bigstock-Tidal-Wave-Of-Work--Woman-Ver-48836003Sometimes, I think I need a to-do list just so I can clear off enough that I can get to my real to-do list.

Do you ever feel like you have too much to do in too little time?

Do you desperately need to get organized?

Just thinking about all that needs to get done can start my heart palpitating. And that’s just the stuff I need to get done for the business. When I add in the stuff I want or need to get done in my personal life as well, the whole situation just seems insurmountable.

For those running small businesses the list of things to get done can grow pretty quickly even when you are doing everything you can to try and keep up. While steady business is good, trying to handle too much can burn you out and rob you of your joy and motivation.

You went out on your own so you could do what you love and live life on your own terms.

However, if you end up so busy you no longer have a life or it dulls your passion, then really, are you much better off than you were before?

We all know you must work hard to achieve success, but there comes a point where the marginal benefit of working harder not only becomes negligible, but in some circumstances can actually diminish your return. At the risk of sounding cliché, it truly is better to work smarter than harder.

I believe that the first step is to simplify.

I’m making an effort to simplify my approach to work and if you struggle with getting everything done as well, then I hope you join me. There’s no need to live a life overwhelmed and stressed. Here are a few tips to help you simplify your approach to your business:

  1. Improve your time management skills.

    Start making a note of where you actually spend your time during the day. You may be surprised. Remember that every choice you make in regards to dedicating your time has an opportunity cost. Yes, it’s great to have a strong presence on social media, but for every kitten video that you watch (love those kitties!) that’s time that you could have spent actively accomplishing another task. To get more done in your day, limit passive activities that have minimal contributions to your bottom line and instead work on something that will have a much greater positive impact on your business.

  2. Promote your business effectively.

    Consider how much time you spend advertising your business in places that few, if any, of your ideal customers would actually find you. Instead of promoting on every outlet evenly, ask yourself which social media platforms your ideal customers spend the most time on and where else you can reach that market directly. The majority of the time and effort you spend promoting your business should be focused on those spots. I’m not saying to give up on the other areas, but if the time you spend is disproportionate to the number of leads you’ll eventually get, you probably need to re-evaluate your approach.

  3. Streamline your technology.

    What are the bottlenecks in your process? Think about what slows you down the most or where you need the most help when operating your business. Is there software available that could automate or improve those tasks? If you already have applications available take the time to learn how to use them effectively. Yes, it may take a small investment upfront, but think of all of the positive results you will encounter in the long run!

  4. Don’t be afraid to let go.

    You know all of those nagging tasks that you have to get done but hate doing? Outsource them! Make a list of all of things in your business that you enjoy doing and all of the things that keep you from following your passion. Look to hand off as many of the things that you do not enjoy as possible. You don’t need to be in control of every aspect of your business. Lessen your load and get back to engaging in the passion that you went into business for in the first place.