Mess = Stress: Brain Clutter
Clutter doesn’t always mean a physical mess. As small business owners, we are required to keep track of dozens of tasks to keep our business rolling. Deadlines, schedules, bills, work in progress, employees, insurance, payroll, taxes, customer service, emails, phones ringing.. the list is endless.
“Mental Clutter refers to times when our mind has too many thoughts which make it difficult to process and focus. A cluttered mind is disrupting, and it hinders our productivity, balance and even our mental health.” Coaching Academy
Recent studies indicate our brain is only capable of holding 3 or 4 things in our conscious mind at a time So how do we tidy up our mind and allow for maximum dedication to the task at hand?
- You’ll hear me talk about to-do lists regularly. Personally, I prefer a written list. With the technology available to us, a digital list may work best for you. Apps like Google Keep allow you to login & maintain your list from any device. It’s accessible from your phone on the road, desktop, laptop, or tablet. Tommy calls & needs xyz done by 3 o’clock today. Put it on the list. Your mind doesn’t need to hold that information when you have a list to reference. Think of it like setting it down. During harvest seasons, an Orchardist doesn’t try to pick and carry all of the apples at one time. You shouldn’t either! He picks a bushel, and sets them down so his hands and mind are free to focus on the next bushel. Those bushels are your tasks.
- Routines are so incredibly important! Mondays are Payroll. Tuesday, complete filing. Wednesday, Customer Follow-ups. Thursdays, pay bills. Fridays, perform software updates & tidy your office space. If you schedule the repetitive tasks, you avoid priority the war in your mind when it comes to your general business operations. You can set down those bushels. Walk into the office, check your emails, update your to-do list, & complete your routine tasks. Confidence in knowing your day-to-day business operations are being handled on a daily/weekly basis, frees up some of that mind clutter allowing you to effectively process & focus on the next task.
- Personal time. What!? How does personal time help me better run my business? Have you ever sat at dinner with your spouse and been unable to set your phone down for fear of losing a contract if you aren’t readily available at that very minute? Have you ever missed your kids sporting event, or tucking them in for similar reasons? You know that burning feeling in your gut the next day like you’re missing out or disappointing them? Yah, you can set that down too. Emergencies happen and after-hours work is inevitable at times. It does not need to be a daily or weekly occurrence though. If you’re in an industry that requires evening/weekend appointments – schedule them. Tuesdays and Thursdays are your late nights, plan accordingly. Schedule your personal time. 6 o’clock on a weekday, your work phone goes on silent, and you dedicate your mind to your family, friends, or hobbies of your choice. Personal time allows you to recharge. Recharging encourages productivity, reduces stress, & allows you to focus on your work the following day.
What will you do today to help clear your mind of the overwhelming clutter we as business owners juggle?