Overcoming overwhelm and regaining focus can be a challenge for entrepreneurs, especially when facing a new quarter. It’s the end of April, it’s spring, and the first month of our second quarter of the year has passed. Are you performing as you hoped? Did you think of what you want to achieve in this quarter?
Although every new quarter is a great opportunity to start working on new goals, it can also be a really overwhelming time.
With one simple question, I will teach you how to totally refocus and stay in line with your biggest goals, so let’s get started. Though feeling overwhelmed can totally throw us off, I’m here to help you get back on track and still have an amazing quarter.
Don’t be afraid of your bad days.
When you look at really successful people, it’s not that they don’t have bad days, or personal stuff popping up, or distractions — it’s just that they have techniques to get out of it quickly or to handle unexpected surprises.
Stop beating yourself up when you have bad days or feel overwhelmed, and start asking — how can I get out of this?
When we become overwhelmed, the problem is that we tend to focus so much on the fact that we feel overwhelmed that we totally lose focus.
When we become distracted the same happens, it’s not the distraction that is the problem. It’s the twenty or thirty minutes afterwards that it takes you to recover. Being at peace with the moments you feel overwhelmed is important to get past them.
It’s also okay not to meet every goal. You can still keep moving and achieve something, even if it’s not the main goal you envisioned.
With bad days and missed goals involved, and as we move into a new quarter, how do we get back on track and ensure we stay focused?
The secret to staying focused and avoid being overwhelmed.
We can fix all of the issues I discussed above with one simple question. I apply this question almost every day and, as I share it with you now, it’s going to fix your future.
The question is, which 20% of your actions are getting you 80% of your results?
This is a golden question when it comes to time management and staying focused. For me, that 20% is creating videos and content. This is only a small part of my schedule, but it really does provide me with the leads, engagement, and clients I do everything else around.
So, how do we figure out what 20% of our actions get 80% of our results?
Figuring out what actions to focus on to achieve your goals.
In order to figure out how to achieve most of your goals, you need to know what your goals are. It’s easy to get lost in mindless to-do lists and routine tasks, but are they actually helping you achieve your big goals?
Identifying the parts of your routine and schedule that are really valuable in achieving your goals can be difficult. I’ve got an exercise which may help.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. On the left side, write down all the tasks you do every week. Every routine action that you do every week. That could be meetings, going to the gym.
On the right side, I want you to start writing your most impressive results so far. Your biggest accomplishments. Maybe it’s new clients, being featured on someone else’s podcast, or new business leads.
Then, when we’re done, we’re going to compare both sides. What actions on the left got us the results on the right?
At the same time as you’re comparing all of this, you should have your calendar beside you. As you start to identify the things that really got you the results on the right hand side, you can start to look at whether you’re giving those actions enough time.
Looking at the things you do every day, you can ask, what am I wasting too much time on based on my left hand list?
The difference between urgency and priority.
When you are overwhelmed, it means everything has become a ‘priority’. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
After doing the exercise above, grab some paper and write your big ass goals for the next quarter. Now, you can make new to-do lists based off those goals and not get lost in endless to-do lists.
Using the exercise we just did, you can make these lists knowing both what you want to achieve and what actually helps you get there. Knowing the difference between a goals list and a task list is vital.
Make sure to write those goals out every single day. Then, when you’re making to-do lists or focusing on tasks, you know what exactly those actions should contribute to. If they’re not contributing to these goals, you know you don’t need them.
Understanding true importance.
A lot of people think that the things that need to happen for the company to keep going are the important things. That’s not necessarily true. A bill you have to pay may feel important, or urgent, but it’s just a necessity.
What’s really important are the things that actually push your business forward.
One reason you may become overwhelmed is because you're letting urgent take over from importance. Have a look at your days and start looking at the things that are important to hitting your goals.
Let the urgent or maintenance tasks become things you do in the background of the important tasks which help you grow. This is gonna change the game for you.
If you want some further help with that concept, I created a Time Management Workbook. It's a bunch of exercises so you can really make everything work for you. It helps you build your ideal week and identify tasks that are of true importance. You can find it through fastforwardamy.com/timeworkbook.
The FastForward 15.
One really quick task you can do every day to stay focused and avoid becoming overwhelmed is what I call the FastForward 15.
I do this every day with my team. It just means writing the date in the middle of a piece of paper and then you write your biggest goals next to that. Then, you write down what you need to do today to achieve these goals.
You're not going to get overwhelmed because you're so focused, knowing what your goals are and that you will do everything in your power to hit them.
It’s time for change. If we are overwhelmed, it's because we make ourselves feel overwhelmed. Let’s figure out how to overcome these habits together.
Remember: there’s a difference between tasks that matter for maintenance and tasks that matter for growth.
If you want some further help with time management, focus, identifying what’s important to your business, and avoiding becoming overwhelmed, I created a Time Management Workbook to do just that. It helps you build your ideal week and identify tasks that are of true importance, and is full of exercise which will help you nail time management. You can find it through fastforwardamy.com/timeworkbook.