Business owners and managers of mid-sized and small businesses have more to juggle than they can handle. One of the maladies that plague us and our teams is the lurking sense that “I’m not enough.”
Let’s examine the one area which you have more control over than you may believe. It’s control over your time.
We at ABA help our clients define reality. And if this “Insider” feels a bit too truthful, realize that our intent is to make sure you face the truth about your alleged lack of time. If you feel that you are drowning in a sea of constant tasks and to-do’s, these tips are for you!
Read and adopt these tips at your own peril: you may find yourself being less stressed and having more time! Here we go:
- Recognize that your current workload is unsustainable.
Breakthroughs rarely happen without a breakdown. You could play the victim and continue drifting along, the hapless victim of your schedule. However, this will lead to a breakdown in your schedule, your company, or your health.
Alternatively, you can be proactive and declare that you will have a break down and admit your current workload is not sustainable.
All of us are given 168 hours in a week. When we spend those hours, they are gone. If you say “yes” to something, you need to say “no” to something else. The first step is to proactively declare,
“My current workload is unsustainable.”
- Acknowledge that the real problem is you.
It’s easy to think that the problem is “out there.” “It’s the fault of my demanding clients” or “If only I had better employees.” Or you might be saying, “It’s my boss’s fault,” or, “It’s my spouse’s fault,” or, “It’s just this season of life,” or whatever your reason might be.
The truth is nobody is holding you hostage and saying, “You have to commit to this thing.” You are the one saying “yes.” But why might you be saying “yes” too much? Here are some factors that may keep you saying “yes” and being your own worst enemy:
• You may fear missing an important opportunity (“If I don’t say yes, then this opportunity might go away”).
• You fear disappointing other people.
• You have some unnamed concern that keeps you saying “yes” too often.
You can get out of that problem. You may not be able to do it this week. You may not be able to do it this year. But if you intend to change, you can begin to make decisions today that will free up your time tomorrow.
When you realize that you are central to the problem, it also means you are central to the solution. This self-awareness can bring a sense of freedom and hope—you do have control to make changes! (Check out the Toolkit below for additional ideas).
- Develop an abundance mindset.
Nothing can combat fear more than assessing your mindset and choosing an abundance one.
If you’ve adopted the first two tips we’ve provided, adopting an abundance mindset will get you to the next level in reclaiming your time.
Realize that no strategy or productivity tool will help you if your perspective is distorted by a scarcity mindset. If you’re still stuck struggling in fear, whatever app or methodology you use will still keep you mired in making choices that over commit your time.
How do you know you have an abundance mindset? When you say no to a “great” opportunity, you can say with full conviction,
“There’s more where that came from.”
- If you are feeling especially stressed, try reminding yourself of this Abundance Memory Jogger (AMJ):
“I currently have everything I need to be what God wants me to be and to do what he has given me to do today.” (2 Peter 1:3)
- Give yourself some time between a request and your response. Tell yourself,
“I’m going to make a decision to do a high-payoff activity for my long-term success and for the good of my family and what matters most to me. I will reject those requests that don’t align with this intention.”