Many business owners share with me that one of their biggest problems is information overwhelm which in turn leads to lack of focus, and therefore they don't actually get stuff done in their business. They're so busy trying to keep up with all the information that they're being hit with that they don't actually get around to any implementation and so they stay stuck.
With all the information that's thrown at us via our inbox, social networks, and even through the mail, it's so easy to become side-tracked and lose that focus and, like many business owners, I'm guessing you only have a certain number of hours in the day to work on your business.
If you're going to grow your business and implement new programs and products, and continue to serve your clients, then you really need to stay focused and make the best possible use of your time.
Today I'd like to share with you my top 10 tips for beating the overwhelm and staying focused:
1. Only check email at certain times. You're not going to do yourself any favors by checking your email every 30 seconds. Once first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon is enough.
2. Schedule in business development appointments. You need to work ON your business, right? So schedule that time into your calendar. This will get you really focused on creating that new program or product that's been sat on your To Do list for the past six months.
3. Unsubscribe from ezines that no longer serve you - and, yes, I realize I may be shooting myself in the foot when I say this to you. But having fewer emails landing in your inbox will really make a difference to your inbox overwhelm and will allow you to focus only on those mentors/teachers that serve you best.
4. Likewise, unsubscribe from online groups such as Yahoo & Google groups that no longer serve you. If you're not actively participating anyway, why add to your inbox by receiving group emails. You'll only be tempted to check them!
5. If you want to remain in an online group, switch your emails over to daily digest. Instead of getting an email every time someone posts to the forum, switch to daily digest - that's one email per day instead of many.
6. Don't take unscheduled phone calls - let it go to voicemail. Unscheduled phone calls are an interruption - they take you off task and you will need to spend time refocusing again once you hang up.
7. Allocate specific blocks of time for client calls. Rather than having your client calls/appointments all haphazard in your calendar, create blocks of time when you'll be available to speak or meet directly with clients.
8. Focus on only participating in one program/teacher/mentor at a time - immerse yourself in the learning and implement before you move on to the next program.
9. Only work on those activities that contribute to the big picture for your business i.e. those activities that will create new revenue streams and increase your bottom line. Either outsource or ditch the rest.
10. Focus on YOUR big picture - remember why you started your business in the first place. With the constant bombardment of "I'll show you how easy it is to create a six or seven-figure business" emails it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you're a failure if you're not at that level. There's nothing wrong in striving for this goal, but whilst you may not be at that level yet (or perhaps don't even want to be) that in itself can be a source of overwhelm. Don't follow the shoulds. Be yourself; remember why you got into this in the first place; and enjoy what you're doing.
Learning how to manage your time and stay focused is one of the crucial components you have to learn to master if you want to create a sustainable, long-term business.
By Tracey Lawton
Image by Vladimir Mucibabic
Online Business Development Strategist, Tracey Lawton, teaches solo service professionals how to create a thriving and profitable business through the implementation of simple office organization and online marketing systems, which leads to more clients, more profits, and more freedom. Get your fr.ee "Office Organization Success Toolkit" plus how-to articles, resources, tips, and tools at http://www.officeorganizationsuccess.com.