It’s a common scenario, you’re building your business, burning candles at both ends, working from dusk to dawn and pulling crazy hours trying to manage a to-do list that keeps on growing!
You’re tired, grumpy and fearful of losing control, you keep throwing more and more of your time into trying to manage everything but you know that you’re heading down the road to total scorched earth burnout!
All of us have moments of overwhelm at work, it’s demoralising and upsetting and it inevitably effects all aspects of your life, both professional and personal. Without a sensible work/life balance you leave yourself susceptible to burn out and other stress related health conditions. It’s not just you that suffers either. When you take on too much people close to you like your family, friends and colleagues will also start to bear the brunt of you not really being ‘present’ in their lives.
But there are ways to help alleviate the overwhelm in your business. With some forward thinking and proper planning you can simplify your business and start to enjoy your life. Here’s a few ways you can go about it:
First and probably most important: You need to learn to let go! You can’t tell me that everything on your crazy schedule can ONLY be done by you. Identify tasks during your week that can be done by others and take steps to hand these over. Delegation, when done correctly is one of the best ways to not only free up your time, but nurture growth in your business. There are a few steps you need to take into account for effective delegation:
Prepare – take the time to detail the exact specifics of the task you’re handing over. Processes and guides are essential here
Assign – be clear and concise when delegating tasks to others, make sure you give them all the information they need from the outset
Confirm – confirm understanding of the delegated task and ensure that the person who is taking over has the ability and the time to learn and complete each task you hand over
Response – once you’ve delegated work to someone, make sure you have key touchpoints where you can check on progress and keep your team accountable
Time management is not just about setting appointments in your calendar. It’s about valuing your time and spending your energy where it is most needed. You can achieve better work/life balance by using an incorporating few solid time management techniques into your weekly schedule. Here are some I use myself on a daily basis:
Segment your time – multi-tasking can actually be an enemy to productivity it you’re not careful. A better use of your time is to plan ahead and segment your day into ‘chunks.’ Spend an allotted amounts of time concentrated solely on each task you need to complete. By breaking up your time like this you have better focus, achieve more and most importantly feel more fulfilled and productive!
Say no –this is a tough one, especially if you’re a ‘can do’ person. I’m not saying that you say no to everything and everyone but you need to understand the value of your time and make decisions based on what is right for you.
Fight distraction – checking email, social or your phone messages more often doesn’t make you more productive. In fact, it actually distracts and prevents you from getting work done! Stick to checking your messages (whether email or otherwise) to about 2 times per day. By checking less you send the message that you are busy BUT you will get back to them soon.
By automating as many business processes that you can, you free up your time to focus on more important core activities that bring value to your business. If you’re running a small business, here are some repetitive tasks that can be easily automated:
Marketing & CRM Emails – with programs like infusionsoft you can create automatic follow up emails that are sent according to your readers actions (like clicking a download button or showing interest in a link.) You can also set autoreply emails to clients contacting you via email
Social Media Posts – You don’t have to be at your desk to be sharing content on social media. By using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer you can schedule the posting of content ahead of time
Recurring Invoices – most cloud based accounting systems have features that include sending out re-occuring invoices automatically and also auto-gen payment reminder emails
Appointment Scheduling – using a neat tool like Calendly allows you to share your existing calendar and invite people to go online and view your schedule, giving them the ability to book a meeting with you on the day and time of their choice, subject to your availability.
With a little forward planning, the right techniques and systems, you can simplify your business and gain back control over your time and your workload.
If you’d like to explore how you can create a better work/life balance for yourself and build a business you love, book a discovery call with Kristy to discuss your unique needs.