When there is only one of you to do everything, running a small business can sometimes be overwhelming. Frequently I have to work on large wholesale orders, deal with customers orders, answer stockist requests, plan the launch of new designs, and prepare for markets all while tackling daily tasks. Needless to say I can quickly feel pretty swamped with things to do.
We all have moments where things collide and we find ourselves overwhelmed. Whether you run your own business or are trying to balance working a day job alongside a start-up or blog, here are some ways to cope when you feel overwhelmed.
Step Back and Take a Breather
Step away from the workload, catch your breath, and calm down. When you're feeling overwhelmed the tendency to throw yourself head first into work is tempting. You want to get started on putting a dent in the workload but it's important to step back and access the situation calmly; trying to work when you're feeling flustered will result in inefficiency, a dip in standards, and a higher frequency of mistakes. Step back, breathe deep, and focus.
Write it All Down
Write everything down and start focusing on what's most important. More often than not you don't have quite as much as you thought you did and it will feel far more manageable on paper. Organise your tasks from most to least important and focus on getting the urgent tasks completed before moving on to anything else. This will provide a structure for your workload and make everything seem far more manageable.
Work in Manageable Chunks
Focusing on related tasks and clumping them together in manageable chunks makes it easier to progress quickly through your workload but also makes you more time efficient. If you have orders to process, photographs to take, or product listings to update - do them all in one big chunk. Not to-ing and fro-ing between unrelated tasks saves time and keeps you productive.
Do One Thing At A Time
Never try to multi-task; do one thing and one thing only at any time. Don't be sidetracked or tempted to tackle more than one task at a time. Stick to a strict to do list and work your way through it, moving on only when your current task is 100% complete.