Most people, regardless whether they work for themselves or for an employer, enjoy being busy. It helps time pass faster during the workday and it keeps your bottom line nice and black. Even when busy times are stressful, they are often productive, motivating, and sometimes, even fun.
Occasionally, though, busy turns to something more. Being too busy for too long or having too many things do in a period of time can lead to feeling overwhelmed. This is when that slightly frazzled on-your-game feeling spins out of control. Suddenly, you are frustrated and not sure where to turn.
Even if things are slow right now and you cannot imagine ever complaining about feeling busy, the time will come when you can barely see beyond your giant to-do list. These strategies help you get things under control and return to feeling productive and efficient.
Outsource Work to Freelance Service Providers
One of the best ways to create a less intense schedule is to move some of the work off your plate. The work must still be completed, but not necessarily by you.
Break the project into smaller pieces and delegate certain parts of it to someone else.
This might be co-workers, but during the busiest times of the year, your co-workers are also feeling overwhelmed. Business owners might not even have co-workers.
Hiring freelance service providers to handle a portion of a project is your best option.
Hire someone to complete a specific task or find someone willing to take on work on an ongoing basis.
That’s the benefit of working with a freelancer – there is no need to create a part-time or full-time job for the person. You’ll have complete control over the delegation and the budget. If all you need is support for a few days worth of work, you can contract with someone for this short period of time. This arrangement works just as well for small business owners as it does for large corporations.
Business Owners Can Use Retainer Payments to Avoid the Waves
Do you find yourself in a feast or famine environment too often? Many small business owners experience busy seasons. Sometimes, these seasons are unpredictable. This results in a rush to find clients that becomes a windfall of clients dumping far too much work on your doorstep. This is a great problem to have, but it can get out of control.
Instead of riding the waves, institute a retainer system. Request clients issue a payment in advance of assigning work. This retainer system is used by attorneys and in a variety of other industries. The payment you receive is intended to keep your time free until work is needed.
There are a few different ways to set up a retainer system.
Ask clients to make a retainer payment in advance and complete work that equals the amount of that payment.
At a certain point the client must refresh the retainer in order to guarantee your time in the future.
Another option is to require a retainer payment each month regardless how much work is completed.
Clients pay a fee per month to have you at his or her disposal whether that amount of work is needed or not.
Retainer fees can be a tough sell, but some are willing to create this arrangement because it saves them time and frustration. They know they have a capable service provider available on a moment’s notice. Even if you are unable to structure your entire business in this manner, creating a few retainer relationships can help you manage your time and prevent that feast or famine phase you want to avoid.
Re-evaluate Your Work Schedule
Finally, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do on a regular basis, it might be time to re-evaluate your work schedule. Are you self-employed and spending more time marketing than completing work?
There is a tendency for small business owners to never shift out of hustle mode. Though you should never be completely comfortable resting on your laurels, there does come a time your safety nets are enough to protect you.
Shift your hustle approach to making yourself more valuable to your best clients instead of seeking out new ones.
You can scale back on marketing without giving it up – which you should never do!
Employees struggling to balance work time can enhance time management skills. If 10 things need to be done by Friday, do two per day instead of nine on Thursday night. Evaluate your progress at the end of each day and determine by mid-week if you need to ask for assistance.
Your work schedule can be affected by those around you, especially when you work for a traditional employer and have little control over those working with you. This is where outsourcing can give you more control of your workload.
Give your freelancer a deadline a few days prior to your deadline.
Outsourcers are not directly involved with your company, so if you build a cushion into your due date, they must abide by your schedule. Your control of the schedule gives you time to review the work from freelancers before the bewitching hour.
Looking for other ways to fight the feeling of overwhelm you occasionally encounter? Are you a small business owner with too much already on your plate and you feel as if you are missing out on important business opportunities? Outsourcing is an effective solution to managing your time wisely and accomplishing all of your goals.