It's very rare for me to interview a small business owner and hear that they have time on their hands. Most entrepreneurial types can always think of something else to do in their business. Whether you are an emerging newbie, an expanding established small business owner, or an executive-level entrepreneur, chances are you're always thinking about your business. That's how we are wired.
Still, if you feel harried all the time, not only are you suffering (and it will take its toll on your health in time) more than likely your business is suffering, too. It's too easy to overlook opportunities when you are constantly harried – opportunities to save money by reining in your operating costs and opportunities to offer different products and services to your customers, too.
Here are three ways to hone down that harried feeling that will also strengthen your business.
- Pick one small thing you are doing that you can hand off to someone else. Do this every day for a week. I challenge any small business owner to improve her business by taking delegation to the next level. You will benefit both personally and professionally. At the end of the week you'll have 5 things off your plate. Do this once a week every month and it will decrease your harried factor.
- Make a list of the 3 things you aren't getting to that are constantly on your mind. Pick one of them. Now make a list of all the reasons why you aren't getting to it by filling in this sentence “I would get this done if only….” Keep listing all the reasons why until you can't think of any more. This will give you a clearer idea of what you need to do to get it moving forward. Act to remove just one of the reasons why not, you'll be surprised at how much energy that sets in motion to go ahead and finish up.
- Carve out the time to have coffee or lunch with another small business owner. This can be someone you know, or someone new. Allow a full hour. Ask that person about their own business and what is on their to-do list that's hard to get to. You will leave feeling less harried. You will probably gain a good idea or two for your own business. Taking time out to make a connection feeds us no matter how harried we are day-to-day. It also automatically changes our focus for an hour, giving us respite. I recommend this time out once a week.
Sometimes you just need someone else's perspective to clear your head and get a feeling of control again. If that's the situation for you right now, I invite you to check out my One and Done hour. It's a quick and cost effective way to feel supported, get answers, and decrease your harried factor.