Every day is a battle between finding time and getting everything done.
Some days it feels like you’re a magician, magicking things out of nowhere, moving through time that doesn’t exist, putting out spot fires, dealing with the demands of staff, customers, suppliers.
It never ends.
It’s stressful. More stressful than you could ever have imagined. There are so many people relying on you, and it’s impossible for you to imagine ever letting any of them down.
You started your business because there was a need in the marketplace, and you were the only one who could fill that need.
Before long, the demands of the business take over and you’re faced with a 7-day a week job. The emails, texts and direct messages never stop coming. We live in a 24/7 connected environment and your customers don’t care what time it is when they contact you.
It can feel like you’re being rude if you don’t respond straight away, so you find yourself answering queries, complaints and orders at all hours of the day and night.
At the back of your mind you know that your work/life balance is way out, but the thought just makes your roll your eyes. After all, in what Universe does that even exist?
What about you?
Where in all of the goings on in your business do you get to breathe?
The odd remnents of time you have are given to your family and friends, but even then you’re often distracted by the pinging of your phone with the latest need from your work.
Where’s your health in all this? When do you ever focus on your own wellbeing?
For most business owners, the answer to this is never.
It might not be as hard as you think to do things in a different way
Being in demand comes with some challenges … but that’s all they are – challenges.
Changing the focus of your life can be as easy you want to make it.
There are three key things you can do to tip the balance in a different direction and create new habits that will help you to live your life in a different way:
· Create your values: Most of us are never taught to identify our values. Instead, our social conditioning takes over and we end up living a life that we are programmed to live by others.
When we define and identify with our own set of values, it is easier for us to make choices in our lives that are aligned with what is most important to us.
Once we know what our values are we can easily use them to determine what activities support our values. For those times when you are inundated with requests to do things for other people, you can use your values to work out what things you should and shouldn’t be doing.
· Set solid boundaries and defend them rigorously.
There’s a well-known saying: “it never rains, it pours.” And if we’re not careful we can find ourselves caught in the trap of trying to be everything to everyone all the time. This is especially true when you’re in high demand.
So, once you have your values in place, the next step is to work out what your boundaries are.
Your boundaries are the lines you aren’t prepared to cross, no matter what is offered to you. These are the lines that you know will support you in your everyday activities, and that will ensure you remain aligned with who you are, and what you stand for.
Your boundaries will make it easy for you to remain consistent in your behaviour and your communication. The more consistent you are, the more aligned your clients will be to you.
· Do something that gives you energy every day.
Work out your non-negotiable activities that must be in every day to ensure you are OK.
Your energy level is the greatest indicator of your health. If you’re constantly tired then you’re not doing enough to refuel your energy tanks.
Absolutely everything is harder when you’re tired. Give yourself the energy you need by making sure you refuel your energy every day.
Give yourself these things first and the let everything else vie for the remaining time in the day.
Life is messy, noisy and chaotic when we let it be. There will always be demands on us – at different stages and to varying degrees. You can choose how you handle the demands:
– Option 1: Allow them to get out of control and have your work take over; OR
– Option 2: Change the demands into requests, work out which ones align with your values and incorporate the ones that do align into the flow of your life.
This article first appeared on Business Business Business in April 2021.
LEAD WITH PURPOSE.