and how much financial security that’s going to give you. And depending on the business model that you have, making sure you have time to do fun things, spend that time fully present with your friends and family, and just make sure that you are running your business in a way that feels good to you and supports a lifestyle that you want to be living rather than your lifestyle supporting your business.
Because from experience, it needs to be your business, supporting your lifestyle, not the other way around. No sacrifice should have to be made for your business in your personal life.
P.S. If you’d like help transforming your business, branding and marketing here are a few ways I can help you…
1. Book in a for FREE Strategy Call with me by contacting me with the word ‘ELEVATE’.
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