At various times in our life, we find that there is so little time and so much to do that our minds get so full of to-do lists that seem to never end. This inevitably ends up with us getting trapped and unable to move forward as we do not even know where to start.
Try some of the ideas below to help empty your mind of these never-ending swirling thoughts and to be able to move forward with a clear vision.
Replace Negative Self Talk With Positive Self Talk.
Be kind to yourself. Negative thoughts are those that stop us from doing what we really want to do. This negative self-talk tells us that we have failed and are so disorganized that we can’t go ahead and do things. It tells us that we don’t know enough, are not good enough and don’t have the skill or talent to make our small business a success.
Unless you really commit long term, you will never know what your ability or capacity is. Take some time to be kind to yourself and think about how you can do it rather than how you can’t. Write down a list of all the strengths and skills you already have that will help you achieve your tasks. Eliminate “I can’t” from your vocabulary. You can always learn a new skill set but you must change a mindset in order to succeed.
Clear up incomplete tasks.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by how much there is to do? Do you have all types of to do lists? Have you done a walk-through inspection of your home office? As you look around your office space, you may notice things that have been left unfinished. Make a list and take time to conquer each of these incompletes. Replace, fix, or toss items that are damaged. Buy items that will enhance your environment and your productivity. Get rid of the old items that are cluttering up your location. Better yet donate them to your local charity. It will be someone else’s treasure. If you have not used it in a year, do you really think you’re still going to use it? Pack it up in a box and if you do not use it in six months, give it away! The item is not serving you well and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.
Write down your to-do list.
Don’t rely on your memory to remember everything that you need to do or accomplish. Some of those tasks may be daily and monthly, or even yearly. Buy yourself a diary in which to jot down all those things you need to get done. As you write down what it is you need to accomplish each day, you will have a clearer picture and focus on the things that you need to get done. You may break them down into different tasks and delegate them.
Determine your priorities.
When you decide what your priorities are in your business you can better channel your energy to accomplish those priorities. As you take care of your priorities, the rest of your life tends to move with ease because you are focusing on what really matters to you. You may find that a lot of those things that were clogging up your mind were really not important after all and can be scrubbed off your list.
Work on your biggest action items first.
When you have a deadline to finish a big project, it can be a bit overwhelming. Some projects seem larger than others. We can often talk ourselves out of what we need to do by changing the subject or choosing to do an easier task first. We tend to put these important tasks to the side and even procrastinate when approaching that task. However, when you start with the biggest task item first the other tasks seem to be that much easier. By doing the hardest or most difficult task first, you will be more motivated to continue with the rest of your list.
Cut down on the number of webinars and TV shows you watch.
Think about the webinars and recordings that you watch. What purpose are they serving you? Are they merely entertainment or educational? How do they benefit you? By cutting down your viewing time a half an hour each day, you are gaining more time to do other things that will be more fruitful in moving your business forward. It is no use keep on watching to learn new things if you never actually put them into practice.
Check your e-mail only twice per day.
Email is a time waster; we can get drawn into emails that do not help us obtain our goals. Allocate certain times of day to check your email, perhaps you need to let people know that you will check your e-mail at specific times during the day. This allows others to know that you are busy and they will have a better sense of when to expect a reply from you. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you have joined over the years.
Clear and prepare your desk for the next day.
This process can take about 15 to 20 minutes on average. Throw out anything that you think you do not need. Use the one-touch paper method. When you touch paper, you need to decide if you are going to file it, deal with it, or dispose of it. Paper clutter can overtake our lives.
Take a break from what you’re working on.
There are times when you need to get away from the computer and your desk in order to clear your mind so you can look at your project again with fresh eyes. When we have been working steadily, we can lose sight of our vision of the end result. Sometimes, if we spend time away from a project and then later go back to it, we can think more clearly and generate many new ideas. The best way to clear your mind is to sit in silence and write down whatever thoughts come to your mind. Write down the crazy and extreme thoughts, these are the ones that can lead to creative thinking. You will be amazed at the results; some of your ideas could be groundbreaking.
