Running your own business is a hard job to do. It has many rewards and benefits, and once everything is running smoothly (or as smoothly as possible), then you can relax a little more. However, there will be times, particularly in the beginning and throughout your working life too, when you are going to feel overwhelmed by what is going on around you. You might feel that you are just too overloaded and don’t know what to do. When those times come, it’s important not to panic; here are some useful tips on how to deal with an overwhelming business.
Take Time To Plan
It may not seem like a good thing to do, but stepping away from everything that is happening and taking some time to make a plan is actually one of the best things for you and your business. Don’t worry that you are using your precious time in the wrong way because taking time to plan now will mean that you feel a lot less overwhelmed in general when you go back to what you were doing.
Create an action plan that sets out the steps of what needs to be done in order of priority. It may take a little while to get this right, but once it is complete, you have a map to follow to make yourself feel calmer and still be productive (and often much more productive). Doing this means that your mind is clearer because you have written your thoughts down, and that means you are better equipped to do the work you have set yourself.
If you have employees then think about delegating some of your work to them to free you up to work on other aspects of the business. By using a project management app, you can delegate specific tasks to the people who are most suited to them, freeing up your time and making you feel less stressed and overwhelmed. If you work by yourself and have no one to delegate to, then outsourcing could be the answer. Whichever option you choose, giving yourself less to do will help the future of your business and your health too.
Take A Walk
When you feel overwhelmed, staying in the place that is overwhelming you is not a good idea. You won’t feel better, and you won’t be productive either. It is far better to step outside and go for a walk if you possibly can. Just a 10 minute stroll around the block will help you. You’ll be breathing more deeply, your mind will have a chance to relax, your blood pressure and adrenalin levels can return to normal, and by the time you get back and re-look at what you were doing, you could well come up with new ways to do it that will be easier and more effective, reducing your overwhelm even more.
Talk About It
If that feeling of overwhelm just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, then you should find someone to talk about it with. They don’t have to be a professional doctor or psychologist – you can simply pick a good friend or family member. Tell them everything that is worrying you and why you think you’re feeling so stressed out and worried, and you will immediately start to feel better.
It could be that the person you’re talking to can come up with a solution to your problem because they are not so close to the issue and can look at it much more objectively. Even if they can’t solve the problem for you, the very act of them listening to you could be enough. For instance, speaking the challenges and problems you are facing in your business out loud can trigger thoughts, puts things into perspective, and generally give you answers that you didn’t realize you had in you.
Don’t Work Late
How many times have you got home from the office and set up your laptop again to continue work? Or, if you work from home, how many times have you told yourself you’ll just work one more hour, and that one hour turns into three or four and before you know it you’ve missed dinner and you’re working through the night? The answer is likely to be too many times. Although this may seem like the most productive thing you can do, it’s actually counter-productive in many cases.
When you work late, you are confusing your body and brain. You will find it much harder to sleep if you don’t take any time to relax after work and before bed, and that means that you will be tired the next day, get less done, and feel you need to work from home again – they cycle will just continue. It also means that you miss out on opportunities to see your friends and have a social life which is an important way to keep happy and healthy.
If you are sitting in front of a computer screen when you should be sleeping, you are not being productive. It is far better to sleep and then start work in the morning feeling refreshed and energized. You’ll get more done and you’ll do it to a better standard too.
Use The Weekend
We do not and never would advocate working the entire weekend. As above, that will cut into your unwinding time, and cause you more overwhelm and less productivity than before. Weekends are there for de-stressing and relaxing. However, using an hour on a Saturday morning before anyone else is awake to finish off a task or to make a start on something you need to do next week can help you out. It means you can begin work on Monday morning with an idea of what you are doing, and you won’t waste time trying to come up with an idea – if it has already been started, you can simply carry on with it.
Weekends are also great times to complete those ‘mindless’ tasks such as admin and paperwork that take up a lot of your time and aren’t that productive but still need to be done. You can even do these while watching TV, for example, get them all finished up, and spend the week working on more important things.