Ever feel like you’re trying to empty the ocean with a thimble? Like there is always more to do than you can get done in a day? If you are a business owner, you probably know this feeling well. Running your own business often means wearing many hats all at the same time and juggling responsibilities that, in a large corporate setting, would be delegated to a dozen department heads.
It can be really difficult to carve out the time and the focus that you need to work on your business and take it from where it is now, to where you would like it to be in the future. With your overflowing inbox and endless admin, the need to keep up with the social media news feed and keep pushing that message out there in your marketing, and of course serving your highly valued customers and clients, there can be very little time left for you to be working on your business … and yet if you don’t, you get stuck where it feels like you’re running on a treadmill running through peanut butter. Sometimes it seems impossible to create change in a business that sometimes owns you rather than you owning it. So today, we have five practical strategies to get you out of that cycle to grow the business of your dreams.
LONG TERM VISION
Making sure you’ve got time to work on your business starts with having a clear focus on what the end game looks like in your business. Your long-term goals should be set for a timeframe of 3-5 years. What is the core purpose of the company? What problems are you trying to solve, and whom are you solving them for? What does your business look like when it’s finished? A long-term vision will promote concentration in your business and targeted management of every aspect of the company. With this kind of motivation, you will strive to achieve this vision by encouraging employees and remaining passionate about your end goal.
SHORT TERM GOALS
Once you’ve got that big picture worked out, then you need to break that down into smaller, more achievable goals. Even if you have long-term goals, without short-term goals your big-picture planning resembles a bridge without any supporting pillars. Simplify your to-do list down to include only the critical few things that will make the biggest difference to your success. Oftentimes, doing this step requires the help of having a coach and/or accountability group to challenge you. This will help you to stay focused and motivated and manage your time well, which leads us to the next important strategy to get the time to work on your business.
Now with the vision clear and the goals set, carving away that time in your diary becomes critical. Schedule time to work on your business and defend that time as if you’re defending your life. Because, in some ways, having the time to build your business is like defending your life. It’s putting boundaries around the way you invest your time, energy and headspace to make that effort count. Whether you’ve got a few days to work on your business or you can only afford a few hours, the point is to lock it in stone. This is the only way to grow your business from where it is now to where you want it to be in the future.
When you started in business, you were probably like most of us. You did it to have more time with the people that are most important to you. Recruiting the support of your loved ones is a crucial element of coming to enjoy those relationships to the fullest. By sharing some of your goals with them, and by putting strict boundaries around your time, you will have time to give back to those people that mean the most to you. Build systems to give you time to spend time with your family, enjoy weekends and take holidays when you can. Learn how to prioritize and plan as well as a delegate to the right people.
Rewarding yourself when you achieve those short term goals is a wonderful part of working on your business. Recognising and celebrating success is a very powerful motivator because it reinforces the meaning behind all that hard work and it shows appreciation for the achievements. This, in turn, boosts your self-esteem and motivates you to take the next step towards achieving the next goal. Make sure you set rewards that will motivate you to push through and set aside time to enjoy those rewards when you earn them.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed as an entrepreneur. The overwhelm can lead to anxiety and stress, which can make things worse. The simple strategies here can be a useful reference when you need a little help. So the next time you feel overwhelmed, hit the pause button on what you’re doing. Go through the steps here to clear your mind and get refocused.