One of the most common things I see entrepreneurs struggle with is feeling like they work in a highly stressful environment, whether that’s in the office or at home. “I’m so busy.” “I have too much to do.” “Sorry for the delay!” We all know this person, or sometimes even are this person! These words come from someone that is perpetually over-scheduled and under-supported, leaving them feeling stressed all the time.
The truth is that this type of stress is something we are capable of eliminating from our lives and businesses. All you have to do is stop spending time on the mindless tasks and activities that don’t serve your higher purpose and vision. And to do that, you have to have a plan. Here are three steps you can take to begin eliminating stress from your work.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE AND VISION
Your sole purpose as a business owner should be to hold the mission and vision of your company. “To hold” your company’s mission and vision means infusing your mission into your decisions and actions. It’s saying to yourself, “I’m not putting this down when other things come to distract me.”If you don’t make this your top priority, something else will take its place. If it is your top priority, then it will show in every aspect of your life.
If you are unclear at all about what those things are, you are setting yourself up for failure and stress. I’ve said it before because it is profound in its simplicity: you can’t measure what you don’t track. To track progress you have to start with a baseline and have clear goals. Once those are established, you can begin to assess and plan for your future.
STEP 2: CONDUCT AN AUDIT
If you are overly stressed about your workday, do an audit. You have to identify the sources of the stress if you ever plan to remove them from your life. Almost always, these originate from mismanagement of time or a refusal to delegate tasks.
Does any of this apply to you?
- You have too many administrative/junior tasks taking up your time
- You cannot get to the big, strategic projects because you haven’t mapped them out and made the time to commit and think about them
- You aren’t holding yourself to your follow-up (fortune is in the follow-up!)
- The work isn’t bad or stressful, but you are worried about it anyway.
If the answer to any of these was yes, the good news is there is a relatively simple fix! You will just need to let go of the idea that you are the only person who can do all the things you do.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of thinking their business will suffer if they aren’t the one handling all the things. The reality is there is a world full of talented “A” players that can support your business, freeing you to focus on your mission and vision.
STEP 3: CREATE A PLAN
After conducting your audit, the last step is to create a plan! Planning will allow you to actually outsource and automate the tasks you don’t need to be doing; better schedule in blocks of time for the important work; write down and commit to your follow-up steps; and last (but not least!) fix your mindset.
Trust me: If you can create a system that captures and organizes a time and place for everything, you can release the bad stress your brain is creating, free up your own time for the work you want to do, and move forward into success.
The trick to doing this successfully has two parts: setting up your team for success and testing the process! First, be sure you have given them proper training and support to do their job well. Another factor is using incentives to keep them motivated. Keep in mind your team is a direct result of their leadership.
Second, test letting going of things in phases to minimize risk and margins for error. Just like you wouldn’t give a 16-year old driver the responsibility of driving a school bus full of kids across the country, you shouldn’t hand off your entire business to someone new all in one swift move. Do it gradually and test the waters. This will be the least stressful as well as set everyone up for success. Create a plan that stair steps you to where you want to be and watch how it changes your life.
Every single week we tackle topics like this in my G-FORCE Mastermind. If you want to learn more about how to be a more organized, impactful, or an overall happier entrepreneur and leader – schedule a discovery interview with our team here.