Sunday is the day I generally catch up on work. I’ve been working a lot of Sundays recently.
March has been a brilliant month for me, with some great new clients, some interesting challenges from existing clients plus some exciting possibilities on the horizon.
So why was I feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted?
One glimpse of my to-do list was enough – it was off the scale!
Not to mention my desk looking like, well, this…..
I call it my rancid pile and it never seems to get any smaller.
So while my financial goals for 2015 may be on track, my lifestyle goals most certainly are not.
Time for a re-think.
Instead of simply getting my head down and ploughing through the never ending list of tasks, I took some time out to think, reflect and look at all those things on my list. Did I really have to do all of them?
Sure, there are plenty of client related activities on there which are an absolute priority. But what about all those marketing tasks. Are they really worthwhile? Or just recurring items on my electronic task manager?
A quick look back over the last 12 months and I can see that 75% of business came from existing clients. And a good chunk of new clients were referred by my existing clients. So did I really need to be doing quite so much marketing – and time consuming work?
Of course, everyone (including me) will tell you that you must keep marketing through the busy times. But there are limits. Especially if you have limited capacity – like a wedding photographer or planner.
So I went through every task on my list and asked myself – what will be the likely impact on my business if I don’t do this?
And then I deleted half my tasks.
Just like that.
I felt so much better. In fact, I felt able to tackle the rancid pile.
I can now start the new financial year with a clear head (and a clear desk).
I’d fallen into the trap of failing to adapt my marketing as my business grew. Continuing with tasks that had been important in the early days when I didn’t have many regular clients and failing to focus on the things that are important now.
And the trap of trying to do it all.
It’s a trap so many of us fall into, especially nowadays when there are so many things crying out for our attention – all those social media platforms, blogs, wedding fairs and networking events.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed, try a to do list de-clutter. It really does free your mind.
I did however, add one task to my to do list – to review all my activities and look at what I can delegate. So I can trim that list even more. And keep weekends for friends and family.