How to reduce everyday overwhelm and thrive in business
At times, owning and running a business can be daunting, stressful and outright overwhelming and for some it becomes all too much. When you have more on your plate than you can handle it can derail even the best of us. If the overwhelm continues you can get to a point of really feeling stuck.
Owning a business doesn’t have to be this way. Some people say success is easy, you’ve got to know what steps to take and in what order to take them. When it comes to franchising you’ve been told it’s as simple as “following the system” but what if you’re doing all of that and you’re still stressed, filled with fear, worry and everyday overwhelm? How do you get out of overwhelm and into a place where both you and the business can not only survive but thrive.
It’s one thing to get overwhelmed, it’s another to stay overwhelmed and as much as we can probably admit to feeling stressed, overloaded and in a state of overwhelm more than once, what we don’t realise is staying stuck in overwhelm is literally robbing you blind of trying to achieve the dreams and goals you’ve set for your business and for yourself.
Overwhelm is simply a state of mind that can sabotage your long-term success. If you are someone who finds yourself very smart and capable but constantly in a state of stress and overwhelm then you are probably doing one of the most common triggers that cause you to become overwhelmed and keep you overwhelmed.
What I’d like to share with you today is four key triggers that cause you to get overwhelmed and the things that keep you there, which ultimately can sabotage your success and then also some ways you can overcome everyday overwhelm in your business and your life.
1. Busyness Addiction and Over Commitment. In other words biting off more than you can chew.
Busyness is literally when you are doing everything you can to move ahead, you are so driven and so compelled to do more and have more that you literally fill your life up with stuff. The key to stopping the busy addiction is to understand the difference between being busy and being productive. Somewhere in your subconscious mind you haven’t realised that being busy isn’t getting you anywhere and being productive is what it’s going to take to move ahead. People who are busy addicted have a bad sense of time for themselves, they have low boundaries and have no system for doing or completing tasks and projects. Where do you need to say no and make a start towards taking bite size chunks? You wouldn’t shove a whole block of chocolate in your mouth would you? My guess is you would break a square or two and eat it in smaller bite size chunks.
2. Doing it Alone.
When we start in business we can be wearing up to ten or more various hats. We are looking after lead generation, sales, fulfilment, accounts, customer care, marketing and management and more. We become stuck in a rut and want to do it all ourselves and then when it comes to the time to recruit staff and delegate tasks and activities sometimes the mindset of “no one else can do it better than me” can lead to overload and overwhelm as we are trying to be everything to everyone. It’s important to understand that there will always be more to do than you alone can ever get done.
“Doing it alone is one of the biggest triggers to overwhelm.”
Doing it alone for too long costs you and costs the business. It takes its toll on you, your mind, your body and your business. If you’re doing it alone and your business grows rapidly then it will implode on you or it doesn’t flourish because there’s so much going on and you’re doing it all yourself.
3. Clutter and Disorganisation.
If you’re currently spending countless hours looking for something in your office or desk or your environment is messy, cluttered and has no system or sense of order to it chances are you are overwhelmed in some way, shape or form. When your environment is cluttered it’s like everything that’s going on in your environment is pulling at your eyes, there’s simply no opportunity to give your mind a break and work with ease.
Clutter in general can create chaos in your mind and your environment. That chaos is one of the biggest contributors to feeling overwhelmed. Take a quick look at the filing systems that support you, both electronic and paper filing systems, and be sure you make some shifts to clear up the clutter as your environment is dictating your outcome.
4. Boundary Issues.
One of the biggest triggers to overwhelm is not being able to say no and having weak or no boundaries. We do see this mainly in service based businesses but it can also happen in multi location businesses where the owner is managing more staff, attending more meetings etc. When you don’t value your time, or what’s important to you it’s easy to lose your boundaries. They can get stretched or worn completely thin. Loose or no boundaries can lead to busyness addiction, complication and extreme overwhelm. There is an easy solution to this and that is stop being a yes person and know when it’s ok to say no.
THE FASTEST WAY TO GET OUT OF OVERWHELM
Overwhelm happens to all of us. What should you do when it strikes you and starts to sabotage your success? Let’s explore some ways you can eliminate everyday overwhelm:
• Create space and stop overcommitting.
If you make a standard in your business that you only have a certain number of meetings a day or you only work a certain number of days or certain times, then you will become more productive in the time that you do work. Stretching your ommitments out by a day or two will have a massive impact on your levels of overwhelm and will certainly make a big difference in your everyday.
• Learn when it’s ok to say NO.
One thing I learned in business is the more disciplined I am with my time, the more I get done. It’s important to know where your boundaries are being stretched. Most of us have very loose boundaries. New business or marketing ventures and other commitments require time and focus. If you have too many things to manage all at one time you simply won’t be at your best. Spread them out and be clear about how many you will say yes to in a month. Here’s a tip: ask yourself; “If I say yes to this, how is it going to get me closer to my ultimate goal? How will this make me money? What will I be saying NO to if I say YES to this?”
• Set Higher Standards and Value You.
A commitment to high standards will always serve and support you.
• Self-care and Time Out.
Make sure you get enough sleep and fuel your body with good nourishment and exercise every day.
Systems are essential to reducing overwhelm for you, your team and the overall business. What systems do you need to support you in operating at a higher standard?
• Under commit and over perform.
Be willing to start under committing and you will be amazed at how your performance levels will soar.
• Stop Doing it Alone.
Stop wearing all the hats in your business and be willing to get the right help to take the pressure off. Having others support you in the day to day operations of the business will support faster growth, increased profits and a reduction in overwhelm.
• Set realistic expectations for how much you can get done.
One of the overwhelm triggers is thinking that you can get everything done in a short period of time. Start looking at what’s already on your calendar BEFORE you set deadlines for yourself. If you have to double the time estimated on all tasks until you start truly knowing how long things actually do take then do it.
• Simplify how you run your business.
If you have a habit of complicating things then you might need help with simplifying your operations. Complication leads to overwhelm so it’s time to get back to ‘Keeping It Simple Sweetheart.’ J Sometimes the simplest solution is often the best.
• Schedule tasks in your calendar.
Develop a habit of scheduling your tasks from checking email and voice mails to completing other tasks. This will prevent you from running your day from your To Do List or worse still your INBOX.
• Release things that no longer serve you.
Letting things go can be challenging until you realise that if it’s no longer serving and supporting your bigger vision then it’s just holding you back. This can be staff, your emotions, your habits, your clients and even your family and friends.
• Start your day off right.
One of the best ways to prevent overwhelm is to start your day with exercise and/or meditation. When you set your mind and body on the right frequency for the day your brain will hone in on better choices and your body will feel energised.
• Take time away from your business to recharge every week.
One of the best ways to prevent overwhelm is to make sure you take time out every week to really recharge your batteries.
Tania Allen is the founder of Vision Alliance and author of Franchise Profits.
Vision Alliance is a business growth and franchise consulting firm that helps franchisors and franchisees get more out of business and more out of life.
For more information about how Tania and her team can support you contact: