Seven things to do when you’re tired, overwhelmed and fed up with you business

Written by  //  April 15, 2013  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×

Here’s a snippet from an email that dropped into my inbox this week. I get so many questions on the same theme that I thought I’d pop my musings on here.


“I’m fed up, tired and overwhelmed. My business seems to have taken over my life. I’m feeling permanently anxious because there’s so much to do. I’ve got no time for the kids and haven’t  relaxed for ages. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to give up my business but I can’t go on like this”  ~ Bella


I’ve sorted my thoughts into seven activities – stuff you can go and do right now. And I think that’s super-important because action puts YOU back in control of the business rather than the business, erm,  in control of you.


You don’t have to do all seven, in fact just doing any one of them will help. And you don’t have to be overwhelmed to give them a go. They are also fabulously good things to do to help you manage ‘busy’.


  1. First of all, and before you do anything rash, take a day off.

I know, I know. You can’t. If you could you wouldn’t be in this pickle.

Believe me here  –  just sort of  have to.  It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re tired, grumpy and overwhelmed.

A day off now and a bit of clear headed thinking will save you loads of time and angst in the long run. As they say: just do it. Pop a voicemail on your phone, an autoresponder on your email and tell the world you’re sick. Turn off all your electronic devices and go for a walk, have a sleep or watch some crappy tv.


  1. Once you’re feeling just a little refreshed, grab a pen and paper and answer these questions

(Weird but true: writing the answers down works way better than just thinking about them):

  1. Do I still love the core of what I do? (so for example if your business is making dresses, you’d ask yourself “do I still enjoy making dresses?’ or if it’s helping kids to read it’s “do I still enjoy getting struggling kids reading?”)

  2. Do I still want to have my own business? You might be a bit 50/50 on this, that’s fine

  3. Why do I still want to have my own business? List all the reasons you can think of.

  4. Is my business making you enough money (even though it’s working you to the bone?)

  1. Now on a new piece of paper write down what your ideal business would look like.

Use some of these questions to help you but add your own thoughts in too:

  1. How many hours would you work a week?

  2. When would you work those hours?

  3. What would you mainly be doing? (Eg icing cakes rather than bookkeeping, say, if you’re a cakey type)

  4. How much income (profit and salary) would the business make you each week?

  5. What tasks would you not do (for example: filing!)

  1. Stick the list you made in step 3 on the wall in your workspace.

Just having it there to glance at will motivate you to change stuff (see step 5) and remind you that you’re not going to be in this overwhelming gloomy state forever. Every day take a look at your step 3 list and ask yourself “What can I do today to get me closer to my ideal business?” Please just give this a try. I know it doesn’t sound very practical but actually it really works. The combination of having a picture of how you want your business to be plus actually asking the question over and over again somehow (and I’ll leave that to the brain scientists to explain) unleashes creativity and ideas you never thought you had!


  1. Do the one week challenge

Try this, it’s awesome:

  1. Bust a gut to get through a ton of work on the next three days, so you can clear the decks a bit.

  2. For the week following the manic three days allow yourself to only work the number of hours you want to work (in step 3)

  3. See how this changes the type of tasks you do

  4. At the end of the week, look at:

    1. what you stopped doing – can you stop doing that forever?

    2. what work you prioritised –  did you get more of the important stuff done than you expected?

    3. what didn’t you get done that you wished you had got done? How do you feel about it?

  5. You’ll finish the week knowing some practical stuff YOU can do to change YOUR business

  1. And here are a few very practical things to do:

    1. Relax your turnaround time a little – make sure you make this super-clear to customers but if you need a little longer to fulfil orders, take it.

    2. Don’t check email (and Facebook messages) all the time. Set yourself three times a day to check-in and put an auto-responder on your email to tell people when you expect to be able to reply to them. Most people don’t need an urgent response but they do like to know when they will hear from you.

    3. Turn your electronic devices off at certain times during the day and after, say, 6 pm. You will feel better not checking in – even ignoring facebook etc!

    4. Make a list of stuff that someone else could do (filing, bookkeeping, sewing, whatever!) and see if you can buy just a couple of hours of someone else’s time each week. It’s amazing how just moving a few things off your to-do list and on to someone else’s can help lift that awful fog.

  1. Finally I’ve written about the smile file and the good things jar here.

They won’t make your weeks any less busy but they they will lift your spirits!


new snacks2

Fancy getting a weekly Snack of sweet stuff for your small business? Just pop your details in below.



Leave a Comment

comm comm comm

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×