5 Ways To Effectively Reduce Overwhelm As A Busy Entrepreneur
What a great brunch buffet and an entrepreneur To-Do list have in common? I know what you think- perhaps nothing! As an entrepreneur myself I can tell you that I find more in common than you would expect.
I had just returned from a much- needed vacation last week, where I got inspiration for this article.
While at my vacation, most of the mornings I would go to the gym and head straight for brunch at the resort’s restaurant, right after. They had an option to choose between a menu a la carte and a full buffet. What did you think was my choice 3 out of 6 times? Yes, you guessed it- the buffet option. There were so many amazingly delicious items that I was dying to try them all. From the healthy chia puddings to the fluffy omelets and the gluten-free banana pancakes, they were all equally desirable.
On the third day, I started noticing something interesting. I was always leaving food behind because I wasn’t able to finish all the things I had on my plate. Since I hate to waste food, I thought to myself- this option doesn’t make sense to me, and I should pick one dish to focus on.
Now if you’re an entrepreneur, think about your to-do list. If you’re constantly piling up tasks and activities on your plate, you’re probably struggling to complete everything. I know, I know, all the things are equally important, until you learn to effectively prioritize and focus on only one at a time. Think of how much time gets wasted when you’re working on a few projects simultaneously. Splitting your attention between different tasks, instead of committing a 100% of it to the one activity at hand, is causing you to lose brain power by having to constantly switch contexts.
Research by The American Psychological Association shows that “doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task, takes a toll on productivity. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may take more time in the end and involve more error. The experts have said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time.”
Not only having too much on your list is negatively affecting your brain, but also has negative effects on your mood and performance. It causes you to become anxious, overwhelmed and feel bad about yourself for not being able to finish everything at once. As if the pressure of running a business (which success depends solely on you) isn’t quite enough.
Here is my 5- step process that has worked for me and many of my clients. Keep in mind that every person and their challenges are different, so what has worked for some, may not work for all. With that said, most entrepreneurs often share the common struggle being overwhelmed and needing a system to utilize so that they gain back control of what’s on their plate.
After you complete step 1, write down all the tasks and projects on your post-it notes. Categorize each one and stick them in the section of the table you determine they belong.
FROM THE EDITOR
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