One of the questions I frequently get is "Why is running a business so overwhelming?" It's usually asked by business owners who've either just started running a business or who've run a business for a while but gotten stuck in a rut.
The good news is you don't have to be overwhelmed with running your business.
I want to share with you the top 5 reasons business owners are overloaded and overwhelmed, because in order for you to stop being overwhelmed, you first need to understand what's causing you to be overwhelmed with running your business. Once you understand that you, can take your time back and become more productive with the work you're doing.
1. You're trying to do too much at the same time.
The most overwhelmed business owners I know are typically trying to multi-task, buying into the myth that multi-tasking will make them more productive. Unfortunately, all multi-tasking does is distract you, because you literally can't more than one task at the same time with the same level of attention and focus as you would if you were working on one project. The act of switching from one task to another takes up attention and focus, which is one reason multi-tasking tends to make a person tired. This is also why you shouldn't text and drive, because your attention isn't operating at the optimal level.
2. You don't know the difference between busy work and productive work.
A lot of business owners fall into the trap of mistaking busy work for productive work. They'll keep checking their email inbox or their Facebook account throughout the day, or get caught up in other busy work. What you need to do is define what busy work is versus what productive work is, and use specific standards that help you determine which is which. One standard should be: Is this activity helping me bring in sales? However be open to including other standards that can help you decide what activities are productive, versus activities that are just busy work.
3. You don't know how to automate your business.
Part of the problem with busy work is that business owners don't always know how to automate it. When you find yourself doing repetitive tasks that could be automated your giving away your time and productivity.
You can't automate every aspect of your business, but you can automate a lot of it, and when you set the automations up correctly they should benefit your business multiple times. For example, you can set up email automation series that drips quality content to people who subscribe to your list, helping them to get to know you as well as qualifying them, in terms of what they specifically need or are looking for.
4. You don't know what tasks to delegate.
Another problem overwhelmed business owners have is delegation, specifically delegating work that other people are more qualified to do. The perception often is, "I need to do this task because I can't afford for someone else to do it." But depending on the work, you may find that you spend more time doing the work than its worth.
For example, I delegate my taxes to my accountant. I don't want to spend a ton of time trying to do my taxes, because my time is worth more to me than the headache of figuring out taxes. Additionally, I don't have the requisite knowledge to know that everything is compliant, so by paying my tax person, I'm setting up a situation, where I insure I save time and get someone with the requisite knowledge to make certain that I'm covered.
5. You aren't making time for yourself, outside your business.
A lot of business owners feel like they have to work 7 days a week. This is especially true, when the business isn't doing so great. They feel guilty when they aren't working, because they feel like they are letting their family down or aren't showing that they're working hard enough. The problem is that all work and no play really does make a person dull.
You can't keep your creative edge if you work all the time. So its important to take time for yourself and do activities that genuinely bring you joy. The result is you're able to come back to your business freshly inspired and ready to work.
Being a business owner doesn't mean you have to be overwhelmed all the time. Understanding why you're overwhelmed can help you figure out how to take your time back and become productive once again.
Are there any other reasons you've felt overwhelmed as a business owner? Share them below in the comments.