What to do when you’re overwhelmed with business
Running your own enterprise can be extremely fun.
However, it eventually takes its toll through hard work and stress. No matter your skillset as a business owner, it’s an inevitable part of the journey to feel overwhelmed at some point. This is especially true in a world that is changing faster than ever before with new challenges to face on a daily basis.
If you find that you are constantly burned out and feel as if you do not have anyone who understands, you are not alone.
The good news is that there are certain steps to take to ensure you take care of business and yourself at the same time.
Of course, completely shutting down is not a viable option. Instead, this article will provide you with a set of actionable strategies to reduce personal burdens and cope with the various obstacles an overwhelmed business owner must face.
12 Strategies to get your time back
1. Delegate Tasks
Owning a business demands innumerable responsibilities and roles for a single person.
Taking on more than what is realistically feasible by oneself is a very overwhelming endeavor that is part of the job. If you try to go at everything alone, certain elements may fall through the cracks which results in even more stress.
Although it may be hard to let go of control, delegating the more mundane assignments allows an entrepreneur the opportunity to focus on the essentials.
For example, if you own a hardware store, you don’t want to spend all day crunching numbers for accounting purposes. Furthermore, you probably don’t want to be helping customers directly. Automation of activities and tasks helps to streamline many of the more time-consuming processes.
This allows more time for the critical tasks and more thorough completion of them.
2. Project Mapping
Mapping out your various projects is an excellent way to reduce the stress that comes from tight deadlines and extended task items.
It’s important to always identify your project milestones along with the required steps. As you schedule times for the tasks, schedule necessary client meetings in tandem.
A timeline removes concerns about whether or not everything will get done, and scheduling tasks in accordance with a timeline will guarantee you remain on track.
This method can be implemented across virtually any aspect of business planning, especially in marketing plans.
3. Plan the Day
In the same way that an entrepreneur may want to map their projects out with deadlines, they should also be mapping out their day to maximize productivity and time.
For small business owners, any given day is seldom predictable. However, if one can schedule blocks of time to work on particular projects or tasks, it helps reduce the feeling of overwhelm that comes with disorganized elements.
Consider the time of day in which you are most productive. Next, consider using this window of time for the most mundane of tasks.
Find the time when you are most creative, and utilize this block of time on marketing efforts. Lastly, ask when you are the most focused and use this block of time for your to-do lists’ most demanding tasks.
Knowing when you normally peak throughout the day helps you to produce the highest quality work and manage time better so you can feel your best throughout.
4. Create a Supportive Community
Entrepreneurship is a lonely endeavor. Being your own boss and operating a business is incredibly isolating, especially in a time in which physical contact is limited.
Online communities and support systems help tremendously with this problem.
The good news is that the Internet provides a window of communication with others who are in identical shoes. Websites like LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook allow you to find groups of similarly minded business owners that you can turn to for ideas, support, and advice.
5. Decline Most Requests
Saying no is usually quite difficult for most, but it’s especially challenging for business owners.
Too often, you’ll want to say yes to the majority of requests under the belief this will help you operate as a better boss, provide superior customer service, and improve your business.
Sadly, this means reducing the amount of time you can focus on what will ultimately make your business successful. You must work to recognize when you have reached the limit and say no to all distractions.
A business demands total control of the calendar, and only the owner can overbook themselves. Always remain selfish with time and ensure that you say no to requests you won’t be able to handle.
6. Stay Organized
Keeping an organized workspace goes beyond a preference for certain people. In fact, research has demonstrated that an organized, clean workspace boosts productivity to the highest of limits.
People can operate up to 8 minutes longer without a loss of focus than those who are sitting at disorganized desks.
Maintain your workspace in a manner that lets you access anything you need within a minute or less. Find intuitive, easy-to-remember places for every document and item in the office, ensuring that it always gets returned to its place of origin.
7. Take Everything One Step At A Time
It is hard to focus on a single task when there are so many other things that need to be accomplished bumping around in your thoughts.
Still, the act of honing in on a single task at a time and avoiding ruminating on others you aren’t actively working on is critical.
Try to begin every new task with a clear, clean desk and put all unimportant items out of your line of sight. You can even invest in productivity cubes to set finite amounts of time to work on tasks, focus for 30 minutes, then proceed to the next.
8. Health Comes First
Business owners may get overwhelmed because they put themselves last and their enterprises first.
A focus on your physical and mental health makes all the difference in fighting stress and the feeling of overwhelm that plague most entrepreneurs.
