How to overcome feeling like you never have enough time in your business
Yesterday I was chatting with a client about feeling overwhelmed and finding it hard to find the time to fit it all in, and it’s something that many entrepreneurs struggle with and that I can certainly relate to as well.
When you’re an entrepreneur, it can feel like A LOT to get through and like you’re constantly running around trying to do it all yet still constantly feel like you’re not making progress and stress along the way.
I remember being a real mess when I was still in my corporate job, trying to build my business on the side, as I was constantly trying to fit in business tasks during my work time, meaning I was always overwhelmed and felt like I wasn’t doing ANYTHING well (which stressed out the A-type in me who wanted to have it all under control even MORE).
It was a vicious spiral and I didn’t know how to get out of it because I wanted to hit my goals so badly and had finally found the thing I knew I was meant to do (after feeling unfulfilled for so long).
Once I managed to shift this as I was headed for burnout, it all changed.
I felt like I could breathe again and actually performed in both areas a lot better
I wanted to share a few tips that have helped myself and clients overcome this constant overwhelm (and that I still use to this day):
1. Stay present
Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t jump back and forth between tasks. Close the gazillion tabs.
If you’re in a day job, don’t try to do your business whilst you’re meant to be doing work-related tasks. We get anxious and overwhelmed when we are living in the past of the future.
If you focus on the now, on that one task you are working on, there is truly nothing to be worried about.
2.Write down a brain dump
Literally anything that is on your mind that you know needs to be completed or resolved (within your business and personal life).
3. Schedule it ALL in
Take the above brain dump (which is in a lot of ways in your to-do list), break it down into actionable tasks and manageable chunks (e.g. writing a blog post could become 1. Do the research to find the topic 2. Brainstorm and outline the 5 points you want to cover 3. Write the first draft 4. Edit and finalize the final draft – those 4 tasks could be done across different days which makes it a lot more manageable).
Then schedule those tasks into your diary (I use my iPhone which syncs to my Google calendar and client scheduling system for everything – including the gym/ fun/ appointments/ date night etc.)
4. Prioritize just three must-dos per day
These are the tasks you have to complete. It does not matter if there are 50 other items on your to do list, just focus on those three.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to complete your full to-do list. You’ll feel a huge sense of relief and accomplishment having completed those and it will remove the stress of not having the other 47 done (you know those will be priorities for another day and are scheduled in somewhere).
5. Add tasks to your to-do list and stay focused
When something that needs to get done comes to mind, instead of jumping away from what you are doing and scrambling to get it done, add it to your to do list, and when it’s time, schedule it in accordingly.
That means it’s off your mind which can be draining, and you know it will be taken care of in due time.
6. Take action or let it go
For elements of your brain dump that are out of you control, either decide what action you need to take to get closure (and schedule it in) OR decide to let it go, and literally release it by saying it aloud or writing it down. Past unresolved issues can take a lot of mental energy.
7. Realise that your beliefs and thoughts create your reality
So if you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time and tell yourself that, that is what will be reflected in your reality, meaning it’s time to upgrade that thought.
You may choose to completely reverse that thought to create a new belief e.g. “I always have enough time for all of my desires” which you can integrate into your affirmations (or simply use to redirect your old belief to the new belief as soon as it comes up).
However you could also take an intermediary step if you feel like the new reversed positive belief is fake or not truly believable quite yet, and upgrade your thought/ belief to something like “I am open to an abundance of time to complete everything on my to-do list”.
Your subconscious mind will work to support that new belief, hence why it’s so important to upgrade those limiting beliefs and negative thoughts to thoughts that support where you want to be.
8. Implement the CTFAR model
One of my favourite models of all times, which I first learned from a life coach years ago, is TFAR (or CTFAR). You can Google CTFAR but essentially it means that Circumstances can trigger Thoughts which cause Feelings which cause Actions which cause Results.
This can be applied to pretty much ANY thought as was an absolute game-changer for me. If you can change the thought (e.g. upgrade it to something more supportive of your goals and positive as described above), this will have a ripple effect to your feelings, actions, and results.
Meaning if your thought it “I never have enough time and am constantly stressed and overwhelmed”, you will physically feel stressed and overwhelmed, which might result in you procrastinating, or taking scattered and unfocused action.
If you can start to upgrade that thought and move towards reversing the belief, this completely change the way you feel and take action.
So your thoughts do truly create your reality, this has been proven numerous times from both a scientific perspective and spiritual perspective.
9. Take breaks and exercise
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s so important to clear your mind when you feel unproductive or like you’re getting in your own way.
Simply moving your body can active endorphins but also allows for your brain to be opened up creatively. Sometimes I feel completely stuck, and instead of forcing myself to stay at my laptop I will simply go for a walk outside or to the gym and suddenly get an influx of ideas and am a lot more productive.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t have the time, as you’re in essence creating a lot more time and productivity through just 30-60 min of exercising (or even less if you’re pressed for time, just getting your blood pumping with a couple of minutes of jumping jacks can change everything).
10. Focus on the solution rather than the problem
You have the solutions inside of you already in many cases, you just need to give yourself the space to get creative and come up with these.
When you pause, allow yourself to look inwards, inspiration will come. Get into the habit of putting your entrepreneurial problem solving hat on rather than telling yourself you’re stuck and can’t do it. And also remember that you don’t need to do it alone.
Sometimes the solution is actually reaching out to somebody else. So if you are completely stuck or know you need support, by all means get it.
There are lots of people out there who can compensate for your weaknesses, help you with the strategic/ tactical/ technical side of things so don’t waste time trying to do it all alone.
11. Realize that there is no such thing as falling behind.
Sometimes, we act as if we only have a few months to live in terms of doing it ALL now in our business. This shows me you’re super committed to your success and are driven which is great – I also don’t believe in moving slowly.
However, I also believe there is no point in trying to do it all now if you’re not actually enjoying the journey and always living for that end goal.
You’re on your own journey, on your own path, on your own timeline. Don’t try to compare your step 1 to somebody else’s step 100. That can be very frustrating and overwhelming.
Give yourself credit for everything you’ve accomplished already. Know that if you don’t’ give up, there is nothing that is out of reach for you.
So enjoy the ride!