Are you running your business or is it running you?
We’re not sure if there is any “one” answer to this question. There are days when we feel like we’re in control and rockin’ the business world, other days we wonder how we kept up and if it’s Friday yet. We love what we do, and we’re lucky to have a team of passionate professionals who are there when I need them, and even when we think we don’t.
It’s always ok if you feel like the balance between the two is a moving target, if we always knew what to expect, life would be boring. Do you find yourself saying?
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I just don’t have time!
I’m so tired!
If so, then your business may be running you and it’s time for an adjustment (it’s not too late!).
Here are a few tips:
1. Start journaling about your day, what did you get done and you’re proud of, what did you put off for another day. Review this journal regularly to see if there’s a trend on what keeps lingering on your list.
2. Take this one step further and look at how you’re spending your time. This tracker is for your eyes only, so be honest. Are you distracted by social media? Spend too much time at the office water cooler? Love checking out Jumia flashing deals?
Maybe your business isn’t running you, but distractions are. I set timers when I go on social media during business hours, and when the timer goes off, I log out. If you get notifications on your phone that pop up and distract you, turn them off. It’s ok if you’re not the first one to comment on a photo.
3. Keep your goals visible, and track your progress – better yet, celebrate your accomplishments! I celebrate every Friday with some self-care and meditate every night before bed to clear my mind. It’s what I choose to do for myself, and I make it a priority (which takes practice but can be done).
4. Plan your day – it’s easy to open your email and start digging in, but is that strategically the best option? I start my day reading emails on my phone to see if there’s anything urgent. When I get to my computer a little later, I follow the same structure:
What emails/missed calls are emergencies and need to be dealt with now?
What can I delegate so others can get started with their day?
What am I still waiting on that I need to follow up with?
What meetings are planned for the day, and do I have what I need (call in numbers, agendas, supplementary info)?
What’s new that I can start to tackle?
5. Have a set end to your day – and turn everything off, only dealing with true emergencies after business hours.
Let’s pause for a moment and ask the question – are you able to do any of the items above? If not, then the answer is simple, you’ve grown too big to manage this on your own, or with the size of the team that you presently have.
If you have a team, check-in with them, do they feel overworked, or feel they’re always waiting for something to help with? Changing your communication style or bringing on someone new can help.
If you’re flying solo – I’ve got news for you – you are successful enough right now, to justify an assistant. There isn’t a magic revenue number that you need to have; it comes down to balance and managing growth. If you’re not feeling in control, it’s time.
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