Feeling stuck in a rut or generally stuck can happen at any point in your business, or life. You might feel physically stuck in a location (lockdown restrictions might do that to a person), or you might feel emotionally stuck in a state of mind.
Recently I experienced severe burn out. I felt low, irritable, and exhausted all the time.
I figured out I felt stuck in terms of my copywriting business. My business didn’t feel like a business because I never found time to do the ‘business things’. Instead, I spent all my time trying to bring in money (often from content mills), which made me feel exhausted and uninspired by the main bulk of my work.
At this point, you have two options. To either cry and curl up into a ball, hoping that the feeling will pass, or be proactive and act upon what you don’t like.
I went with the latter. My approach was (and is) simple; spend a month refocusing and decluttering my business. If you’re a little lost or looking for inspiration, have a look at my tips on how to refocus and declutter your business (and life).
6 Tips to Help You Refocus and Declutter Your Business
This month is wholly dedicated to refocusing, self-improvement, decluttering, and working on my business.
If dissatisfaction unexpectedly taps you on the shoulder and leaves you feeling hopeless in any aspect of your business or life, then I recommend you heed these tips.
Refocus Tip #1: Plan
Write down a plan of action. Think about everything you want to achieve (and be realistic in terms of your timeframe and your mindset).
Make sure your plan is clear and concise. It might help to break your plan down into sections with tasks under each. For example, my June plan consists of 3 key sections – improving my social media, updating my website, and finding new clients.
And don’t forget to add those tasks that you never find time to do. An important part of refocusing is achieving, otherwise we might as well all be ostriches and stick our heads in the sand.
Refocus Tip #2: Break Down into Small Steps
Nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction when you tick off a task on a to-do list. Ticking off tasks can also highlight your abilities; this helps to boost your productivity levels. However, 41% of tasks on to-do lists are never completed, and this can make you feel deflated and useless.
When you blankly stare at a seemingly never-ending to-do list, it is easy to lose motivation.
Instead of setting yourself up for failure, break your plan down into smaller steps. Create a weekly or daily to-do list, with tasks you know you’ll be able to complete in the time frame.
It’s also a good idea to mix the tasks up, there’s a reason you put off doing certain tasks (they take too long, they’re boring admin tasks, or you just don’t want to do them). So, to ensure you finish your to-do list, first complete a task you’re reluctant to do and then reward yourself with a task which is more fun or fulfilling.
Refocus Tip #3: Dedicate Time to What You Enjoy
A big part of feeling unfulfilled, for me, was that the work I was doing felt like I was churning out content aimlessly. Maybe you feel that you’re not working with your ideal clients or that you spend too much time on projects that don’t inspire you. If this is you, stop right there!
And find a way to spark your passion again; spend some time doing things you enjoy. It’s important to enjoy what you do, obviously you can’t always do fun things for clients, but you can set aside time for personal projects or in my case, simply creating your own content.
Declutter Tip #1: Have a Digital Clean Out
Digitally clean and organise your space by creating organised and easy-to-find folders on your laptop. This will save you hours of scrolling through an unorganised mess and might even help boost your sanity levels! When I did this not only did my laptop and mind feel a little clearer, but it also sparked enough creativity to write this.
Take it a step further and unsubscribe from emails that clog up your business or personal inbox. You know the ones that come in daily, weekly, or monthly, that you never get around to opening. Yeah, those ones… unsubscribe and free up some space, there’s an overload of information in your life already.
Declutter Tip #2: Clean Your Workstation
Now you’ve rearranged your digital space, how about your physical workspace? Spend time cleaning or changing your workstation. Sometimes your office or desk can become messy and unorganised but a quick clean up could encourage creativity and boost productivity.
Organised folk who don’t let a mass of crap build up on their desk, but who still feel uninspired can try changing their set up. You don’t need a drastic change to see a big difference in the way you work. Try adding a bookshelf in your office and fill it with industry books that you intend to read or move your desk to a new spot.
Declutter Tip #3: Stress Less
Mentally decluttering is something that’s more difficult to achieve but is important. You need to let go of the things that are outside of your control and stress less.
When it comes to mentally decluttering it’s useful to imagine how you physically clean; you often sort things out into piles:
- the throw away pile
- the give-away pile
- and the keep pile.
The throw away pile is for thoughts and worries that don’t serve you at all. Throw these worries away, you can’t do anything to change them.
The give-away pile is for the thoughts or tasks that someone else can help you with. This might include outsourcing work or even talking to a friend or colleague about the things that are bothering you.
When you’ve sorted through the above two piles, the keep pile should be much more manageable. This means you can tackle your thoughts and tasks head on and stress less.
Refocus and Declutter Your Business
We all get a little lost at times and feel sorry for ourselves. But the only way to see positive changes is by taking action. That’s why I invite you to join in my challenge by implementing these refocus and declutter tips in your business and life.
Share your decluttering and refocusing business and personal tips below. As part of my challenge this month, I’ll be adding more content to my blog, so feel free to check these out too!