No matter how strong you are as a business owner, at some point you will feel overwhelmed. It’s just a part of the job. There’s always going to be too many ideas, too many deadlines, and not enough time to fit it all in. Since shutting down is not an option, we’re going to provide you with some simple strategies to help you reduce the burden and cope with the chaos.
As a business owner, you are going to have countless responsibilities and many different roles to play. Taking on more than you can do is perhaps one of the most overwhelming parts of your job.
It may be difficult to relinquish control, but by delegating some of your more mundane tasks, you have the opportunity to work on what really matters. Along with transferring some of your activities to other people, you should look for ways to automate activities and find methods to streamline some of your more time-consuming processes. Not only will you have more time for the important tasks, but you will also be able to complete them more thoroughly.
Project mapping is a great way to reduce the overwhelm that results from massive projects and tight deadlines. First identify milestones for your project and the steps they require. Then, just as you schedule meetings with clients, schedule in specific times for these tasks. Having a timeline eliminates the stress of worrying about whether you’ll get everything done, and scheduling tasks according to the timeline will ensure you stay on track and are not overwhelmed at the last minute.
At what time of day are you the most productive? Use this time for your more mundane tasks. When are you most creative? Use this time to work on your content and marketing efforts. When are you the most focused? Use this time for the most demanding tasks on your to do list. Knowing your typical peaks throughout the day will help you to manage your time better and produce better quality work that you can feel good about.
Saying no is not always easy. Yet having too much on your plate is not good for you or for the tasks you need to complete, and taking on one more to-do can push you over the edge. Train yourself to recognize when you’ve reached your limit, and to actually say no to anything else. You are in control of your calendar and only you can overbook yourself. Be selfish with your time; make sure you say no to requests you may not be able to handle.
Organize your work space in a way that allows you to get your hands on anything in 60 seconds or less. Find an easy-to-remember, intuitive place for every item and document in your office and make sure that they always get returned to that place. This will spare you from stress and wasted time due to digging through drawers or scrambling through documents.
Each task deserves your undivided attention. When you need to focus on a particular task, avoid thinking about the other ones you have to do. Thinking about the other tasks will not get them done, and will detract from your focus on the task at hand. Try and start new tasks with a clean and clear desk, free from anything left over from the previous ones. By putting everything unimportant out of sight, you can better focus on the task in front of you.
Carrying everything around with you in your head is a surefire way to end up overwhelmed. Write down your thoughts, reminders, and ideas throughout the day. This isn’t the making of a to-do list. Just having things out of your head and on paper can help to quiet the chaos, and seeing it visualized can often help you to realize that it’s not as monstrous as it seemed when it was in your head. You can always look back on the list at the end of the day and distribute the items to their proper destination, such as to your to-do list, your reminder app, or a specific project file.
Working late at night and then going to sleep right afterward with an active and cluttered mind will decrease the quality of your sleep. Make sure to create transition time between finishing work and falling asleep so that you can give your mind a chance to detox. This will improve your quality of sleep and help you wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed and less overwhelmed.
Overwhelm can be really hard to avoid and tends to sneak up on us. These tips will help you to build habits that prevent and reduce it for better mental health and improved productivity. Also, don’t forget to breathe! Simply closing your eyes and taking a deep breath can work wonders.