Running a small business is not an easy task. Especially if you’re a one man band. From social media, to invoicing to actually delivering the product or service…the work really is non stop.
But continuing on this busy busy path could lead to additional stress and even business owner burnout. If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, tired, you have brain fog, you can never switch your brain off from work…then you may be on your way to business burnout already.
If you want to keep your business running successfully, then it might be time to start thinking about how you can manage your workload more effectively.
Here’s my top tips to manage your workload more effectively as a small business owner…
Create lists and prioritise
I personally love a list. In fact every week I create a list of tasks for the week so I know exactly what I need to get done. Now obviously other things to crop up every now and then, but I just assess where they need to fit into my list based on priority and roll with it. I also create daily lists 9and monthly lists) but that’s just me! I then set everything out in order of priority, i.e. what will affect my clients or my business if not done, what can hang on a couple of days and not a priority. Based on this I can then start planning out my work.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and I find this technique really helps me get everything out of my mind and onto paper and makes me feel more organised.
Set measurable goals for the day/week
Along with my lists, I create goals for the day & week. I do this because 1. I like to work towards something and 2. I like to treat myself once I’ve reached said goal (any excuse for a Terry’s chocolate orange bar!).
These goals also help me measure what I’ve achieved so far, I think as a business owner it can be hard sometimes to see how much you’ve actually achieved because you’ve got so much more ahead of you. So every week I go back through my goals, tick them off and give myself a pat on the back then have a glass of wine.
If you are a one man band, don’t be afraid to cheer yourself on every now and then. Give yourself a pat on the back, congratulate yourself and give yourself a break!
If you’re stacked out, it might be time to start considering bringing in some external help. Whilst outsourcing and handing over some of your precious business might seem scary, in the right persons hands your business could boom.
Before outsourcing, do your research on the person or company, ask all the questions you need and finally make a list of everything that you could hand over before taking anyone on, ensure whoever you hire can do what you actually need!
Don’t be afraid to use apps
There are so many apps out there these days that can help keep your organised, my favourite is Trello, but I have also used Asana, Hubspot and many others. It can get overwhelming sometimes with all the apps out there but don’t be afraid to download a few to get you started and find out which one you prefer best.
Me personally, I use Trello for my to do list, I also use Trello with my clients so they know where I am with my workload, I use Evernote to write down all my random ideas, ramblings & personal to do list, I also use Toggl Track to keep me on track with how long my tasks should be taking me. And finally I make good use of my Onedrive space to store any documents & ALL my work.
Tidy up your folders on your PC or physical, get organised!
Lets talk about file organisation then. Whilst this might seem a strange thing to talk about, I’m talking from experience when I say GET YOUR SHIZ IN ORDER! Gosh the amount of time I’ve wasted in the past trying to find documents & files is ridiculous. So get yourself organised. I personally use Onedrive to store all my files & pictures. However there’s also Google Drive, Dropbox (and I’m sure there’s some sort of apple equivalent available as well if you’re that way inclined)
Spend some time sorting through your files and getting them in folders with simple, sensible names (or names that make sense to you), make them easily accessible and make sure you store everything online or on an external hard drive, there’s nothing worse than something happening to your device and all your documents being lost.
If you can’t be arsed to do this yourself, outsource it!
Have a dedicated workspace
Now I’m a fine one to talk here, because I’ll generally work from anywhere, BUT it does pay off to have a dedicated work space. Not only does a dedicated workspace mean you’re not getting a cricked neck from sitting on the sofa with your laptop, but it means at the end of your working day, you can close off your device and walk away from it. That way, you’re not working all hours under the sun.
What I will also add to this is keep your desk space tidy and organised! Tidy desk makes for a tidy mind…or something to that effect anyway.
Make sure you have everything you need to work at your desk, including any papers, notepads and files, and that way you’re not constantly looking for stuff when you should be working. Plus, as already mentioned it means you can walk away from it at the end of the day, reducing those stress levels a whole lot!
Now whilst the points mentioned above aren’t the only things you could do to manage your workload, they’re a start.
And once you get the ball rolling, it wont stop!
Don’t make life any harder than it has to be, get your workload under control and show it who’s boss!
If you think you might be ready to start outsourcing, drop me a direct message and lets chat about how I can help you and your business.