People rarely talk about the impact our business growth has on us personally. We all know people who ramped up their businesses working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. For some of us, that’s just not possible. Whether it’s the logistics of raising kids, maintaining our homes or needing time for our health and well-being, long hour days are just not feasible. So here are a few keys to growing your business without wearing yourself out…
Clarify What Matters to You Most
Think about and list all the things that are necessary for you to feel great. For me, one of the things that makes me feel great is spending time with my daughter. I so enjoy being a part of her journey and participating in her growth. When I was in corporate, not being able to be available for her or to attend her activities used to really frustrate me.
Another thing that makes me feel great is having time to focus on my business and personal development whether that’s taking courses, working with coaches, attending conferences or reading good books. When I wasn’t able to do this regularly, I often felt stifled and stuck.
For you it might be having time to exercise daily or having time to make healthy meals. Without these things you may not have the physical energy to grow your businesses and enjoy your life. Getting clear on the specific activities that help you feel great is an absolute necessity because it helps you plan out your ideal work week.
Planning Out Your Ideal Work Week
In the absence of planning our ideal work week, you will likely operate by your default way of doing things which, if you’re like most, is “work hard” until all the items on your to-do list are done or until you achieved a certain result or deadline.
Remember that building your business is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll always have a ton of stuff to do. That to-do list isn’t going to magically get smaller or disappear. So the key is to not only pace yourself but to align your list and your work week with things that energize you and bring out the best in you.
As your own boss, this is your responsibility, no one else is going to do this for you. It’s up to you to manage your time in a way that aligns with what’s best for you. If you play your cards right, you could be doing this work for the rest of your life in a way that gets you jumping out of bed in the mornings, eager for the day. That’s my goal for my clients anyway.
Managing Your To-Do List
There’s no doubt that having a to-do list is helpful for keeping you on track so creating the habit of using one regularly is always a good idea. That being said, many entrepreneurs I know have a tendency to use them in a way that exhausts them.
Most people use their to-do list as a list of demands. These are the things they have to get done, need to get done or should get done. Well, those criteria are fuzzy at best. Who says you should get them done? How do you know those are “the things” that are best for you to be doing?
It’s essential that we don’t fill our to-do lists with a bunch of busy work that doesn’t actually generate new business. Updating your website for the 10th time, will that get you new business? Probably not. So as you generate your list of items, ask yourself, “What are the top 3 most critical items I need to get done these week to attract new clients?” or if you are at max capacity, try asking, “What are the top 3 things that I need to get done this weeks so I can take on and properly serve new clients?”
These items become your highest priority and everything else can become gravy. Meaning, if you get these other items done, great! If you don’t, that’s fine too. Rome, as they say, was not built in a day. Remember to relax, be patient and enjoy the journey!