A few days ago, on a call with one of my coaching clients, we were discussing her website copy, what she needed to change, and what looked perfect. In the middle of the conversation, I could tell she was diving straight into business overwhelm because she started mentioning all the other things she needed to do later.
These were things that we weren’t even ready to tackle. Things like her email list, her newsletter, her freebie. They were definitely coming soon, but not before our next call.
I need you to understand something about business overwhelm, though.
It’s totally preventable.
What you need to do is break your tasks into bite-size chunks so that it’s easier to digest. And then don’t look at anything else until that chunk is done.
I honestly hear business coaches and the gurus in our industry say this all the time, “Break it down to small tasks.”
And for a while I was like what the heck do you even mean? Smaller tasks? How exactly will that help me get things done.
Then, I figured it out for myself. I want to share it with you, so that maybe you can prevent a lot of the headache I experienced.
3 steps to manage your business overwhelm.
I’ve broken this strategy down into three steps because as you’ll see, the smaller a task is, the easier it is to finish.
Here’s a literal example of how my to-do list used to look. I pulled this from my Trello Board archives.
- Work on marketing strategy
- Edit photos
- Design albums
- Send emails
- Revamp website
- Cry myself to sleep
- Wake up at 5am and start over
Just kidding. It didn’t say those last two bullet points. But just looking at that list overwhelms me. What does “work on marketing strategy” even mean? Instagram, Facebook? It’s such a broad statement. It’s no wonder I couldn’t get started.
Design albums for who? Edit which photos? It’s a wonder my turnaround time was only 8-12 weeks at that point.
And “revamp website.” That’s one way to guarantee something never gets started, let alone finished.
My to do list looks a lot different these days. Here’s an example:
- Schedule Instagram posts from blog.
- Outline blog for ____ date.
- Write blog for ____ date.
- Create Pinterest photo for ___ date.
- Publish blog for ___ date.
- Rehearse Thursday’s Facebook Live.
- FB Live on Thursday at 12:00PM.
The easiest and best way to guarantee something on your to-do list gets done is to make it super specific. That way you can’t stare at your list, freak out, and start scrolling on Facebook.
Plus you get the super satisfying task of marking items your list. I have a paper planner specifically for that reason.
You definitely have to train your mind to think this way, though. As you start writing your task list, you’ll probably still try to add super broad tasks. But follow the guidelines below, and it’ll gradually get easier.
1. What’s your overall goal?
Start with your overall goal. What do you want to accomplish with your business?
For example, someone is after a 6 figure salary working less than 40 hours a MONTH.
That’s their overall goal, but then it’s broken into overall steps such as:
- Plan and implement financial goals strategy.
- Create and implement a complete marketing strategy.
- Automate everything.
- Grow business.
Looking at those 4 steps, I bet you’re completely overwhelmed, right? But if you take those 4 steps and break those steps down into small stepping stones, it’s so much easier to digest… and actually complete.
2. Break your overall goals into stepping stones.
Now, that you have your overall goal and the big steps you need to take to reach those goals, break those steps down into smaller stepping stones.
What I mean by stepping stones is to write out literally every step you need to take in order to complete the overall goal.
For example, let’s take planning and implementing a financial goal strategy and break it into overall steps.
- Plan your income goal and budget.
- Set up your accounting system.
- Create your strategic pricing guide.
And then break those down even more. Let’s take the first goal of planning your income and budget. <– Check out this link to find out exactly how to plan your income and take your side hustle full time ASAP.
- Decide on your 5 year projected income goal.
- Decide on current year income goal.
- Plan yearly business budget.
- Set up tracker(Budget Blueprint in 90 Day Dream Biz)
- Track budget monthly.
It’s like those Russian stacking dolls. You have you overall goal. Then you open that up, and you have steps to complete that goal. Then you open it up and you have steps to complete those goals. And on and on.
3. Concentrate on the thing you are working on.
Now that you have your stepping stones, overall steps, and your overall goals, you know what you need to do to acheive those goals.
When you get to work, make sure you complete the things in the order they need to be completed.
Avoid jumping around like my coaching client wanted to do. If you are jumping around constantly from one thing to the other, you’ll never actually complete anything.
With this strategy, you will be finished before you know it, while completely avoiding business overwhelm.
This will look different for everyone.
I’ve invested a lot of time and money into education, and the thing you can always count on is that although the end goal may be the same, the way you get there can look totally different for different people, even if they use the same overall strategy.
Don’t be afraid to take bits and pieces of someone’s content and adapt it to the way you work.
By the way, I have a completely FREE training coming ASAP. To take advantage of this, please join 90 Day Dream Biz here. 🙂
Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.