Having your own business means that you’re the boss. You get to set your own schedule, make your
own decisions and do exactly what you want to do.
In general it’s pretty cool but let’s be honest here…It’s not always fun.
Oftentimes it seems that there are a million deadlines looming and worse yet, you brought them on yourself. On top of the deadlines there are another million great ideas you want to pursue. Ideas that will bring you and your clients greater success and profit.
You work long hours and struggle to keep up with it all. You end up feeling desperate, overwhelmed and frustrated. You find yourself spinning in circles and procrastinating. The more you push yourself the less you want to do anything and you fall further and further behind.
In an ideal world, the demands and deadlines would come to you at a steady pace. Your ideas would come to you one at a time…and they’d come when there were no other competing priorities. You’d never fall behind and your business would grow steadily.
But that’s not reality is it? When you are an entrepreneur you MUST take advantage of opportunities when they arise and you MUST meet the deadlines that you set and you MUST continue managing the business that you already have. You must push yourself because nobody else will and if you don’t push yourself, your business simply won’t grow.
Here are 5 simple steps that I encourage you to take to keep yourself and the demands you place on yourself moving forward and under control…and yes, I use in my own day-to-day business and my clients do, too.
1. Gather everything in one place. When you’ve got lots of things going on it’s easy for something to fall through the cracks. Look through all the notes that you’ve got scribbled on little slips of paper or in corners of pages in your notebook. Write down all the ideas swirling around in your head. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step to taking control.
2. Take the time to understand what’s on your list and why it’s there. What is the scope of the project? Why do you want to do it? What are your long term business and personal goals and how far towards those goals
will completing this project get you?
3. Decide if really has to get done. Okay, now it’s time for a reality check! Talk with your coach, mentor, friend, colleague or assistant. Does this really have to happen and does it need to happen now? What would happen if you didn’t do it? Can you combine two things into one? Can you delegate some of it? Can you put some of it off until another time or maybe even decide never to do it at all? The goal is to make your life easier here and take some of these things OFF of your plate.
4. Set realistic deadlines. Now that you fully understand the things left on your list, take a look at what you have and honestly assess your goal in doing them and how long these things will take you to do (by the way, it’s probably longer than you think). Now set deadlines that you feel confident that you will meet. This is important…dates you will meet, not dates that
you hope to get it done by.
5. Set time aside to do the work. This is the most important one of all. Take a good look at your schedule and working with both the deadline you set for yourself and the amount of time you believe the job is going to take, decide specifically when you will do the work. Now here’s the key…when those appointments show up, you must honor your plan. You will know exactly what you need to do…do it!
So here’s what I’ve done. I gathered all my notes into one place. It’s still a long scary list but I know I’m not missing anything. I know what everything is, why I want to do it and the steps I need to take. I spoke with both my coach and assistant to check in. I have combined several of the items so I can use the same energy for two things. I have delegated several of the things on my list to my assistant. I set realistic deadlines (and made myself accountable to several people) and have carved out the time in my schedule to do it.
I still have lots to do but I am feeling better. Okay, now it’s your turn. What’s making your head spin? What are you going to do about it?