Most business leaders are relieved to discover they are not alone in some of the frustrations they face. One of the most common challenges I hear is the lack of clarity and focus. Business leaders often feel like they are drinking from a fire hose and don’t know what to focus on first. This leads to overwhelm and to grabbing for the low-hanging fruit. Unfortunately, the easy reach is usually low productivity tasks, which lead to the busy-being-busy pitfall and more overwhelm, because you’re not accomplishing anything important! Periods of overwhelm can take a toll your business.
When Life Gets in the Way – I experienced overwhelm and lack of business focus myself, earlier this year. In a period of about six months I cleaned out my house (my family home of 19 years), listed it, sold it, and rented it back while my new construction, downsized townhome was finishing completion. Then, of course, I purged some more and moved, having to set up a new home and home office. I was also engaged in Leadership Cobb, an exceptional, intense, time-consuming, and “wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world” leadership program. My two youngest children graduated from 2 different high schools too. Sometimes it felt like I was drinking from multiple firehoses!
We all have “life” that happens but how do you keep the business running?
Some steps that have helped me and my clients:
1. Focus on clients – I was, and continue to be, committed to my clients above all else. That commitment to deliver exemplary coaching and client care is the core value of my business. Focusing on my clients also reminds me how much I love what I do and was a great focal point when the overwhelm began to set in.
2. Prioritize the most important – In addition to stellar client care, it was also important for me to get clear on what I wanted to accomplish and to identify a short list of tasks that would move me toward those goals. I also had to create a “not-to-do-list.” I set some tasks to the side, such as my monthly blog (I have been back since the summer, though, whew!), and stepped back from a weekly networking membership, for example. Additionally, I became the queen of the Excel Spreadsheet to keep all of the to-do’s and project deadlines on track.
3. Gave myself a BREAK – With the help of my own coach, I gave myself permission to be ok with getting done only what I could, and more importantly, being ok with letting go, at least temporarily of what I couldn’t accomplish at that time. Getting back into my regular meditation, journaling, and healthier self-care made a big difference in my stamina and peace of mind, too.
It is comforting to know that most business owners face a lack of clarity and focus from time to time, though perhaps a little confronting as a business coach! I have experienced the importance of creating a plan and working the plan to keep my business running. I help my clients clarify what’s important to them and re-focus when they need it too. The ride is so much smoother when back on track! Let me know how I can help you stay focused on what really matters. Take a look at the new programs and courses coming up!
Kim Ellet is a certified professional coach and owner of The Growth Coach of Metro Atlanta. She finds joy in helping successful leaders committed to continuous improvement, be more of who they are, dream bigger dreams, and accomplish more than they realized was possible. www.TheGrowthCoach/Atlanta.com