Almost every entrepreneur I know is looking for productivity tips. Secret hacks to get more done each day. Ways to get all those endless items checked off our to-do list.
It happens to the best of us. We have great plans for our business, sometimes too many different goals, and somewhere along the journey we run out of steam. We stop being productive and slip into the overwhelm zone.
Ah, the beloved overwhelm zone. That’s the time when despite your best intentions, you just don’t seem to get anything done. What’s worse is that each day you feel like you get a little bit farther behind. Pretty soon you feel so far behind that you’ll never catch up.
So how do you move from being overwhelm to productive? It’s not easy.
While we often think that all it takes is to think positively and work harder, that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, we can be so deep into the overwhelm zone that we can’t see the forest for the trees. This is about the time, we look around for a quick fix to what ails us.
Unfortunately, when we feel desperate, we become vulnerable to making rash decisions. This is when you might be tempted to turn to “get rich quick gurus” for an easy fix. Like signing up for a ridiculously high coaching program (in the thousands of dollars) that you can’t afford.
Or buying expensive and complicated software programs that will take you years to figure out. Which makes you even more stressed because you’ve now added more work onto your plate and you’re also in debt.
Small business owners who are in overwhelm can often take out their frustrations on their team, family, and friends. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, it’s so easy to transfer our anger and disappointment to other people in our life.
Okay, so what can we do to rise above the overwhelm? What productivity tips for entrepreneurs really work?
Talk to a Friend or Family Member
When you find you are in overwhelm, you need to reach out to someone else. Always remember that thoughts that got you where you are – are not the thoughts that will get you out.
It’s so important to discuss your troubles with someone else, just so you get another perspective. You can talk to your friends or family members. I always suggest that you reach out to someone that doesn’t have a vested interest in your problem. Advice that doesn’t have any bias will provide you with better options.
If what you are going through is more than a case of the blues, you might need to seek out someone with more expertise.
Book a Business Coach
If you need to map out a better plan for being more productive in your business, you might want to book a few coaching sessions to help you map out a marketing plan. Sometimes, just a few one-on-one meetings with a reasonably priced business coach is all you need to figure out what are your roadblocks.
Tip: The Launch4Life team offers one-on-one coaching sessions on a pay-as-you-go basis. We don’t require you book a coaching package, simply signup for one session at a time.
Find a Therapist
If you find that your problems are more serious than you originally thought (like depression), you might need to seek the services of a professional therapist.
For anyone that does not already have a relationship with a good therapist, you might want to consider online therapy. Yes, that is really a thing. Online therapy is great for people who work in remote locations and/or travel a lot.
We highly recommend the services of BetterHelp, who provides counseling online. They will connect you with a licensed online therapist you can communicate with you using your choice of: video conference, telephone, live chat, or text messaging. We like that they offer unlimited access to counseling sessions at an affordable cost that’s much lower than traditional face-to-face therapy. The cost of counseling ranges from $40 to $70 per week that’s billed monthly.
Listen to Mentors
I know that whenever I get into entrepreneurial overwhelm, one of the first things I do is look to my business role models for advice.
I have been a big fan of Tony Robbins for many years. I have purchased all of his books and own all of his tapes and CDs. Several years ago I attended a live Tony Robbins event, Unleash the Power Within, which was a life changing experience. Afterwards, I enrolled in Tony Robbin’s Life/Business Coaching program and a year later became a certified coach.
The one message from Tony Robbins that helps me stay productive is that overwhelm is a direct result of feeling you have no control. Tony likes to say, It’s not the lack of resources that stops you, instead it’s your lack of resourcefulness that stops you.”
So whenever, I feel that my day, business, or life is out of control, I know I must adjust my thinking. There is never actually a time when we have absolutely no control – even if the only control we have is our perspective.
Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, attributed his ability to survive the concentration camps to knowing that nobody/nothing has absolute control over you. “The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
Use Productivity Tools
One of the things that helps the Launch4Life team stay productive is having written business goals and a concrete marketing plan. However, we back that up with strict routines and a slew of productivity tools. These allow us to keep our sanity.
We track all of our projects in Asana which is a free project management tool. We record our meeting minutes in our Penzu online journal another free tool. We’re big fans of Fresh Books to track our expenses and create our invoices – not free, but worth every penny. And, we use Raindrop.io to keep track of all our shared internet bookmarks. The list of productivity tools we love and use on a consistent basis, goes on and on.
Bottom-line, if entrepreneurs want to achieve more productivity, they need to use tools that help automate your processes. Sometimes you can find free tools, and other times you’re going to have to dish out some cash. However, any tool that helps you get more things done is worth its weight in gold.
Last, but not least, one of the best productivity tips for entrepreneurs is to take action.
The worst thing we can ever do is stay in bed and throw the covers over our head. Even if all you get done in a day is one simple little thing – celebrate that win.
Truth be told, some days I really struggle as I start the day. By nature I’m a night owl, so mornings are not my friend. However, I know that if I push myself to do just one thing on my to-do list, I will feel better about myself. Most often, I find that if I do one thing… I can do another. The next thing I know, I am back to my old self and getting lots of stuff done.
The mistake we often make is setting the bar too high. On those days when we can’t get anything done – we just have to let it go and try better the next day. There’s no point in arguing with reality. When we have the unproductive days we should try to not beat ourselves up.
Every new day brings with it a new opportunity for fresh start. Even though it might be hard to believe – tomorrow might be the day when everything in your life changes.