How to expand your business without the overwhelm.
I get it. Growing a small business is hard. But it is also maybe one of the most rewarding adventures you’ll take in this life. Think about it, you were crazy enough to follow your heart and design the life of your dreams. Now, my friend, that is one wild ride. But heck, this really can be terrifying, thrilling, and down right overwhelming all at the same time.
The most common thing I hear amongst the small business community is – I am so overwhelmed. And no wonder. The million hats we wear most days from innovator to manager, accountant to marketer, best friend to trying to make an income. It’s overwhelming. But one mighty hack that I am oh so passionate about, is planning.
Planning and organising your businesses into pillars and then breaking these pillars down into managable tasks, based on the priorities being addressed first, is the perfect way to remove stress and create outcomes. There are so many ways you can do this, so lets go dive into some officially trialled and tested ways to get organised:
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, routine helps alleviate anxiety by having a calming effect on the brain. It also reduces 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, creating a schedule for yourself is actually vital to achieve what you need to each day. Even if this simply waking up at the same time each morning, washing your face, and strolling to the local coffee shop, you will find this simple step sets the tone for the day to get-it-done.
Don’t skip the breaks! I know I’m guilty of working ridiculous hours as well, so this 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 create the space needed for your imagination to thrive. It has been proven to increase productivity and creativity, create less stress, and with this build stronger immunity so you are setting yourself up for success.
Use task management tools & creative software
These tools are like a free personal assistant. It makes your day so much easier when you can visualise, structure, and delegate all that needs to be achieved.
Here are some stand-out task management tools I use on the regular:
- Trello – a tool that lets you create interactive boards for better organisation
- 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!
Protect your mornings & cultivate peace
Your mornings really are the most powerful time of the day.
The best way to nurture a sense of peace within yourself and to focus on what’s truly important, is to devote an hour every morning to yourself.
The way you wake up sets the mood for the day. Meditate, do yoga, run, skip, cook, write in your journal, dance, sing, ride a bike. Whatever it is that brings you joy make sure you prioritise this.
I have recently been experimenting with Mindfulness. It’s been proven to decrease stress and anxiety, increase self-compassion, and improve overall wellbeing. Coach Heather Crider 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 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.
Some proven methods are:
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 organise tasks based on importance and urgency.
Focus on what is urgent and important, schedule what is non-urgent/not important, delegate urgent and non-important tasks, and finally, delay everything that is non-urgent.
This is a great system to follow when you have too many tasks to do, and you quickly need to find a way to prioritise them.
What we want to achieve in doing this is to enter a ‘flow state’. This 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 enjoyable.
Flow state is the most powerful state to be in. It increases productivity, motivation, efficiency, and focus.
In order to get in the flow, you should:
- Minimize interruptions
- Allow yourself enough time to focus
- Practice mindfulness
Listening to music that allows me to deeply focus is one way I achieve my flow state.
We are all so vastly unique and what helps someone may not work for someone else. I think a key thing to remember is what doesn’t get done today can get done tomorrow. You can achieve absolutely anything you put your mind too.
You also don’t have to run this road alone. It took me a while to reach out for help, and trust others with my forever growing list of things to do, but asking for help is honestly one of the only ways your business can grow. And I don’t just mean delegating the business tasks. By having your meals prepped, house cleaned, kids picked up for school, dog walked, whatever it may be, if you can lean on someone for the every day stressors, or hire someone to take care of them, this may just be one of the most powerful business moves you make.