Stress reducers like exercise, meditation, and prayer are fabulous ways to de-clutter your mind. Exercise not only rejuvenates us and keeps the blood flowing; it also helps our body to get in the best shape ever. Meditation is wonderful for clearing the mind. Prayer gives us hope for future and beliefs and we can achieve.
Declutter your mind daily. Each time you declutter your mind you make room for new ideas and opportunities. You will feel calm, cool, and collected and ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that come your way.
If you are running your own business, when was the last time you updated your cv? Probably not since you went self-employed I am guessing. Well, why would you? You run your own business and are not looking for a job so there is no need.
But just stop a moment. This could be a really useful exercise to determine if you are the right person for the job. And I can’t take credit for this idea. It came from my husband.
He was made redundant recently, quite out of the blue. He had been employed for many years so his cv was wholly out of date. We sat down together and I helped him update all his information. Some of this was work related but there was also a host of transferrable skill he had picked up from hobbies such as work with the local football team.
He was so nervous when we started but when he read it back, he was a little taken aback. He couldn’t believe this was him. He thought the cv sounded too good to be true. But every word WAS true. He had just failed over the years to realise how many talents he had and what assets he had that other people wanted.
It was then that he turned to me and said he thought everyone should have to re-do their c.v. every six months to give themselves the confidence boost that he had gained.
And it got me thinking. What a good idea.
How about you go write a job description for the perfect person to run your business. Remember to list all the essential skills required and the additional desirable skills. Ask the question as to why the applicant would like to work for the company and why they feel they are better suited than anyone else.
Now go apply for this job. And be honest with yourself.
One of two things may happen.
Firstly, you realise how bloody wonderful you are and what skills you have to offer to the world. This can be a huge confidence boost as in the case of my other half.
Or, you may realise you are lacking a skill or desirable asset. And if that is the case, as you have now identified this, you can go find out how to fill that gap in your skill set. This will only make you better and more effective at your work which in turn, will help your business grow.
Have a go and let me know in the comments how you found this exercise.
Have you ever signed up to do an online course or follow a program full of good intentions and enthusiasm but then found you just don’t have enough hours in the week to dip into it?
When I run a new program I always give my ladies pre-course homework which includes top tips for blocking out time and treating their investment with the importance it deserves. But inevitably, life happens and things get in the way.
But it’s not always this way. It can just be a case of poor planning. You think, oh, it’s ok, I’ll start next week and catch up. And then the next week comes and you put it off again. And so on.
What then happens is that you forget why you signed up in the first place. Everyone else on the course or in the Facebook group seems to be miles ahead of you. You get disillusioned and you add the online course or program to a number of others gathering dust in your computer archives.
Sound familiar? Yes? Well, I am guilty too.
A couple of months ago I signed up to a course that cost me thousands of pounds. Whilst I have half-heartedly dipped in and out, I haven’t been truly focused and have slipped way behind everyone else. It was then that I thought I ought to practice what I preach.
Here is my solution …
Rather than wasting my hard-earned money and also rather than moving significantly forward with my business that I know this course can teach me, I am taking a different approach.
I am booking myself a few days away. Yes, more money, but much more economical than wasting the thousands that I have already spent as I will make more with my new learnings. I am pretending I am going to a conference.
Why? Because if I did sign up for a conference, I would have to go and wouldn’t have the day to day distractions I have by trying to study at home. And it’s going to be a nice little break for me.
Just a two-night stay will give me 3 days of uninterrupted learning so I can get back on track.
If you have found yourself in the same predicament, why not try this for yourself? You don’t have to stay in a luxury hotel. If funds are tight, how about seeing if a friend is away on holiday and would let you use their house? (I’ve done this before and they were more than happy for someone to be around for a few days rather than the house sit empty.) If you love camping, this can be incredibly cost effective. Download all your materials so you don’t need internet access (even less disruption) and take yourself off. Please do be sensible with safety precautions of course though. Go online and find a last-minute deal. There are some great bargains to be had.
And then when you return, make sure you have a plan to stay on track with your online course in the future. I have just booked myself a weekly slot at my local library. UK libraries allow you a desk and computer with internet access for free up to two hours. You can have longer at a small cost but you may be amazed what you can achieve in two hours when you get laser focused and have no interruptions.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on. Just by realising that growth and learning are vital to your future business success can help you plan this into your weekly or monthly routine.
