All posts by Kirsty Gaitens

How to Expand Your Business Without Overwhelm

How to Expand Your Business Without Overwhelm

Growing a small business is one of the most rewarding adventures you could embark on, as you create the life of your dreams, but it can be equally as terrifying and overwhelming. So how do we stay in our lane amongst the chaos? One of the most common issues I see my clients encounter is a chaotic mindset. With a million hats to be worn most days from innovator to manager, to accountant to marketer, you never know what your day may look like. However, with the right approach and tools in place, you really can focus on your business goals while nurturing your inner self at the same time. The key to achieving this is more organisation, less procrastination. Organising is the perfect way to remove stress and anxiety because it targets breaking tasks down into achievable outcomes, keeping you on track. The best part about breaking it all down is that it gives you smaller tasks to focus on, which in turn gets rid of the overwhelming feeling that there’s a huge project looming over your shoulders. Combine this with practising daily mindfulness, and your workdays will be a lot less chaos and a lot more zen. Here are my top organization tips, from scheduling tools to productivity techniques!
Growing a small business is one of the most rewarding adventures you could embark on, as you create the life of your dreams, but it can be equally as terrifying and overwhelming. So how do we stay in our lane amongst the chaos?   One of the most common issues I see my clients encounter is a chaotic mindset. With a million hats to be worn most days from innovator to manager, to accountant to marketer, you never know what your day may look like. However, with the right approach and tools in place, you really can focus on your business goals while nurturing your inner self at the same time. The key to achieving this is more organisation, less procrastination. Organising is the perfect way to remove stress and anxiety because it targets breaking tasks down into achievable outcomes, keeping you on track.  The best part about breaking it all down is that it gives you smaller tasks to focus on, which in turn gets rid of the overwhelming feeling that there’s a huge project looming over your shoulders. Combine this with practising daily mindfulness, and your workdays will be a lot less chaos and a lot more zen.  Here are my top organization tips, from scheduling tools to productivity techniques!

Schedule your day and stick to your routines

While flexibility is an important aspect of being a business owner, our beautiful human brain thrives on routine. According to research, routines help alleviate anxiety and have a calming effect. They also reduce the number of decisions you have to make each day, giving you more space to focus on what truly matters. If you work from home as a small business owner, creating a schedule for yourself is vital for success. It ensures that you fully focus on work in an allocated time frame, and allows a guilt-free play once your ‘work’ part of the day is over.  Don’t skip the breaks! I know I’m guilty of working non-stop ridiculous hours as well, this write-up is a good reminder for me too, but taking a break is an essential part of expanding your business. It prevents burn-out and helps reset your brain. Breaks have actually been proven to increase productivity and creativity, and with more breaks, less stress, and stronger immunity, so you won’t be forced to take a break later. 

Use task management tools & creative software

These tools are like a free personal assistant. It makes your day so much easier when you can plan, and visualise all that needs to be achieved.  Here are some of my free favourite task management tools:
  • Trello – a tool that lets you create interactive boards for better organization
  • Asana – a task management software aimed to provide businesses small – corporate with an all-in-one management solution 
  • Planoly – a website for easy scheduling & planning of social media content – they have now upgraded to scheduling reels too – yay!
Planning your day isn’t the only thing you can use tools for – there are many creative solutions that help with your creative process too:
  • Canva – one of the best online graphic design tools
  • Notion – an app that helps you organise projects, bring ideas to life, and co-operate creatively with others.

Protect your mornings & cultivate peace within yourself

Your mornings are sacred. They really are the most powerful time of your day.  The best way to nurture a sense of peace within yourself and to focus on what’s truly important, your joy, is to devote every morning to doing something you love. The way you wake up sets the mood for the entirety of your day, which is why I recommend you put yourself in a calm state of mind – meditate, do yoga, repeat positive affirmations, write in your journal, or practise mindfulness, dance, sing, ride a bike, play a sport, call a friend. Whatever brings you joy, do it! Mindfulness has been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, increase self-compassion, and improve overall wellbeing. It even helps business owners specifically! Neurocoach Heather Crider has told Forbes that mindfulness works because “when people can find peace and happiness within themselves they can then become more successful.”  Spending a few minutes each morning calming down your nervous system and cultivating a peaceful state of mind is the number one thing you can do for your business.

Try out productivity techniques for better focus

Productivity techniques are essentially hacks to organising your behaviour. They help trick your brain into focusing when all you want to do is procrastinate, and they increase your efficiency, which gives you more free time. And who doesn’t love more free time? My favorite productivity methods include:

The Pomodoro Technique

This is an easy time management system you can use every day. Here’s how it works:
  • Break your workday into 25-minute time slots. Spend each time slot fully focused on the task at hand.
  • When the time is up, take a 5-minute break.
  • Repeat the process until your projects for the day are completed. 

The Eisenhower Matrix

Developed by the American president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Eisenhower Matrix helps you organize tasks based on importance and urgency: Focus on what is urgent and important, schedule what is non-urgent and important, delegate urgent and non-important tasks, and finally, delay everything that is non-urgent and non-important.   This is a great system to follow when you have too many tasks to do, and you quickly need to find a way to categorize them.

Flow States

A flow state is when you’re completely immersed in a task to the point when you lose all sense of time. Flow states allow you to see challenging tasks as doable, rewarding, and enjoyable. This is the most powerful state to be in. It increases productivity, motivation, efficiency, and focus. It’s the ideal way to daily work on your business without overwhelm and stress. In order to get in the flow, you should:
  • Minimize interruptions
  • Allow yourself enough time to focus
  • Practice mindfulness
Listening to deep-focus music, such as lo-fi, helps a great deal!

My thoughts

Remember that it’s all about the process more than the outcome. Each day is a step you make towards expanding your potential and your business– so let’s make sure you actually enjoy it. Focus on the main purpose of your business, stay authentic to yourself, and prioritise your personal growth just as much as your business growth – as this will always serve your higher purpose. Your business is but a mirror of who you are. The more confident and empowered you feel, the higher you’ll reach when it comes to your business ventures. You’ve got this!
branding for business

Brand and Business, what’s the difference?

Brand and Business, what’s the difference? 

In simplified terms, your brand is how your audience perceives you. This is how you look, your personality, your behaviour, and how you connect with people. 

Your business is the organisation itself and its service or product that it offers at a monetary exchange. 

These two are directly intertwined in what makes your business uniquely your business, and when it comes to holistic marketing, these are both reviewed. Not just the brand nor just the service/product, but how they are connected and what overall customer experience is a result of this? 

When evaluating both parts we can not only identify potential cracks but reveal the untapped opportunities that lie within the brand and the business, giving you an in-depth insight into your business from a strategic perspective. This evaluation and exploration is recommended as the very first step for businesses that are in the start-up phase, and have not yet explored the ray of opportunities that their offering might have, or if your business is at a turning point and needs a shift or wake-up.