Make time to set up a morning routine that allows you to start any given day on the proper foot. Exercise, meditation, and some alone time before diving into voicemails or inbox messages can establish a calmness that persists throughout the day.
Furthermore, ensure you provide yourself enough moments throughout the day to drink water, walk around, and take deep breaths.
9. Write Things Down
Carrying the burden of tasks in your head is one of the main stressors that lead to feeling overwhelmed. Always be writing down your ideas, thoughts, and reminders throughout the course of the day. This does not mean creating a to-do list.
Simply removing things from your thoughts by writing them down on paper helps quiet the sea of chaos. What’s more, a visualized list of thoughts helps you realize that it isn’t as burdensome as it originally appeared.
10. Make Time For The Right People
Any loved one wants nothing more than to see you achieve your personal dreams. This support is immensely energizing, so it’s important to always set aside time for your support system.
This can be easily overlooked by entrepreneurs. It make more sense to cancel personal meetings for an extended time with customers and investors, for instance.
Regardless, setting aside time for those who support, love, and understand you is just as important to your success over the long term as any formal meeting. Resist urges to push away those you care for most from your calendar.
11. Make Time To Transition
Working well into the late hours of the night and immediately sleeping with a cluttered, active mind will reduce your sleep quality.
Ensure that there is sufficient transition time between falling asleep and finishing work to properly give your mind an opportunity to detox.
This could mean reading a book, spending time with kids, or watching an episode of your current show. Always give yourself a chance to slow things down after work to help you feel more refreshed.
12. Take Breaks
Running any business demands a ton of work, and most entrepreneurs are their own worst critics.
Often, they’ll blame themselves for challenges beyond their control and push themselves to work harder and longer. Give yourself time for a break every day.
When challenges present themselves, do not immediately blame yourself or attempt to find out what you did wrong. Instead, think about what has gotten you to where you currently are and what went right.
Still, always be sure that your break means complete disassociation from your work.
Unwinding and relaxing do you a world of good. It helps your health, and it helps your business.
Helpful Organizational Tools For Business Owners
The main reason entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed is due to a lack of focus and organization.
When running an enterprise, staying on top of all necessary elements is crucial for the current and future of one’s business.
Fortunately, the constant development of radical new technology provides an array of organizational tools to stay organized. Here is a curated list of some of the best that we personally recommend.
1. Toggl Plan
When trying to organize timelines, plan projects, and set milestones, there are very few tools that come close to the quality of Toggl Plan.
This app provides a user-friendly design that helps you design roadmaps, manage tasks, and share details with team members. You are able to integrate the app with other popular platforms such as Asana, Trello, and Slack, to better streamline processes.
A cross-platform solution that allows people to archive information, take notes, and organize tasks, Evernote can be accessed from anywhere.
It utilizes indexes to search for past files with keywords or tags. Evernote is also able to provide employees access to important information saved by members of a group.
3. G Suite
Google provides a set of organizational tools to its users with the aid of G Suite. Use Google Docs to format, edit, and style documents with features that rival the quality of Microsoft Word.
In addition, Gmail successfully integrates with numerous web tools to make email more user-friendly and effective.
Lastly, you have up to 15GB of storage to use absolutely free for sharing files and documents with people across a team.
Asana provides team organization, management, and monitoring tools.
It represents one of the best tools for collaboration and teamwork on current and pending objectives. If an organization has a bundle of tasks to complete for a sprint, they are able to be assigned to manage details and keep people up to date.
The team members can then get task access and progress through the use of a mobile or web app.
Do you have ideas and thoughts that want to be shared on a cloud platform?
Look no further than Mindmeister.
‘This allows for an intricate way of presenting ruminations with unique visuals that detail key project facts. You can share them with clients or employees. At the moment, the program is entirely web-based, so you do not need to take up unnecessary space on your computer, tablet, or phone. Collaborate easily with this outstanding visual tool.
With Trello, you’re able to easily automate the organization of work to take over responsibilities and tasks with a single click.
This integrates a wide range of apps you likely already utilize for project management such as Jira and Slack. The tasks themselves can be marked, prioritized, and labeled with specific deadlines.
As team members work to complete their objectives, the tasks can be delegated to separate folders that indicate various stages of the process.
7. Process Street
This is a straightforward tool for any small business owner to track their workflow and documents through various accountability features.
Claiming to reduce any and all mistakes by 85%, the app works to automate all factors of a business and improve processes related to training.
With Process Street, everyone on a team will be able to know what they are doing and when things need to get done.