End Overwhelm with Essentialism

Do you often feel overwhelmed in your business and life in general?

I am a juggler by nature – I love to have lots of things on the go at once (and I have worked out that this gives me energy). But sometimes, I have way too much going on. And I am sure you can relate.

In reading Greg McKeown’s book, I have learnt that there are three questions to ask about every tasks. This takes practice and consistent effort, but it makes such a difference to how you feel and what you achieve, it’s worth it!

I will use Laura, a digital business owner, as an example. She started a group coaching program where she taught her customers how to use WordPress software. She loved helping her clients but because she taught on a technical topic, she received a lot of messages from customers asking questions and sharing problems they’d encountered.

Eventually, Laura found that she spent most of her time in her inbox, replying to customer emails. She was overwhelmed and frustrated. She was afraid to take a break from the computer because she wanted to be on-call for her customers. And she didn’t want to let them down.

This created problems in Laura’s personal life and made her feel like she was chained to desk. When she read Essentialism, she decided to ask three questions about every task.

The Power of Three Questions

Does This Have to Be Done?

Think about your business and what you want to accomplish with it. Then consider why you’re completing your current task and if it’s truly necessary for the health of your business.

If it’s not necessary, then why are you doing it? Could you just let it go?

When Laura was answering customer emails, she knew it was essential. But she also noticed that she received some of the same questions again and again.

To answer these support requests faster, she put together a FAQ page on her website. When she got a common question, she copied and pasted the information from her site directly into the email, saving her time.

Is This Important or Merely Urgent?

Important tasks are the ones that move your business forward. They get you closer to meeting your goals. Posting fifteen updates on your company’s Facebook page might seem urgent but it’s not necessarily important.

Urgent tasks feel important but they don’t get you closer to meeting your goals. An example of an urgent but not necessarily important task is replying to comments on your Instagram photo. Sure, it feels good to monitor those little heart notifications but it isn’t vital to reaching your current goal.

Can This Be Done by Someone Else?

It can also be helpful to ask if a task can be handed off to someone else. For example, Alison built a thriving blog that received millions of visitors each month. She loved the blog but keeping up with the comments was getting time-consuming.

When she realized she didn’t have to handle the task personally, she started looking for someone to hire. She found a community manager she really liked and had her run the community. Then Alison was free to focus on what she did best—creating content for her readers.

Many digital business owners think of outsourcing as an expense. But it’s smart to think about as an investment. That’s because you’ll be able to work on the areas of your business where you shine without constant interruptions.

Answering these three questions can reduce your feelings of overwhelm. To make it simple, choose to implement these questions in one area of your business first like customer support, social media promotion, or list-building. Once you start seeing results, you can apply these questions to another part of your business that you want to overhaul.

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We are reading Greg KcKeown's book in the Practical Wisdom Book Club. Join for free and learn more about essentialism!

Ayesha

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