Have you ever fallen so far behind on your projects and to-do list that you don’t know how to get back on track?
Most business owners have had this happen to them: the tasks keep piling up, and the clock keeps ticking. Even when you fall behind even just a little, it can quickly escalate to what seems like the point of no return.
So how do you combat the crushing “I’ll never get caught up” stress? Well, when I’ve been in this particular predicament—and let me tell you, I’ve been there—there are four steps that always pull me through.
1. Take a deep breath and relax!
Relax? How do you relax when you’re already so far behind? It may seem crazy to start with this, but it’s absolutely vital.
When you’re stressed and overwhelmed, you lose the ability to think clearly. You go into panic mode, rushing to get things done. Being under this stress and anxiety will make you work slower and be less thorough.
Trust me: relaxing and getting yourself centered is well worth the time spent taking a few deep breaths.
2. Make a to-do list.
When I get behind, it’s usually because I have too much to do and more keeps piling on. I lose track of where I was, what I was working on, what I still need to do, deadlines, etc.
Mapping out exactly what you have to do, when you have to do, and how it will get done is key to getting you back to that good place. It not only organizes your to-do list; it also enables you to see what has to be done right away, versus what you can push to later.
Having a great to-do list will help you feel in control again.
3. Get help!
Too often we get caught in the trap of thinking we have to do it all ourselves. Either we feel like we have to prove we can handle it, or we just don’t know where to turn to for help.
Remember: knowing when you need help is a strength, not a weakness. Take a few minutes to think about what you need, and what you can delegate. There’s always someone out there who can help, whether it be a friend, colleague, or outside help like a virtual assistant.
It’s OK to admit that you have too much to handle—in fact, it means that your business is doing well! Don’t let your business suffer because you won’t ask for the help you need.
4. Take some “me” time.
You might roll your eyes at this one, but don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of yourself.
When I fall behind, my instinct is to work, work, work until it’s done and I’m caught up. But in working yourself to the ground, you’re hurting yourself and your work!
When I get to that “I’m going to explode” moment, I always stop and do something for me. Whether it’s watching my favorite sitcom, taking a bubble bath with a good book, or going for a run. Whatever it is you love to do, do it! Your mood, stress, and productivity will soar, and your business will grow as a result.
Don’t get so caught up in making a living that you forget to live your life. Get organized, get help, and get back to doing what you love.