Do you ever feel like you’re barely hanging on? Like you’re just taking care of whatever comes up in front of you?
Your attention is often spent on the person whom is the most demanding or needy, rather than what is REALLY important to you … like the job you have been paid to design or the marketing you need to do for your business?!
In fact, you often don’t even include your creative time in your schedule… and the little creative time you have, you allow to be interrupted the instant someone says, “can you help me?”
You aren’t actually working off a plan or a blueprint, you are just doing stuff… and it is not working well for your stress level or your bank account.
A good word for this state of being is OVERWHELM. And you need to know you are not alone, it happens to all of us, me included.
The layers of requests, needs and priorities of others build up a layer at a time (you don’t even notice it is happening) until the weight is unbearable, the stress is crazy and you’re working as hard and long as possible, doing all kinds of things…but none of it adds up to what you want.
And that’s because you’re unable to manifest what you want when you are in overwhelm.
Sometimes it seems close but it just keeps slipping away because you’re mired in negative energy.
And to top it off, consistently overworking and over stressing is an invitation for illness to strike and that’s really a place you don’t want to go!
The good news?
Recognizing that you have fallen into overwhelm is the first step to being able to get yourself out of overwhelm.
More good news …here’s a few of my strategies for getting out of overwhelm:
Make Yourself #1
Stop running on other people’s priorities instead of your own.
One of the ways I protect my priorities and my time is to NOT LOOK AT EMAILS FIRST IN THE MORNING. Since I am not practicing medicine, there’s no such thing as a design emergency. No one has ever died from sofa!
Instead, I do my creative work in the morning, uninterrupted. That way I am giving my clients 100%, I’m really focused and really fast. Then I block off an hour and a half around lunch time in my calendar for emails and returning necessary phone calls. I have one day a week in my schedule that I do new client meetings, presentations, showroom visits and general errand running.
Now this does seem counter intuitive…
Since when you set a schedule and stick to it, you’ll actually have considerably more free time. I know that a big part of being your own boss is having the freedom to do what you want, when you want and I don’t want to take that away.
But you’re wasting a ton of precious time by not working with a schedule. This is your precious time you could be spending with your family, friends, working out or taking long restorative walks… whatever you choose.
It Takes A Village
Isolation is another factor in the build up of overwhelm.
It’s enormously important that you find someone to talk to who is supportive and understands what actually goes on in your business.
Your husband or partner mean well, they try to listen and help but are really not so useful in coming up with strategies to solve challenges with design clients or contractors.
When you connect with a community of positive and like minded designers, you’ll find out that everyone is dealing with the same issues!
You’ll also quickly discover it isn’t just YOU who is struggles with boundaries or bullying clients or internet shoppers. It’ll help you gain perspective, a sense of balance, calmness and clarity.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Another overwhelming aspect of being your own boss is trying to do everything yourself.
You probably started your business this way, that’s understandable. But now you are in the habit of doing everything yourself because you think you are saving money, but you are not.
Stop and think about it…
This usually is a piece of your family money history, the “I will do it myself so that I don’t have to pay anyone” idea.
The reality is that you are a $100 or $150 per hour person doing a $30 per hour job like bookkeeping (billing and reconciling the checkbook and credit card) or following up on purchase orders or even CAD drafting.
It’s costing you approximately $100 more per hour than you would spend to get it done by someone and also creating more work and stress for yourself.
The sooner you learn to delegate simple, repeatable tasks in your business, the sooner you will get out of overwhelm and into happiness!
Get Your Mind Right
When you are operating from a state of being that reflects happiness and positive expectation, the stress will disappear, you’ll discover that there’s plenty of time for the things that you want … AND your business will grow.
That is my intention for you and hope you make it a great day!