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Being a business owner means I have a passion for what I do but there are times when the amount of work and stress that goes with being your own boss can feel overwhelming. 
We have all faced constant changes and challenges recently, with too many questions and not enough answers, lots of deadlines and too little time. If you feel you’re running out of energy and you don’t have enough support you’re not alone. 
Even when you know that change is inevitable and that things will get better it can be hard to feel positive or to know what to do to feel stronger. However, there are steps you can take to look after yourself and your business. 
1. Delegation – be honest, I have taken on too much sometimes, and so have you. Delegation is a skill we can all learn and improve over time. As business owners we have a lot of responsibilities and it’s tempting to think that we are the only ones who can do certain things. However, this is one of the most common reasons we feel overwhelmed and stressed. Failing to delegate will certainly limit your ability to grow your business. 
One of the best things you can do is to create business systems and processes that you can then hand over to someone else. They don’t need to know how or why you created them, as long as they can follow the rules easily. You can also look for opportunities to automate these activities and to streamline some of your more time-consuming processes. 
2. Project mapping – multiple projects and tight deadlines can be simplified when you create a map which allows you to prioritise activities. Once you have identified the milestones for each task and how to get there you can be more organised. You can create a timeline so you won’t have the stress of worrying about whether you’ll get everything done, and a schedule of what to do next. 
3. Daily plans – while we know our days don’t always run smoothly, it’s worth having a plan for your day so that you use your time well. Think about when you’re most productive or creative and allocate your time accordingly. Ideally, also include a block of time for ‘admin’ or incidental tasks like paying bills to keep on top of the details. 
Importantly, when unexpected things happen add them to the list and decide what you can move to another day. This will stop you feeling you haven’t achieved anything at the end of the day because you haven’t crossed everything off your list. 
4. Build your network – running a business can be lonely so building in-person or online networks of people you trust is important. They will understand your challenges and will be able to offer support and advice. Most importantly, you can find people to take away some of your time-consuming tasks to reduce your stress, like bookkeepers or virtual assistants, for example. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile it’s certainly worth setting one up to give you access to an almost unlimited range of business contacts and information. 
5. Clear your workspace – when you’re busy, paperwork, tools and – frankly – a lot of other mess, can build up in your workspace. Being surrounded by a jumble of things will make it harder to concentrate on what’s important. Make it easy to keep things tidy by using box files for regular paperwork so you don’t even have to pause to punch holes. Wherever possible keep things electronically instead using Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, for example, especially if the information needs to be shared. Spend the last 10 minutes of every day putting things away and writing your plan for the next day, then walk away and forget about it. 
6. Take care – self-care is often underestimated; your business relies on you so you need to invest some time and money in servicing and maintaining your own wellbeing. You probably take care of your office equipment and business vehicles more than you look after yourself. 
To stay positive, plan time for exercise, relaxation, socialising and enjoying family life. If you have to, book time in your calendar in the same way as business meetings. Don’t assume you can just ‘fit it in’ because you won’t. Schedule some ‘down’ time during the day to call a friend or read a book so you can come back to your task list ready for the next challenge. 
If you’re ready to set goals for yourself and your business, create effective processes and improve your day to day management of tasks the Andromeda GAP Program will provide you with the framework you need. 
Please get in touch to find out more. 
Until next time ... 
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