For a long time I was always busy.
Rushing from one thing to another, always pushing to get everything done. Working hard to get one event up and running, pushing hard to update my website, working long hours to get my products and content out, juggling clients in between, plus family events. There always seemed to be something that made me feel flat out, but there never seemed like there was any time to recover from one thing before the next hit, and I just had to keep going. It left me feeling burnout, and I wasn’t able to be strategic or grow my business.
Lots of effort for not much gain!
It took me a long time to realise WHY I was feeling like this –
I wasn’t giving myself the permission to slow down and have the balance I wanted. I was tipped so far to the busy side, that I forgot all about what I actually needed to serve myself, my clients and my family well.
So today I’m going to share my lessons on how to feel balanced, have a steady flow of business and make progress in my business.
FYI – I speak to many other female entrepreneurs who feel the same. There’s never any time to step away and have a break, there’s never any time to step outside and look at life and business as a whole.
The fear of slowing down and having balance, despite knowing that it might take a lot of work to implement systems and processes to be more sustainable, seems to propel us forward – but in a mouse wheel – circular and with little real progress. It usually takes a health scare or something to go wrong for this realisation to occur. I’m here to ease you into that – without the health scare – and can guide you through creating a more sustainable business and life #nomoreburnout
I get it – we all need to pay the bills, serve our clients, be present for the special cuddles with family – but it has to be sustainable.
If there’s nothing left of you, then entrepreneurship is going to feel like an empty, soulless, stressful journey that is actually costing more than you are receiving in income, and Im pretty sure that’s not why you started your business.
Balance Strategies to keep your business sustainable
Here are some of the strategies that I’ve had to put in place over time that allow me to feel more balanced AND build my business.
- Clarity and planning
I used to just coach, put out packages, offers, challenges, with no real plan. #rookiemistake
It wasn’t until I started making quarterly plans, and then working back that I could be more strategic, spread the load over the 90 days AND plan for life as well as business that I received more ease and flow.
I literally had to create space in my brain and space in my life to a) plan and b) recharge so that I could stay focused and use my time more effectively. That’s where the clarity comes in. Without clarity there is just confusion/ procrastination/ perfectionism… adhoc work, over running timelines…
- Scheduling and blocking out time
Essentially I had no routine – and ironically I love routine.
I wasn’t quite sure why I avoided having a business routine for so long, but it’s really an essential element of making progress and growing business.
The consistency it creates and the boundaries it forms mean that I can work so much more effectively and have a better sense of balance.
For example, I block out two sessions a week for writing content. The real joy of this is that I don’t have the pressure of working out when to do it, what to write about etc all week – I just focus on that task when I need to – because it’s in my schedule, and I know it can get done then.
I schedule time for client work, email follow ups, social media, tech updates, family time, me time – and just having this scheduled – like an ideal week – means that I can spread it out, plan more effectively and get more done. It’s not random anymore, and that makes a huge difference.
- Sticking to boundaries
Boundaries are a daily focus for me, because I don’t actually find them easy!
I’m a sucker for Facebook, so the daily time-suck is a real trap, and I have to be so vigilant. However, I know that when I do stick to the boundaries I’ve made around time, then it works.
I have boundaries for screen time, social media, family time, when I’m available for clients and when I need me time!
If I don’t I get grumpy, over-sensitive, and lose focus, so as long as I stick to these boundaries of knowing where my limits are then I know I can work well without the burnout.
I also know that if there are times where I’m flat out and everything happens at once, then I push through, because sometimes you just have to. The difference is that I make sure I have some recovery time afterwards so that i can recharge.
- Realistic Time Management
I know it can be easy to block out 20 minutes for blog writing, 30 minutes of social media etc and map it all out, but I found that there were times when I’d run overtime – especially dealing with tech issues, and that would increase my stress levels, and the sense of rush.
Making a realistic estimation about how long things will take has become an important strategy for me. Yes, there are things that I can nail in a Pomodoro (25 min focus block), but there are others that take longer, no matter how focused I am. Even things like getting out the door and into the car with two children takes longer than I usually think, so the rush and stress can creep in.
- Take a break
When I work solidly for a day or two in a row without getting up and having good breaks, I am totally exhausted.
I’ve definitely learnt this one the hard way, and this is essentially where my “Self care is the best productivity strategy” comes into it’s own. When I map out my day with breaks, exercise, music – time for my brain to relax and have off, then I am so much more focussed and I have energy left at the end of the day.
Working too long without moving is hard on your body and hard on your brain. Giving it some physical movement is quite often where the magic happens, clarity comes, and focus stays.
It’s just not a good idea to just work for hours and hours on end.
So, if you’re feeling spent all of the time, lacking creativity and not as organised because you’re just making do “until everything calms down”, then I can guarantee it never will, and you know what – you will have less energy but more work, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Putting in place just one or two of these strategies will go a long way to helping you feel more balanced and making your business sustainable.
Which one appeals to you that you can implement this week?
Find one that you know will make a difference and trial it for a week or two. Notice the differences it makes!
Your Next Step
If you want some support to help fast track this process, or help you transition to Dubsado, then can book a free systems audit with me so we can determine where to start, and what you need to get up and running with your workflows and systems.
Aerlie Wildy is a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills. I specialise in designing and systemising business for growth. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.