If you have any ideas of your own, please leave a comment below.
Something spooky happened to me a few weekends ago. And I swear to you every word is true!
I have a vision board over my desk and for the past couple of years, I have had the photo below on it.
Even though I have my own office in my house, I have always yearned for a separate space outside of the house but also a space that I can sit and relax outside.
Every day I look at this picture and imagine myself having this built. I have also wandered around our garden many a time and thought where could it go, how much will it cost etc. But there has never seemed to be the right place to put it and I thought it would be cost prohibitive.
And then the strange but true thing happened.
My lovely gardener came over and we decided to tackle an area of the garden that was wholly inaccessible due to a HUGE amount of ivy, old grape vine, and many other things growing. We had a little shed that was in danger of collapse from the amount of growth over it.
And when the debris was cleared, we found this!
Yes, I swear, I had no idea that we had this amount of space completely hidden. And just compare this photo to the one of my vision board.
It’s the identical footprint!!!!!
Both my gardener and I were completely flabbergasted when I ran indoors and grabbed my photo to show him.
Yes, it needs work, but nowhere near as much as I first thought. The outline is there. And even more spooky, the plant is in exactly the same place as my vision board picture.
Some things are just meant to be and maybe if we really believe we can have something, it comes to us in the most mysterious ways.
And here’s another thing
Oh, and talking about spooky, no one else sees my vision board. Below is another picture of an item I have on my vision board.
Now, my husband is usually completely and utterly useless at choosing presents for me. In the past, I have received an iron and a microwave for birthdays and just last year had a mop for Christmas as he says he never knows what to buy.
But this year was different. It was my 50th birthday and this is what he bought me.
The photo really doesn’t do the watch justice but apart from the colour of the face, it is practically identical to what I had on my vision board, even down to the number of diamonds around the face and between the numbers!
If you don’t have a vision board yet, go create one. Even if you don’t believe and you do this for fun you will enjoy it, but you may just be seriously surprised at what happens over time. It really can be amazing what can happen when we really focus on something.
P.S. Have you ever had anything like this happen to you? Did you have something on your vision board that suddenly materialised? Let me know in the comments below
This month in my business club, I am working with the ladies on getting into the right mindset for business. But why is this so important.
Well, it’s as simple as this. You can have the best product or service out there, you can know everything there is to know about how to market it to your ideal client, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you just won’t have the confidence to go out there and go after those paying clients.
You may well dabble a little here and there but you will get sporadic results. You will stumble when asked for a discount and may well end up giving one! You may start to lose motivation when you get rejected by someone and you find out they buy elsewhere.
Getting in the right mindset is critical and the very first thing you need to before anything else when building a business in my opinion. Forget reading up and watching more webinars on how to grow sales through Facebook until you truly believe in yourself and your product and are prepared to stand up and shout it out from the rooftops how fabulous you are.
And once you have that cracked, as fired up and enthused as you may be about creating your own business, it will take hard work, commitment and personal investment on your own part along with self-responsibility for making things happen.
There is no point sitting and dreaming about what you are going to do. You have to get off your backside and do it!
Putting it quite simply …
Action takers win
The following tip is from one of the wonderful ladies in my business group. We were talking about how it’s ok doing all your planning and getting motivated, but at some point you are simply going to have to take action.
Karen Thomas from Red Oak Coaching showed us an example of what she uses in her workshops. She held a tealight in her hand and asked everyone to close their eyes and really focus on blowing out the candle. The reality of course was that when everyone opened their eyes, the candle was still lit.
It was only when someone took action and used their breath that the candle was able to be blown out. It’s all very well having plans and dreams but basically until you get off your arse and take some action, nothing is going to materialise.
Harsh but fair.
And Karen has allowed me to share her video with you to watch.
What are you going to take action on today? Leave a comment below and let me know.
The day was so perfectly planned. I was starting an all new women’s small business club. I had run them a few years ago and I had been asked incessantly to start them up again.
