Feeling a little too busy? A bit out of control? We all have times in our lives when it really feels like we can barely come up for air. There’s a constant stream of appointments, tasks with both professional and personal commitments. There’s no room to move. While it’s inevitable that you will pass through short phases of this type of busyness, this is not what a typical week should look like in your business ongoing. It’s very easy to move from task to task all day with the aim of completing the to-do list. “Just once it’d be nice to have it all finished” you may think to yourself. But is that realistic? As Solopreneurs we are doing it all (or mostly all) ourselves. Wearing so many different hats can be chaotic and it does tend to lengthen that list of things to do. If you’re feeling like it’s all never ending and you’d like to stop but feel that you can’t, then this is a sign that you actually need to slow down. So how can you slow down? And what does that mean really? Let’s clarify first what it doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean you give up on your business goals altogether. It doesn’t even mean that you have to give up anything, if you don’t want to. What it does mean is that you need to be realistic about what can get done in a certain amount of time. This is a hard one. I struggle with it. Ever the optimist and and master of efficiency, I think I can do many things in what end up being (too) short spaces of time. If I can’t do it in that time, then it’s taking too long. What’s all that about? Perfectionism? Okay, moving on from the “P” word…you can slow down by implementing a few key strategies. It’s up to you how much you think you need to slow down but I recommend trying out at least 2 of the following tips:
- Write out all the goals and projects you have (if you haven’t already). Choose the 3 most important and work on those. None of the other goals exist until you complete one of the 3 goals and then you can start a new one. Just work on no more than 3 goals at once.
- Look at your deadlines. Are they realistic? Here’s a good way to check. If you have been working consistently towards your goal and you’re still not on track to completing it within the time-frame, then the deadline is not realistic. It’s that simple.
- Become aware of what’s going on in your life. There are times when things are feeling out of control because we’re dealing with a significant life event. This could be moving house, divorce, the death of a loved one. Any significant life event will require more energy and time from you. If you just add your normal routine to this life event as well, it’s way too much and you will feel like you’re spinning out of control. So do a life audit: Have you experienced any big life changes recently (in the last 12-18 months) or have some on the horizon?
- Turn your phone off. I love my phone. But if it’s on, then it’s usually by my side and I usually check it for email, facebook, text messages and look up things on the net. This means I’m constantly doing things and not switching off. This will contribute to feeling like things are moving too fast, quite simply because you literally do not stop. Carve out at least a few hours a week of phone-free time and feel the difference.
- Meditate or listen to calming music. A lot of the feelings associated with being busy come from our busy brains. There’s a constant stream of chatter. If you can turn it off or dull it for 20 minutes a day, it will change your life! You’ll feel calmer and be able to think more clearly.
So go ahead and try 2 of these tips. Even if it’s just for a week, I guarantee you that you will feel a change in your pace. Try it and see what happens!