Stressed Elderly Woman Holding Her Head

Overwhelm in business and sales can be disastrous if not treated immediately

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Christmas and New Year have just gone and a new week is just around the corner. I survived all the parties and family gatherings & my list of things I have to achieve this year is sitting in front of me laughing. This particular Saturday I was so stressed with a feeling of overwhelm I could hardly move. What to do?

In business and sales overwhelm like this is probably the most common cause of stress and, without attention, can lead to business failure and poor sales performance.

I am a bit of a workaholic so getting going about 6AM and working well past midnight every night is normal. No matter how many hours in, however, I was just getting further behind. There are just so many hours you can put in. It was affecting my personal life and health. Even small things seemed too much to handle.

My colleagues would say things like ‘Having so much business is a great problem to have’.

It would have been so easy to just check out for a week or two.

I had to take action.

I took a BIG piece of paper and started to make lists. Work lists, personal lists, family lists and goals. As I wrote I started to remember things I had forgotten and promises I had made to clients long forgotten. It was an enormous list … and when I looked at it there was one obvious conclusion. I needed help.

I took a leaf from Brain Tracy, in his classic time management series, where he advised “If the activity you have on your list can be outsourced for less than what you are earning an hour then outsource it”.

I got out my highlighter pens and started to colour code the tasks. I found

  • a large number of financial tasks I could easily hand ball to a bookkeeper or accountant
  • Goals which would never be achieved if I did not engage someone else to take charge
  • Admin tasks I was doing which I was too afraid to let go of to my admin team

As I sorted the tasks and made decisions on how to deal with them my feeling of overwhelm started to dissipate and I could see my way out the other side.

The best part was results started going through the roof by doing less.

Today’s question and actions

Do you feel like day to day tasks are overwhelming you and standing in the way of achieving greater things? Here are a few things to try;

  • Go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and list everything you feel you need to do, no matter how trivial.

Look at your list objectively and for each item ask yourself

  • Is this true?
  • Can I get someone else to do it?
  • Has anything change? And if so how is this different from last week or last month?
  • What will happen if this does not get done today? This week? This Month?

You just need a clear picture of what is important and what is not

Take action

For every item on your list, you want to take one of three courses of action:

  • What is the most valuable thing you can you do in the time you have available?
  • What are you going to delete or delay?
  • What can you delegate?

You may have to let go of a few things, however, as you let go and engage others you will be surprised at how much more will get done and how much better business will be and how much more you will enjoy life.

Have a great week!

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