I wanted it to be something different. Not just one of those networking groups where all that happens is that everyone is simply waiting for their turn to speak and hand out their business cards with no real interest in anyone but themselves. I wanted this to be a fabulous group that would grow together and support each other so that everyone came away with something positive each time.
I had obviously sold this idea as the group was oversubscribed within a few days of me opening up bookings.
And one lady, an existing member of my Small Business Kit, was prepared to drive for 3 hours in able to be able to attend!
As she was coming such a long way and didn’t know the area, I suggested she come to my house for 9:30 am and I would then drive her to the venue.
I had visions of her arriving at my home and seeing what a super sophisticated woman I was in all my perfect make-up and beautiful clothes and she would admire my domestic goddess status with my wonderful home being so perfect and welcoming.
What happened was ……
I woke up on the morning and started to load the car with a flip chart. display board, refreshments etc. It was only at this moment in time I realised I was going to have to create a Houdini type of act to be able to fit this all in the back of my car! After much faffing, grunting, groaning, pushing and shoving, it finally all went in.
However, I was left looking like I had been dragged through a hedge backward!!!! It was not a pretty sight!
I dash back into the house and check the time. It’s ok. I have time to shower, wash hair and then come down and vacuum the carpet of blonde dog hair from my Labrador who has started shedding her coat in the last 24 hours (only someone who owns a Golden Lab will understand the absolute blizzard of hair they can create just from one 5 second body shake when shedding their coats!).
Off upstairs I go and start the water running. I am just putting my foot into the shower when the phone starts to ring. Should I ignore it? Yes? No? Of course, I can’t ignore it. It might be the lovely lady on her long drive who is lost. I dash to grab the phone and no, it’s not my lady. It’s a family member who is ill at the moment.
Wrenching with my conscience of needing to be there for her but also conscious of time, I let her know I am busy and need to dash. But she really needs someone to talk to and I can’t not listen. Over 45 minutes later, I manage to get in the shower.
Oh, s***! I’m seriously running out of time.
I get out of the shower, check the time and realise I only have half an hour before my lady is due to turn up. Time to start getting slightly hot under the collar.
And then it happens. THE DOORBELL RINGS!
No!! It can’t be. It must be the postman.
I dash downstairs in old (but incredibly comfy) dressing gown, old faithful, but seen better days’ slippers and a towel wrapped around my head. Yes, it’s worse case scenario!
My lady has arrived early!!!!!!
I let her in and was in the middle of explaining my predicament when blonde bombshell Molly (my Labrador) comes bounding out to say hello. She instantly jumps up and sheds a few pounds of hair all over the beautiful poncho that my guest is wearing.
Cutting the story very short or we would be here all day, there was only one thing for it. I hustled my poor frazzled guest into the kitchen. I told her under no circumstances to take her shoes off or she would end up with feet resembling those of a yeti from the carpet of hair on the floor. I then thought sod it, showed her where everything was and told her to make us both some tea whilst I went and got ready.
Eventually, I made it back downstairs, although needing another shower due to antics of the morning so far getting me somewhat hot and bothered.
We sat down together in the kitchen and started to greet each other properly and sip out tea.
Then all hell broke loose. I saw the cat trying to catch a fish out of the pond in the garden. I stood up but the dog got there first. The ensuing chaos could really make a comedy sketch. The cat has a fish, the dog is now chasing the cat, I am now chasing the dog and my poor guest is sat looking on in astonishment.
I’m a fake!
Hell. My cover really is blown! I’m faking this super sophisticated domestic goddess status. My life is generally chaos!
Eventually, we got to the business club and I simply had to relay the story to the other ladies.
And do you know what? I think they loved me all the more for it. One lady said how she followed me and listened to me because I was so real. She loved the fact that when I did my live videos my dog would suddenly bounce into view and on more than occasion knock the camera over.
They loved that I wasn’t sat in perfection with the humungous vase of roses, the bone china, the stilettos, hair done by (hang on, who is a top hairdresser these days?) and picture-perfect makeup. They could relate to me. And that made me so happy.
I simply don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be me. Chaos and all.
And do you know the best thing? My lovely guest is coming back again next month. Yippee!!!!
Have you had a perfectly planned day that went pear shaped? Share your experience below and let me know I’m not alone!