Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, it’s no surprise that people are more stressed than usual. With so much going on,
how does one ever manage to bake Christmas cookies, shop for gifts AND keep a viable business going?
Excellent question. That’s why I brought in Dr. Shannon Reece, a super-smart business coach, to offer
some tips to help you stay on top of things throughout the holidays and into the New Year. Although she specializes in helping women entrepreneurs, I’m pretty sure her suggestions will resonate with men too. As for tips to avoid gaining 5 pounds from eating all that cookie batter? Well, that’s a different story. Enjoy!
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Being a good steward of your time requires an understanding of how to manage all the demands of your business and life, and when to pull back before reaching the deer in the headlights stage of immobility due to overload. As a woman in business, you juggle more demands than men, who don’t have the added roles of mom and/or homemaker.
Warning signs of overload
The number of tasks and commitments keep rising, but there are a finite number of hours in a day. Many women try to accomplish more than is humanly possible, and then berate themselves for failing in this useless endeavor.
The harder you try to squeeze more into your day, the less you will find you actually accomplish. There are serious consequences to trying to maintain a pace that is beyond your resources. No one has the capacity to burn the candle at both ends indefinitely, and eventually you will begin to experience some of these symptoms of overload:
- Lack of sleep
- Compromised immune system
- Deterioration of personal relationships
- Writer’s block
- Procrastination and avoidance behaviors
- Fear, self-doubt, negative self-talk
Establishing healthy work habits
Despite the complexities you face, your life does not need to feel like a runaway train heading for a precipice. You have the power to give up control of your life, so you are the only one who can take it back. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to restore balance if you’ve already reached a breaking point:
- Maintain a positive perspective – Look at your tasks as adventures rather than obstacles or chores. That change in perspective will keep you moving forward and prevent your mind from turning mole hills into mountains.
- How do you eat an elephant? – It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are looking at the big picture. Maintain a single-minded, present-centered focus, and you can work through even the toughest to-do list one task at a time.
- Monitor your fuel tank – Determine the points in a day you are most productive and schedule your challenging tasks during those times. Work on the non-critical to-dos when your energy reserves and focus are lower.
- You deserve a break every day – Me time doesn’t require a two week vacation, rather short bursts of rejuvenation. Sometimes it’s just a matter of completely unplugging for five minutes to go for a walk, get a cup of tea, or stand up and stretch.
- Take your foot off the gas – It’s not about working harder, you must endeavor to work smarter. When you get mentally ‘stuck’
that’s a warning signal that you are pushing too hard. Slowing down can put you back in the right frame of mind to give 100%.
- Make a list and check it twice – The most successful women always work from a plan. They don’t spend their days flying by the seat of their pants, but manage their time wisely. Focus on your priorities, and build in buffers for distractions, so you can complete tasks within the allotted time.
- Call in reinforcements – You must determine what your time is worth by actually putting a price on it. Sometimes hiring a virtual assistant to delegate a task is worth the investment.
Life is not much fun when you feel as though you are at the mercy of it. Being aware of the warning signs can help you shift gears before your business, health, and personal life begin to suffer irreparable damage. So much of warding off overwhelm begins by seriously deciding the kind of life you wish to lead. The power lies in the choices you make, so choose wisely.
How do you keep from getting overwhelmed? If you find yourself stressed to the limit, how do you get back on track? Share your tips and let’s help each other out!
Dr. Shannon Reece is a Women’s Business Advisor – Training women entrepreneurs how to leverage their unique strengths to create successful and competitive businesses.
Learn more: www.DrShannonReece.com on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER.