We’re all pretty stressed out aren’t we? I mean, we’re small business owners, what’s not to be stressed out about? Too much work, too little work, hard-to-manage expectations, emails with hard questions you don’t really want to answer, clients who won’t pay invoices, clients who can’t pay invoices, not enough sleep … the list … it goes on and on! Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, my go-to response is always to ramp up saying ‘no’.
No to rush jobs.
No to expectations that clearly cannot be met.
No to people who set off red flags.
No to new clients who aren’t willing to pay a deposit.
No, no, no.
And it definitely helps. But it kind of starts to bring you down after a while doesn’t it? Because saying no to people all the time is hard! Having these hard conversations all the time is HARD! So today, I have a new tactic to offer.
In recent years I’ve changed my diet considerably by using the ‘crowding out’ method. That is, crowding out my plate with so much good stuff, there’s not really any room for bad stuff.
What if we crowded out our workdays with the stuff we wanted to say ‘Yes’ to? What effect might that have?
Here are some things I’ve said ‘Yes’ to in the past week:
Yes to a proper lunch break away from my desk.
Yes to shutting my laptop at 5pm.
Yes to writing this blog post.
Yes to taking my son to the coffee shop after school (rather than rushing home to do ‘one more hour of work’).
Yes to spending an hour re-branding our Facebook page and scheduling posts for the week.
And you know what the result of all those ‘Yeses’ has been? Well for one, I’ve been more efficient. Rather than looking at all of the above as ‘nice to do if ever I get on top of my workload’, I’ve simply made them happen.
Doing these things has also (ironically) taken the pressure off my overall workload a bit because finding the time for them has necessitated the pushing out of timelines. Where previously I would have promised something in ‘a day or two’, I now say ‘a week’.
Finally, and probably most important, finding time to do things that make me happy in my business has made me nicer to be around. Because my days are more satisfying and gratifying, this translates positively in all my communications. And that’s not just good for me, it’s good for everyone I come into contact with during the day too.
What’s something you can say ‘Yes’ to in your business today? Come share in the comments 🙂