How To Deal When Your Business Is Making Your Head Spin
No one ever said that starting your own business was easy. And in fact, one of the aspects that many first time entrepreneurs struggle to deal with is really quite simple - processing power. In your previous job, you may have felt like you had a lot on your plate. But a small business owner doesn't have the same clearly defined role boundaries as a corporate employee. Suddenly, everything is your problem - from pitching for more funding to investors down to writing the marketing strategy, building a great website and even chasing those unpaid invoices. It's a lot of a plates to keep spinning, so it's little wonder that there's a high rate of burnout among small business owners. Having so many urgent competing priorities can easily lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious - especially since there is no one but you to make your venture a success. So if things are threatening to get too much and you're struggling with the size and scale of your to-do list, what do you do?
Break Your Tasks Down
That looming quarterly report can seem just too large to handle - and never more so than at 2am when you can't sleep and your brain is endlessly cycling through a packed to-do list. But the trick with large scale projects is always to break them down into bite-sized chunks. When a situation feels like information overload, focus on finding a way to cut it down to size by asking yourself what needs to be done first - this could be as simple as some research on one particular aspect. Find a way in and break that task down into achievable smaller ones in order to create positive momentum and give your brain the satisfaction of ticking things off your task list.
Don't Be Afraid To Outsource
Most fledgling businesses are watching every penny and operating on a lean budget, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do every single task personally - in fact, it can often be a false economy if it's an area of the business you aren't experienced in. Something like having IT security is hugely important for your operational integrity, and if you work with a professional company it can free up your time to concentrate on what you do best and win new business - you can learn more here. Similarly, if it is time to expand and hire in some talent, working with a recruitment consultant can often save you money in terms of expensive hiring mistakes. Sometimes a strategic investment is a smarter move than struggling on your own.
Be Smart About Your Day Plan
When we have too much to do and we're feeling snowed under, it's easy to let brain paralysis take over and start doing inconsequential tasks rather than tackling the main issue. Stop this in its tracks by planning out your days. Use a prioritisation matrix to help you decide what really needs to get done and schedule tasks into your calendar as blocks of time so that you know exactly what to work on when. Deal with your emails in batches so that you don't get distracted by every inbox notification along the way. And when you have meetings, schedule in a buffer time of at least fifteen minutes after the appointment so that you can immediately process any small actions and schedule in larger ones so that they don't get overlooked.