I’ve burnt out a few times but this last time has felt harder to come back from. I pretty much took two months off at the end of last year. The only work I was doing was work for two retainer clients. One of these is a fellow small business owner and I love working with her. The other is a larger not for profit who do good work but the work I do for them isn’t very exciting. I’m pretty sure this didn’t help as boredom is also linked to burn out.

I was starting to feel better and wanted to start working on my business again but I really struggled to get any kind of momentum and I’m still finding I need longer periods of rest.

Which has meant I’ve had to rethink how I do my business. Two changes that have helped the most are:

Focusing on Projects

The first change I’ve made is not having a big vision as to where I want to take my business. This might sound counter intuitive, but I found that trying to come up with this was just too hard. It felt heavy. Which is the complete opposite to how I normally feel about big picture work. The amount of work associated with bringing a vision to life felt overwhelming.

Instead I’ve got a couple of projects I would like to eventually bring to life. But I’m not setting any deadlines. Rather they are things that I’m working on very slowly. It would be lovely to have these things out in the world much quicker but I’m not stressing about how long things are taking me.

Setting myself one task per day

You’ll often see people recommending that you set yourself only three tasks a day. I’ve scaled this back to one! I’ve got a list of things to do but at the start of the day I only pick one of those to pop on my to do list for the day. If there is something that is due that day like a tax return or a time sensitive client piece of work then that is the one item. If not then its either something linked to the projects I’m working on or it’s a piece of marketing. I don’t include meetings in this one task but prep for a meeting would fall into one of these tasks.

And I don’t add extra maybe to-do items to that list. If I’m not careful I get distracted from the one task I do want to get done and start looking at other tasks that might be more interesting. Instead I just have a master list that sits separate to my daily to-do list. If I think of something I add it to that master list.

If I finish the one task and have the energy to do more then I go back to my master to-do list and pick another task. This happens more often than not as I find that once I do one thing I gain momentum and get quite a lot done. If I start with a longer to-do list that overwhelm creeps in again.

I’ve found that starting is the hardest thing in terms of getting things done.

Are these changes ideal for my business? Nope. It’s not growing very fast at the moment. I’m not putting out new offers nor developing marketing material as quickly as I would like. But it’s about accepting the season I’m in.

My business is super important to me but not as important as my health and well-being.

What are you prioritising?

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