The next two weeks are a bit overwhelming with so much going on, both personally and business-wise, so I took time yesterday to clear the decks.
I boxed up a ton of old binders and notebooks to go to the recycling center. I started filling my ‘summer bin’ mostly of books I want to read over the next few months. And I’m about 75% through my inbox as I head to zero before we leave for the lake.
I walked into my office this morning feeling considerably lighter and more energized to move forward.
I also made a list of exactly what needs to happen when over these next few weeks. Now I just need to focus on that list. 😉
I share more about wiping out overwhelm here:
How often do you find yourself in this scenario?
It’s Monday morning and you’re all geared up for a productive week ahead. You’ve got your to-do list (massive as it is) at the ready and you sit down at your desk to start checking things off.
As you begin to read down your list, you start to feel something in your gut. It’s not a physical pain necessarily, just a feeling of something heavy starting to grow. You ignore it and continue reading your list, making stars next to the things that seem to be the most important to get done that day.
But the more you do this, the heavier that feeling gets, until it starts creeping up to your shoulders and finally settles in your head. All that enthusiasm you had when you first sat down is gone and the only thing you feel now is utter and complete overwhelm.
Sound familiar? I’ve been there, too, so I understand.
And it’s not that all the tasks on your list aren’t wonderful and/or doable. There are simply too many of them – and they all seem important right now – to expect that you can accomplish them all in the hours you have to work in any single day.
So what happens? You do a little of this, a little of that, and you really never complete a single project!
But you don’t have to let another week pass without really accomplishing anything. Simply create a Priority Card.
A Priority Card will help you organize all your tasks in a way that will SHOW you every day what you should focus on.
There are a lot of details that will threaten to take your mind off your priorities (this is where a virtual assistant can be of immense value), but those details are not necessarily what will move you forward in your business. To do that, you need to consistently focus on completing the projects that will move your business ahead big-time.
You can create a system for helping you focus on your priorities in a number of ways, but I’m going to give you mine. I only work about 15 hours a week on my business, so adjust your own plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each week, I choose 3 projects with looming deadlines (self-imposed as they may be) from my master task list (which really is so massive that has it’s own notebook).
For example, at the moment, I am working on a sales page, content for a program, and a new offer.
On a colored index card, I write down those projects and prop the card in a standing clip holder, right in front of my computer screen. When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, or when I find myself getting distracted by new ideas or other tasks (all of which seem important), I remind myself to look at my Priority Card and focus only on what’s written there.
Once I started using my Priority Card, my own business growth leapt forward ten times faster than when I was doing a little of this and a little of that, working on a dozen things, but taking much too long to actually complete just one project.
Know you won’t be able to stick to this process 100% of the time, but even 80% will help you make dramatic strides in your business growth. You’ll actually finish the projects you set out to do, and you’ll not only feel great about doing so, you’ll be inspired to do it again, and again, and again. Once you make this shift, you’ve learned the secret to wiping out overwhelm for yourself and your business!
Chloe has a children’s book (which is now a movie) titled Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, which really simplifies the concept of living in the present moment, and how the practice of that will, for the boy in the story, eliminate fear and worry.
I wanted to explore that as it pertains to your business, with a slightly different slant. I wonder if you, like so many of my clients, and myself as well from time to time, are so hooked into the future that we’re missing the NOW and not fully enjoying the journey?
So how do we unhook from it to allow what we truly want to come to pass without always feeling like we’re striving for it?
Here are 5 ideas:
1. Let go of the goals that take you away from the present.
Let me say first that you can have everything you want – and there’s no judgement here on what those things are.
That being said, do you want a mansion, to be the #1 speaker in your market, to be the one with the biggest email list in your market, to be a New York Times bestselling author, to make a million dollars? There’s nothing wrong with any of those lofty (yet completely attainable) goals.
And, what happens is when we’re so focused on the sexy dream we tend to get ourselves so riled up about getting there that we miss all the amazing stuff happening NOW.
What I’ve noticed is that people get impatient, sad, frustrated, and even angry when they’re so focused on the future goal that the present seems uninteresting at best, despairing at worst. The antidote? See #2.
2. Polish the present
I want to encourage you to stop striving so hard and thrive in your present. What I mean is that if you make what you already have better, and polish what’s already good and working, you uplevel your life without expending that energy on something that doesn’t exist yet.
Yes, it’s about appreciating what’s already good and right in your world and in your business AND it’s about how you can make what’s already there fulfill you even more. It’s true that if you make the most of what you already have, you’ll get more and better of it with a lot less effort on your part.
3. Don’t plan so much
I’m all about having the big picture plan down to the day-to-day details, and yet I know that most of the time, the plan changes.
One of the reasons we – as business owners – plan so much is because it gives us a sense of control and it helps to alleviate the fears and doubts we have about knowing what we’re doing.
So have the plan and be willing to be flexible with it. Let it be a guide but not the only way. If you get wrapped up in THE PLAN you’ll actually hold yourself and your business back from being able to adapt quickly when things change – and they always do.
