It’s not easy running your own business. 
It’s not easy keeping your creativity and inspiration flowing. 
It’s not easy staying calm and focused all the time either. 
It’s certainly not easy to do all the above, all the time. 
 
Supporting frazzled, overwhelmed business owners is an occupational hazard of mine. If I am completely honest, I am most at home amongst the chaos. A client recently asked me how I remain so calm and focused and I thought it might be helpful to share my response with you… 
 
Step One – take a deep breath. 
Cliché I know but it really works. Take a few really deep, slow breaths. The world won’t stop turning in those few seconds but focusing on your breath will help bring your attention back to the present and able you to easily regain focus and perspective. 
 
Step Two – write a list 
I love a list, I really do. Grab a pencil and spend a little time creating a list of everything that’s in your head, not just your immediate ‘to dos’. I like to use post-it notes to do this as it makes it really simple to prioritise tasks later. 
Be sure to jot down what is causing your stress, what you can do about it, what needs to be done, by when and who or what needs to contribute. 
This exercise is multiple benefits: 
 
a) You won’t forget anything 
b) Listing your woes has an amazingly therapeutic effect 
c) Having everything down in black and white will help you to complete step three… 
 
 
Step Three – prioritise that list. 
If you’ve used post-it notes, you can simply rip and stick those tasks into a sensible order and line up tasks which are related or linked. Plus, if you are anything like me, popping those post-it notes down will make you feel more in control. 
If you’re unsure about what to prioritise, here’s a couple of questions I like to ask myself… 
 
a) What is the impact of this task not being completed within a certain time-frame? 
b) Is there a better, swifter or more efficient way of completing the task? 
c) Do you know someone who could help you? 
 
The time management matrix by Covey is an essential tool you can use to help you manage your time more efficiently. Discover it here… 
 
 
Step Four - take a break 
Take a break and ensure that you have scheduled adequate ‘me time’ in your schedule on a regular basis. 
Step Five – say no 
If you can’t do it, just say so. This is a very simple yet tricky one to master.  
 
Step Six – evaluate 
If you’re feeling hugely pressured and it’s really starting to hinder your business activities and personal life, I urge you to consider outsourcing some of the tasks you dislike, slows you down or causes you anxiety. I know how scary this can seem but trust me, when you outsource well, it will have a hugely positive impact on you and your business. 
 
Don’t forget, you can get in touch for a complimentary and confidential chat about what tasks you may benefit from outsourcing. 
 
If I can’t help you, I certainly know someone who can! 
Suzy 
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