Are you constantly operating in maintenance mode?
If that's the case, my best bet is that you're overworked and lacking focus.
As a result, you're missing clarity, and it's affecting your business and your ability to make the decisions that will grow your business to that next stage you dream about.
Especially with summertime approaching, it's easy to revert to full maintenance mode instead of focusing on what will actually grow your business.
Maybe your energy reserves are completely drained, and there's no time to focus on the proactive side of things for your business.
Well, well, well. I hear your cry for help. Once, it was me signaling SOS (heck, I still do it sometimes because I feel overwhelmed). But there's a way out.
Therefore, I'm going to teach you several techniques that will help you
- stop feeling overworked and overwhelmed,
- gain clarity on the decisions you need to make to move your business forward, and
- achieve maximum results with minimum effort.
Tip 1: Don't put your business on hold during summertime
Ah, summertime, also referred to as cucumber time in many languages or the silly season in the UK. It's especially used in politics, but I use it, too, to encourage my clients to keep working on their business.
Because while the rest of the world is taking, typically, a 2-month summer break, it doesn't mean you have to put your business on pause.
I see lots of entrepreneurs putting their businesses on hold during the summer, and thinking that September will be a glorious month where they come back as this fairy, magical creature to handle all the unresolved to-dos that were left behind before the holidays.
A quick reality check over here: September is not a magical month. On the contrary, the first two weeks of September are usually super hectic with everyone getting back to business.
Therefore, think again: your best bet isn't postponing projects, ideas, and to-dos and let them pile up for several months.
Your best bet is always doing the important stuff NOW.
Even if it feels too overwhelming at the time, keeping your business in maintenance mode will cost you the same energy as taking the necessary steps forward.
As they say: maintaining is going backward, so let's make sure we move forward!
Even in the summertime, when you're feeling overworked, there's still a way to get stuff done. Let's have a look at some of the things I do to grow my business instead of maintaining it, even during the summer months.'
Tip 2: Get your priorities straight with journaling
Not so long ago, I was on the phone with my dad and shared that I was feeling overwhelmed with so much to do.
Instantly he said: “Well, it seems like you have an issue with your priorities.”
And if you're anything like me, feeling overworked and not being able to see an end to things, you're probably struggling with your priorities, too.
To get out of this funk, here's what I did.
1. Do a brain dump
Every Monday morning, I grab my journal and do a massive brain dump about what's on my mind along with work stuff, like projects, ideas, and to-dos. Most times, getting all your thoughts down on paper can also help alleviate and reduce the overwhelm you're feeling.
2. Give your tasks a spot
Instead of your to-dos and decisions floating around, give your tasks a spot in your task manager or project management tool. When you do this, you'll get a much better overview, and it help will you prioritize the stuff that really matters.
3. Identify 3 tasks that move your business forward
Probably, this is the most difficult one. Ask yourself: what comes first?
- creating a landing page?
- optimizing your website?
- writing an email sequence?
Whatever is on your task list, pick out what's going to move the needle! Identify a maximum of 3 topics that you will focus on for that week.
Remember, time is passing by anyway, so you might as well get the right sh*t done that will move you forward instead of staying busy.
RECAP: every week (or every day if you prefer), identify and circle the top 3 projects you should focus on. Write them down and create a dashboard you can easily refer to when you look at your computer or office to hold yourself accountable and get the important work done.
Tip 3: Choose minimum effort with maximum impact
OK, you have your priorities in place. Now you have a choice: you can choose to make a big fuss about these tasks or take the simple route and complete the tasks with minimum effort!
That minimum effort? It has to do with making decisions. Know that the work will get done once you've got all the decisions in place.
Example: you need a video for your sales page. Instead of hiring a videographer and a stylist to do hair, makeup, and clothes, grab your phone and record a video with your phone. It's going to take you 30 seconds rather than +3 hours. Remember, already having a video on your sales page is better than having no video.
Opting for minimum effort also means you have to let go of perfectionism… I know I say this all the time, but imperfect action beats postponed perfection ANY TIME. It's about you making a decision and sticking to it, even when it gets uncomfortable.
Tip 4: Place decisions over indecision to get unstuck
One of the biggest bottlenecks for ourselves in business is not making decisions.
Others struggle with making too many decisions at once, which end up causing the same kind of overwhelm as indecisiveness.
Look at which decisions you need to make to proceed with the work.
Often it's not the work that's bad and causing overwhelm. It's the actual decision-making that's holding you back. Once you have made up your mind about something, it's often relatively easy to move forward.
TIP: if you feel stuck because you can't make a decision, take a step back and look at the flow of the decisions you have to make. For instance, let's say you want to create a course.
- Choose the best idea. What's the topic?
- Should the course be free or paid?
- If paid, what should the price be? Decide on the amount.
- When is the best time to host it?
- When is the best time to launch it?
When you break down your decisions, it becomes much easier to get unstuck and leave the overwhelm of decision-making at the door.
With clear decisions and priorities in place, you then move on to look at the minimum effort. Maybe the first time you launch a course, it will be live without course modules, or perhaps you don't have a brand for it yet. It doesn't matter – put it out there regardless.
Maybe you're also interested in this: How to Supercharge your Productivity: 7 Daily Routines
RECAP: gain clarity, prioritize, and decide
If you're busy, overwhelmed, and overworked, you need focus above anything else, and you need to understand what will grow your business. To know what will move you forward, you need clarity.
That's why I suggest you try a 3-step approach to focus on the work that matters most.
- Write down all tasks and projects that are floating around. Identify the top 3 projects that will grow your business or have the biggest exponential impact on your business. Do this exercise at the beginning of every week or every day.
- Give yourself a limited timeframe to get those projects done. Focus on the minimum effort here. For instance, the minimum effort of creating your welcome email sequence might be just to make a standard black and white email and run with it instead of fussing about the layout AND content.
- Break up your decisions into small bites instead of looking at them as this huge thing. Go back to basics and don't get lost in the mountain of decisions you have to make. Take one step at a time.
To create maximum results in your business with little time, it's SO important that you prioritize and really look at what you're spending your energy on.
When you're focused on growing your business, the maintenance tasks will naturally follow. BUT if you're focused on maintaining only, growing will not follow. Instead, you'll stay stuck where you're at.
Hopefully, these tips will help you focus on the proactive things first so you can grow, grow, grow!
Watch this episode on YouTube or listen via iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and search for episode 87 of The FastForwardAmy Show.
If you're in deep sh*t and want to get out of the clusterfuck, start with some basic time management techniques. I have created a Time Management Checklist with
- 10 strategies to manage your time like a pro.
- Hands-on steps so you can start right now.
- Become the most productive version of yourself.
PS Next week, we'll be opening the pre-order for my Business Freedom Elevator™ program! There will be only 100 spots available to get a €500 discount, so you've got to act fast if you want to win big! If you want us to keep you updated about openings, big discounts and special offers, you can join the waitlist for our BFE™ program. Being on the waitlist will give you a head start to grab the €500 discount, get yourself on the waitlist through this link.