Assess if you spend more time planning than doing – and if you do, stop right now. And if you tend to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not, you might want a lightly-built framework around you to give you some sense of stability.
4. Get out of the striver’s club
Stop trying to acquire a better future with others who are striving. It’s just too exhausting. I’m not saying to surround yourself with lazy folks, but get out of the overdrive club if you want to relax into a currently compelling present instead of an exhausting still ‘out there somewhere’ future.
5. Get off the ‘if/when’ rollercoaster
I admit this is a pet peeve of mine. Not from people who are decisive, but from people who use it as an excuse to not be happy now. When you make ‘if/when’ statements, you’re living in the future. Dreaming and visioning is one thing; otherwise it’s a holding pattern for you but even worse, you’re not enjoying where you’re at right now!
Now take and implement these five ideas to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – I promise you’ll thank me for it. 🙂
I’d love to hear you thoughts on this – please comment below…
If your business feels stagnant or you’re just not as enthused about it as you want to be, some of the things to look at are if your current look and feel, messaging, and model are aligned with who you are and the work you most want to do.
Often times, a simple ‘refresh’ of what we’re doing, that’s more closely aligned with who we are today and the work that makes us light up inside, can move the energy and rekindle your enthusiasm.
Here are 3 simple ways you can hit the refresh button in your business today:
1. Look and Feel
When you look at your website, what does it feel like to you? Does it make you smile? Does it give off the energy you want it to? Does it work the way you want it to? Do you love it?
When you look at your marketing materials, ask yourself the same questions. If you’re not feeling it with your stuff, chances are that your target market isn’t either.
As you grow personally and as your business grows, your look and feel should change to reflect more accurately your current state of being.
Where in your business can you refresh the look and feel to more accurately reflect where you are in your business today?
Think about the main message you deliver to your market. Is that message still accurate? Has it changed over the last year? Does it feel like it needs to change to more accurately reflect who you serve and how you serve them?
As you become more clear about what it is that you do and to whom you do it for and with, you’ll want to adjust your message accordingly.
For example, my message for many years was about mentoring women entrepreneurs to break through to 6 figures and beyond so they can live the life they ache for. And while that is still true, it became clearer to me what really matters is not the 6 figures necessarily, but what really matters to them personally – and that’s will be reflected in my current messaging, which touches on it NOT being about the money.
Take a mini-audit of your offerings. What parts of the work that you do do you love to delivery and in what way? What parts could you let go of and feel really great about?
For example, after two years of year-long coaching programs, I reduced them to 8-month programs. When I restarted a monthly membership, I changed from live teleclasses to pre-recorded ones. I now offer virtual retreats in addition to in-person retreats. All of these changes better suit my chosen lifestyle and resonate with my best clients as well.
What changes can you make in your business model to better serve you?
Designing a business that you love around your life is one of the pillars on which I stand and teach. Learn how to do this for YOUR business (and life) at my annual live event here.
One of the things I worked on for several years is cleaning up my money issues. That included everything from thinking I have to work really hard to make a lot of money, to taking care of old debt, to having a plan for paying down new debt, to plugging even the slightest money leak.
The truth for me was that I tended to not pay attention to my money as much as I should, so inevitably something happened where money MADE me pay attention. It wasn’t usually a positive experience. 😉
As I made some big strides in this area, I discovered that once I started really paying attention to my money, it started showing up a lot more in a lot more positive ways.
Here are 4 tips that helped me immensely to turn on the flow of money into my business and my life that I know can help you too.
TIP 1. Keep a daily tracking sheet of what comes in…
I track every penny that comes in on one simple sheet each day. When I first started doing this, I had days where I didn’t have any money coming in, but within just one month, it started to become rare if there was even one day that didn’t have some sum attached to it. My clients who use this method of tracking absolutely love it because they can see the results of this simple yet powerful attractor of more money flow into their business so quickly.
TIP 2. Have a purpose for each income stream
I’ve always done this without really thinking about it, but once I started getting crystal clear about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ for each and every one of my income streams, they turned from trickles to rivers.
TIP 3. Take care of any outstanding money issues
Periodically, I sit down with all the info in hand to cancel memberships I’m not utilizing, get refunds I’m owed, and ask my assistant to send reminders for any overdue invoices. When I do this, inevitably I’ll receive a check or payment to me totaling as much as or more than the amount I just took care of. See, money likes being paid attention to.
TIP 4. Find and plug those money leaks
In every business, there are places where money is leaking out. It could be the webmaster who charges by the hour and takes too long to complete a task. It could be a monthly subscription that you either don’t utilize at all or that you aren’t clear on its return on investment to be sure it’s actually a good one to make. It could be paying monthly for a service you use all year in your business, and that you could save 10% on if you chose the annual payment plan instead.
When you start to pay attention to your money, it will immediately open up the flow of it into your business and your life.
Which one of these tips are you going to start doing today? Share with me below…
At Simplify & Amplify, we work on YOUR money stuff and these 4 tips are the tiniest sample of the kinds of shifts you can start making today to start making and keeping more money in your business.
Find out more about S&A here