overhwlemPreventing overwhelm

You’ve taken the plunge into the wide world of entrepreneurship – and although it’s exhilarating, liberating, and just a tad scary, you realize (with a gulp!) that you now have to do everything – big, blue sky thinking, research, development, delivery, billing, supplies, logistics, even cleaning the toilets.

About this time, many entrepreneurs experience overwhelm.

It seems as if the to-do list has a life of its own, and is growing faster than you can possibly whittle it down. How to prevent this?

Some basic rules keep me sane.

1) Keep the list electronically – so you can sort it easily.

I code the list – things that need to be done this week (W); things that need to be done this month (M) – including recurring things like pay the bills, send out invoices, etc.; and strategic things (S) that may include identifying and booking teleclasses, seminars, and conferences, completing paperwork for certification (Historically Underutilized Businesses, Minority-Owned, etc.)

You can just as easily code it with A, B, C or another system you prefer.

2) Set priorities within every category – what needs to be done FIRST this week or every month – both short-term/tactical, like get high speed internet installed; and long-term/strategic, like refine target market promotional materials.

3) Delegate/outsource. I know, you don’t have any money, you can do it yourself faster, it takes so much time to train someone, blah blah blah. But since you are the creative genius, and you are currently bogged down in administrivia, you need to get that off your place (and your to-do list) — so suck it up and send it out. What are good candidates for this?

– Look at your ‘every month’ list

– Look at the things you hate doing (hint: if “get arm amputated without anesthesia” is higher on the list than the dreaded task, you should outsource it)

– Look at the things you’re not good at doing

How to delegate effectively?

More on that in our next post…