Whether you are referring to changes at home, in your relationships, at work or with your health, change is uncomfortable. For the purpose of this blog I am speaking about changes in the workplace and the overwhelm of having too many things on your to-do list. I never realized how psychologically paralyzing clutter of the mind can be. Clearing the clutter and making changes can be uncomfortable but never easier once you get started.
In November of 2015 I started to realize that I needed to make some changes in my work life. I had been neglecting myself and my business long enough. My health was not good, my stress level was toxic and I had just been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. It felt as though my world was falling apart and in reality it was actually all starting to fall into place.
Here are five things that I did to help clear the psychological clutter and free up some time to focus on my health and business.
- I downsized my business by closing one of my companies. This was hard for me to do as I was emotionally attached to my clients. The thing is, those clients took up so much of my time I was no longer efficient with my other responsibilities and the revenue wasn’t sufficient enough to warrant the time I was investing. Once I made the decision I then paired my clients with new local service providers and managed the transition so that the change was seamless for everyone. As the transition took place I started to feel a sense of relief as well as accomplishment.
- I cleared my emails, downsized my friends lists on social channels and reviewed my networking memberships and the amount of volunteer hours I was spending each month. I had over 14,000 emails in my deleted box alone and had just crashed Outlook. Anything that didn’t fit into my current business or personal need for being connected in the community was restructured to require less of my time or deleted from my to-do list.
- Delegate -Delegate – Delegate. For some reason I always had my eyes and hands on every component of my business. I realized as the leader of my business I had to let some of this responsibility go and trust that the team could handle the tasks I delegated. It was my job to follow-up and oversee that things get done in a timely and accurate manner but their job to execute. Having been a solo-entrepreneur for so many years it was hard to trust the process of growing and developing a team. What I found is that this step was also an important part of freeing up my mind and time to be able to focus on my health and growing my business in a strategic sustainable manner.
- We leveraged automation. Anything that could be pre-scheduled or planned ahead for the following year was done. We came up with a theme for the year and developed our marketing & communications plan to guide us through 2016. Creating this plan and having a theme allows you to make quicker decisions, execute efficiently and have more time and a clearer focus.
- I created a personal wellness strategy which allows me to be a priority on my list of things to-do. I have time to exercise, ride my bike, design meal plans, read books & magazines, play in my garden, be creative, travel and spend more time with my family.
As the new year approached and these changes were being implemented I found myself in ICU with a Type I Diabetes diagnosis vs. Type II. As it turns out I was misdiagnosed in November and am now faced with being insulin dependent the rest of my life. The blessing…I had the foresight to know I needed to make changes, my team was capable and did run the business while I was taking care of me and now my schedule allows me to make me a priority every day!
The moral of this story: Change is uncomfortable, a little messy in the middle but beautiful on the other side.
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