There is a huge misconception that once you are starting a business and to maintain a business you need to burn the candle at both ends. Don’t worry, I was also of that belief until I decided I did not want to be stuck in front my laptop for 10 hours every day Sunday to Sunday. Nope! That was not why I became an entrepreneur and I did not like the feeling of being tired and burnt out all the time. Now I work 4 hours a day and use the rest of hours to read, learn new skills and engage in much needed self-care.
These are the steps I took. Because trust me, it did not happen overnight!
1.I redid my to do list
Usually my daily to-do list would be 20 ticks long and I would work myself into a frenzy everyday getting things done or at least trying to. Most days I was never able to complete everything. And most days I would beat myself up and go to bed exhausted and wake up even more exhausted because I was worrying about the things I did not get completed.
Now I make my list and before I get into action I start to delete stuff. I decide what is a priority and what is a nice to do. Because everything on your list is NOT a priority even though we would love to believe so. I even went further and said I am doing exactly 3 priority things every day. Those priority tasks must be income generating tasks. They must get me in front my ideal clients. They must generate income. And they must increase my visibility and my voice. If I had extra time, then maybe I would do the rest
2. Closed my tabs and stopped scrolling
One of the hardest parts to accomplish this was managing my screen time. I realized I use to spend at least 3-5 hours a day just scrolling and macoing what people were doing and saying. It was not productive at all. And then I did not feel accomplished unless I had like 10-15 tabs open. I was fooling myself because it actually gave me anxiety jumping from tab to tab.
Now I only have tabs open if I am working on something specific. I finish one thing completely, close the tab and then move on to the next task. No multi-tasking. This actually allowed me to finish tasks faster and meet all of my deadlines in a more realistic way.
3. Delegated jobs and hired helped
Yes, I asked for help. So even when I did not to do list, I would decide who I would send the work out to. I now have 2 Virtual Assistants and a personal assistant and a set of freelancers I reach out to complete projects. At first, I was terrified to do this because like you, I thought I could not afford help because I am not making enough revenue as yet. I wrote a whole blog on what to outsource in your business.
But the opposite happened! I planned it out so everybody worked part time. I created a budget that I felt comfortable paying them (even though I was not making it as yet). I also ensured that any task I delegated out would generate income for my business. They are literally working to pay themselves and the rest of it is mine to keep. I allow my staff to work in their zone of genius so I could work in mine. This not only saved me time but also money and resources. What would take me 2 weeks to figure out they could do in 30 minutes and set up so we can make the money to pay them!
4. I started to say NO
My answer never used to be NO! I would say YES to anybody who needed help. Whether it was business or otherwise. It was distracting and it was time consuming. In fact, on some days I got nothing done because I was so busy helping somebody else with their own dreams. And then I would crawl into bed at night and cry my eyes out because I got nothing done for the day.
So, I started to really weight it out when people called or messaged me for help. If I had time…and I mean real time, then sure I will help. But if I had a deadline to meet for my own business, then the answer is a loud and resounding NO.
5. I scheduled down time
This was another big doozy for me. Because my grandmother would say “You will rest when you dead!” and I literally took that to heart. So, for years, I truly believed that I had to work my finger to the bone. That I could not complain about being tired. That I had to keep going and if I took time to sleep, get a massage, read a book or doing something fun for myself, that I was being completely selfish. Boy was I wrong!
If I am tired and frustrated, I do not produce great work! That is a fact. So, I have learnt to listen to my body and my brain and schedule time to just relax. There are some days of the week that I do not take calls from clients and some days I do not even open my laptop. I have a day to do my mani and pedi. A day to get my hair done. And every day I take a 2-3 hour break just to rejuvenate myself before I jump back into group coaching with my clients.
4 hours a day is not ideal for everybody and I get that. But working 20 hours Sunday to Sunday is a guaranteed recipe for burn out and exhaustion. And that is the real reason a lot of businesses close up shop before their 5-year mark as well.
Don’t believe the hype. Break the cycle and change how you manage yourself so you can live a life that is fulfilling and have a business that is sustainable.
Still need help with this, then schedule a Call and let’s devise a plan that works for you!