Do you feel sense of overwhelm each day as you build your business? Do you find yourself running out of time and energy during the day? Are you anxious and stressed out by the end of the day?
Running a service business can be stressful, even at the best of times. That anxiety and strain can eat away at you until you wake up one day and don’t want to go into work because you’re burned out. Here’s a strategy to completely change that – it’s exactly what I did. Not only did it help me get control of my business, it put me on the right path to growing my business to the size it is today.
Before I tell you what it is, let me first share something weird with you: Have you ever noticed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wears the same hooded sweatshirt whenever he’s photographed? In fact, aside from very rare occasions, he almost always wears the exact same shirt. The reason is simple and somewhat surprising:
Science has revealed that we only have a limited ability to make decisions each day. Put another way, you might say that we have a finite number of decisions each day before we run out of the ability to make them. (Of course you might make more decisions some days than others but the mental and physical cost of all those decisions really adds up).
Zuckerberg wears the same sweatshirt each day because he doesn’t want to “spend” his decision-making ability on such a trivial thing. He’s not the only professional known for wearing the same thing every day (Steve Jobs had a daily uniform too). Other people who have discovered this truth eat the same thing every day for lunch because they don’t want the hassle of deciding what to eat for lunch.
Although these might seem like extreme examples, they illustrate something important: Since you only have a limited capacity for decision making, the very best thing you can do in your life and in your business to avoid that sense of overwhelm is to create systems in your business.
Systems eliminate the need to make decisions because they run automatically. Even something as simple as a routine, habit, or checklist can take away the daily decision-making from less-important tasks so you can “spend” your decision-making ability elsewhere.
Chances are, you already have some routines and habits in place – maybe a routine you have when you get to the office first thing in the morning or the routine you have as you finish the day and close up the office at night. Build more of these routines throughout the day!
• Create a routine that you might do for answering email. Schedule email-answering time for a certain time of the day so that you don’t have to answer email the rest of the time.
• Create a routine for doing financials. Even if you outsource most of your financials to a bookkeeper and accountant, you’ll still need to review your financials. So create a routine for doing this regularly and schedule it.
• Identify the things you tend to procrastinate doing and build routines and habits and checklists around those.
Although it sounds like you’re building a lot of routines and habits, what you’re really doing is building systems that automate large parts of your business and free up your time and attention and decision-making ability to focus on growing your business.
(If you want to read more about building systems, check out my book The Secrets Of Business Mastery, in which I devote an entire chapter to building systems in your business).