#109: Top 5 Ways to Stay Focused

May 2, 2021 | Working with Clients

Stress has become part and parcel of being an entrepreneur these days – particularly if you work online.

It’s been estimated that people who work for themselves suffer from more stress than those who work for others. There are still bills to pay, time and people to manage, responsibilities to meet, and expectations to fill. The difference is, when you work for yourself, you can choose what to do about it, and how you are going to diffuse or eliminate that stress.

This month’s theme is Destress Your Business and we’re going to start with the top 5 ways to stay focused and avoid client drama.

Welcome to Systems Sunday, this month’s theme is Destress Your Business. I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

Stress has become part and parcel of being an entrepreneur these days – particularly if you work online.

It’s been estimated that people who work for themselves suffer from more stress than those who work for others. There are still bills to pay, time and people to manage, responsibilities to meet, and expectations to fill.

The difference is, when you work for yourself, you can choose what to do about it, and how you are going to diffuse or eliminate that stress.

This month’s theme is Destress Your Business and we’re going to start with the top 5 ways to stay focused and avoid client drama.

Making changes for the better depends not just on becoming solution-oriented, but on cultivating clarity and focus. This boils down to getting to know yourself – and your business – inside out.

This doesn’t mean hours of navel-gazing: Again, it means taking specific, concrete action. I’m going to go over the top five best ways to keep you focused. And incidentally, if you adopt these as habits, it will also help you totally avoid client drama.

1. Track your time. Even if you’re not billing hourly, use a tool like Toggl to track how long various tasks or projects take.

This has two huge benefits:

  1. When you bid for similar work in the future, you’ll have a better idea how much to charge.

  2. It gives you a clearer picture of how long a task takes you. Most of us assume we work MUCH faster than we actually do, which means we’re constantly running behind! Knowing your true working rate is very helpful in planning your workflow.

2. Set and stick to office hours. Tell your clients upfront that you stop working at 6 p.m. on weekdays and never work weekends. They can email or call, but you won’t respond! Boundaries are great but STANDARDS are more important! You are a business owner and setting your own standards for how you run your business is super important – you’ll find that as you raise your standards, you’ll attract higher-quality clients.

3. Have a Thursday review. If you constantly scramble to keep up with your daily tasks, block off time every Thursday afternoon to look at the coming week. (Friday’s too late! You won’t have time to reschedule or make substantive changes if you need to.)

Even 15 minutes can help you feel more prepared and spot any conflicts or issues.

4. Aim to be early. If the deadline is the 15th, turn in a draft by the 12th. That way, you can iron out problems with the client before time-related stress kicks in, AND if you need an extra day due to a last-minute emergency on your end, you’ll have it.

5. Minimize distractions. Staying focused means putting yourself in an environment that allows you to work. That may mean renting an office space outside your home or just buying some noise-canceling headphones. It may mean blocking off entire days for certain projects and ignoring everything else. It may mean using a tool like RescueTime to keep yourself off social media. Do what you need to eliminate anything that interferes with your focus.

One thing you need to know: Whenever you change a habit that benefits others but not yourself, expect resistance at first. People will complain. They’ll test your limits.

Don’t try to explain. You owe no explanations – and explanations are always viewed as an open invitation to argument: Objections to be overcome.

Just repeat your new policy cheerfully and firmly. If they continue to argue, repeat it again.

For example, you tell your client that starting next month, you will no longer be offering evening sessions. She says, “But I work during the day. I have to have an evening appointment.”
Put thought ahead of time in how you want to handle that.

There really is no wrong or right answer – unless you say, “Oh, alright. I’ll make an exception for you because you’re so special.” And totally cave and go back on your decision. That’s a definite wrong answer.

Every client thinks she is special. And every client IS special. But so are you.

Decide how you want to handle objections in advance – and stick to your decision.

If you’d like a shortcut in ways to destress your business, check out my Business Building Action Kit: 7 Ways to Destress Your Business over in my shop. These action kits contain a full done-for-you action plan to give you guidance, resources, and keep you on track with checklists and worksheets.

Next week we’ll go over the secrets to developing good work habits. See you then.

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!

7 Ways to Destress Your Business

$20.00

Stress has become part and parcel of being an entrepreneur these days – particularly if you work online.

It’s been estimated that people who work for themselves suffer from more stress than those who work for others. There are still bills to pay, time and people to manage, responsibilities to meet, and expectations to fill. The difference is, when you work for yourself, you can choose what to do about it, and how you are going to diffuse or eliminate that stress.

Life passes swiftly, at an increasingly frenetic pace. It’s easy to get caught up in all the drama involved with multi-tasking, responsibilities, and trying to be all things to all people.

Learning how to destress is as important to your business as learning how to make money, so don’t neglect it.

In this complete kit, I give you the step-by-steps as well as some tools, resources, and powerful strategies to put into practice today.

What you Get with Your Kit:

  • 21-Page Guide giving you step-by-step, visuals, and examples of how to destress your business
  • “21 Idea Blueprint” giving you twenty-one ideas
  • 4-week done-for-you calendar
  • Comprehensive action checklist
  • Resource Directory with links to tools and resources
  • Worksheet – Use this Worksheet to make sure you are taking consistent action to destress, gain clarity and focus
Sale!

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