Feeling overwhelmed is extremely unpleasant, but when you think about it as a business owner, it is not necessarily that bad of a thing! Being busy means that you are either doing something very right or you are doing something very wrong. Taking a step back to decide which of these two may be the case as well as learning to prevent a stress-induced heart attack, here are 7 steps to prevent yourself from going completely bonkers.
1. Breathe! – Sit down, close your eyes and take one big breath in and out and just notice how much better that feels. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off will just make for a bigger mess than someone clearly organized with executable steps to complete. The road back to sanity starts with tuning back into you and what drives you as an entrepreneur.
2. Break – A few hours away from the phone kicked back on your patio is not likely going to be the end of your business. What may mean the end of your business are poor decisions made in haste because you’re so stressed you’re not even thinking straight! Once you have reached your maximum level of stress or hopefully before it, give yourself a break. You deserve it.
3. Refocus – Now that your brain has recollected back within your skull, it is back to the grind, but attack it with a plan. Sit back down to work with a clear understanding of why you just almost lost your mind, and come up with a way to prevent this from happening again. Dissect the aspects that brought you aboard the crazy train and come up with a way to clear the tracks.
4. Find some help – Once you’ve established what went wrong and what you need to do from here, you will likely find that one of the things at the top of your list is to delegate work. You can’t do it all!
5. Clear your plate – Now that you have identified where your time is best spent on your business and which areas you could delegate out to the helpers you’ve enlisted, you are on your way. Clearing your to-do list of things that are not entirely necessary at the moment or items that could easily be completed by someone else will vastly improve your stress level. Don’t micromanage; trust those around you to help!
6. Do not always say “Yes” – Learning to say “no” as an entrepreneur can sometimes feel downright wrong. While every business connection or job is an opportunity, taking on too much all at once will end up hurting you both mentally as well as with your business. Don’t spread yourself too thin by saying yes to every offer that comes your way.
7. Plan ahead – Now that you are aware of how you found yourself near the edge of the cliff, and you have by this point found the solution to whatever brought you there, it is time to be sure you never make the same mistake again. Set a clear plan of action to prevent yourself from going near crazy again!
Mental and physical overload is sometimes unavoidable; we can’t always help what is thrown our way or when. What we can do is have a plan to handle ourselves when the time does come when we find ourselves close to implosion.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.