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5 Tips to Conquer Overwhelm in Your Local Business

Feb 17, 2020

In our recent report, State of Local Online Marketing 2020, we asked local business owners what roles they perform in their business on a given day and the majority answered they were doing 10 or more different tasks in their business. 

Everything from janitor to strategic leader, or as one respondent said "chief cook and bottle washer."  And with a small or non-existent team, that makes sense.

So how do you reduce the overwhelm from all this multitasking?  We've got five tips that can help.

MAKE A PLAN

We talk about plans a lot but when you've got a plan in place, you can be proactive instead of reactive. You spend less time putting out those fires.

You can focus your attention on the most important aspects of the business that will help you move toward your big goals.

And having a plan makes it more likely that you'll hit those goals and grow your business.

Plus, putting a plan in place makes decisions easier, makes you more efficient and reduces stress.
 

DELEGATE 

If you do have a team, even a small one, make sure you're delegating tasks.

We all fall into the trap of thinking it will be faster to do it myself than to teach someone else. But that's a surefire way to end up with too much on your plate even though you have capable people around you.

Take the extra time to teach a team member to do tasks you know they could be doing and take them off your to-do list.
 
EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES 

Teach your employees to understand and buy-in to your business' big picture – the vision.

When everyone has the same goals in mind, it's easier to give them the freedom to make decisions and take action.  If your employees are handling tasks and choices, in a way that aligns with your vision, you have less of the day-to-day to deal with.

Be sure to listen to your team, make yourself available and open to their feedback and opinions.

Help them uncover their strengths within the job and nurture those. You might discover that teenager helping out 10 hours a week is a social media master and would love to help you take photos and keep your social media looking great.

Give them that opportunity to help you grow your business in a positive way.
 
LEARN TO SAY NO

Sometimes it's hard to say no.

It's an honor to be asked to join a local committee. It's exciting when a favorite customer suggests some new offerings for your business.

But it might not be the right time. If you're already overwhelmed with what's currently going on in your business, it's probably not a great idea to add things to your plate.

When you say yes to things you know you shouldn't, you often end up resenting those tasks and nobody wants that.

Know what you should be focusing on (have that plan!) and it's easy to say no thanks to those items that won't help you reach your goals.
 
BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

We've all got the same number of hours in a day but some people manage to get a lot more done. It's all about learning to boost your productivity.

A Google search will result in thousands of experts eager to give you their own productivity theories and honestly, what works for you is very individual. But a few tips that are universal?

  • Eliminate distractions – make sure you've got a space at work to focus on getting to down business.
  • Use a timer – set a timer for 20 minutes and plow through a task. When the timer goes off, move on to something else. This is especially useful for open-ended tasks that don't have a definitive ending point.
  • Batch your tasks – spend 30 minutes once a week creating all your Facebook posts and scheduling them. This will save lots of time over logging into Facebook each day to create a post. Any opportunities to avoid task-switching is a big time saver.
  • Prioritize self-care – yep, it's a buzz word and trendy, but making sure you're taking care of yourself, ensures your ability to take care of your business. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep. Make it a priority.

 
You'll never be able to completely eliminate stress or overwhelm from your life or business but you can take steps to drastically reduce it. And those little changes can add up to big improvements for you and your business.

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