Overwhelm. Chaos. Pressure. Stress. We all experience it from time to time in our businesses, but when something big starts heading our way, like the holidays, it’s almost a given that those feelings are going to surface. They’re never welcome. They certainly aren’t good for us or our business, but there’s a way to deal with them. There’s a way to get the positive feelings you’d rather have. Feelings like… Clarity. Focus. Today, I’m going to tell you how you can take holiday pressure, stress, infinite to-do lists, overwhelm, confusion and chaos, and turn it into clarity, focus, peace, and calm so you can make the most of your business during the busy holiday season. First things first.
Step Back For A Bit
When you start feeling that sense of overwhelm taking over, the first thing you need to do is stop everything and get away from it. Take a quick break, and do something you enjoy. 10 – 15 minutes is all you need. Just enough time to get away from whatever it was that triggered that nasty overwhelming feeling.
Get It All Out
Once you’re starting to feel better, you need to recognize that you have too many things going on to keep them all in your head. It’s difficult for anyone to sort through all the things in their life and categorize everything in the right place in their mind. That’s what paper and lists are for. So grab a piece of paper, take 10 minutes, and write down EVERYTHING you’re thinking of. Don’t limit yourself to business tasks and needs only. You can include all your other responsibilities too.
Put Everything In It’s Place
Once 10 minutes is up and you feel like you’ve got everything out of your mind and down on your paper, take some time (and some more paper) to put everything you wrote down on different lists. For instance, you may have one list for business, one list for family, and one list for a holiday party you’re planning. The point is to take your big, messy, master list and to minimize it by making it smaller. You’re not getting rid of anything just yet… you’re just breaking it up into smaller pieces to deal with.
One Area At A Time
Now that you big mess is categorized into groups of like things, it’s time to pick one group to deal with first and leave the rest for later. Since we’re talking about business and preparing for the holidays today, let’s focus on that. Look over your list of all the things you need to do for your business. Is there anything else that has come to mind that you need to add? If so, add it. Next, is there anything on that list that’s out of your control? If it’s out of your control, stop worrying about it or only focus on the parts that you can control. If there are parts you can control, write those things down and mark off the part you can’t control. The goal here is to simplify, simplify, simplify.
Prioritize The Crazy
At this point, your list should only consist of business tasks and needs, and everything on it should be something that you have control over. What you need to do now is figure out what’s most important verses what’s least important. Grab a new piece of paper and pick one thing from your business list to write on your new list. Don’t write it at the top. Write it in the middle of the paper. Now pick something else on your list. Is it more important that the first thing you wrote down? Does it have to be done first before the other thing can get done? If you answered yes to those questions, write it before the first task you put on your list. If it’s not more important, then you can write it after the first task. Do this for everything on your list until you have a new list and everything has been marked off of the original business list. At this point you should have everything prioritized on your new list.
Set A Date And Schedule It
This is the last thing you’ll need to do. Now that you’ve got all the things you need to do for your business out of your head and in order of importance on your list, you need to decide what you’ll do today, tomorrow, this week, and this month. Write it out, color code it, transfer it to your planner, do whatever you need to do to make it work for you. The main thing is that you know what needs done and when.
Once you’ve done this for all your lists, you should be feeling much better. Those nasty feelings of overwhelm, stress, and chaos should be slipping away and you should be feeling nice and calm about now. You should have a clear idea of where you’re going and how to get there. All that’s left is for you to do is to get to work and kick some serious holiday booty! Best of luck to you!
Meagan Visser is the owner and resident herbalist at Growing Up Herbal, an organic skincare and herbal medicinal business for children. She also loves to talk business over at MeaganVisser.com, and is the author of The Customer Discovery Report, a guide and workbook that will help you discover the perfect customer for your business.