Banging your head against the proverbial business brick wall. We’ve all been there. Emails continue to trickle in, your phone is beeping and your calendar is fighting for white space.
Business is good but you are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do next. Rather than dive back in to your work as usual, you feel like you’re stuck. Maybe it’s time to refocus.
Refocusing is a way to remind yourself of your plan and your goals at a critical time when the last thing you want to do on earth is turn on your computer – so don’t, which leads me to:
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Step One: step away from the computer! The internet, as wonderful as it is, is a time vampire. Ever gone online to answer an email and three hours later you find yourself ordering Egyptian cotton towels? During times that you’re unfocused and easily distracted, the internet becomes a haven for procrastination and should be temporarily avoided. Set up an auto-response on your email account saying that you’ll attend to matters in 24 hours. Don’t leave your phone number.
Step Two: review your current business plan. What were you trying to achieve when you wrote it? Asses if those goals and their rewards still interest you. A woman who once considered profit as a driving force may now consider work/life balance more valuable. A way that focus is easily derailed is if the individual no longer wants what they’ve been working towards. Priorities change and evolve, and your business plan needs to reflect that.
Step Three: pinpoint what you don’t like about your business. It’s amazing how something so small like neglecting to update your business cards can affect the way you feel about your progression. It’s possible that the source of your unhappiness is a host of seemingly little issues. It only takes one thread to undo a jumper, so look at the whole picture of your business and work out what is really bugging you, and what needs to be fixed.
Step Four: talk to someone. Whether it is a close friend, a partner or your personal advisory board, communicate how you feel about where you’re at. Talking about it can release the frustration, anxiety and stress associated with the problem, so pick up the phone. Even if they can’t offer solutions, reaching out to your support system is the foundation for progress.
Step Five: reset your goals. Factoring in your current priorities and where you’re at, write a new list of things you’d like to achieve. When you’ve exceeded a number of goals you can fall in to the trap of not knowing where to head to next. Aim further ahead and higher up.
Step Six: forget it all for a while. Sometimes your mind is screaming “Hello world, I want to get off”. Listen to it. When business gets overwhelming, take a moment to step outside and take some deep breaths. Exercise is also a great way to renew motivation and that ‘Can do’ attitude.
The best way to refocus is to reset. Give yourself the time to relax, reflect and replan your next move and you’ll be able to reignite the passion to get back to work.
Amanda Rose connects CEOs, directors, businesses, government and communities on mutually beneficial projects. She is the executive producer and host of The Business Woman radio program.