How many hats are you currently wearing? CEO, COO, Marketing, Customer Service, Website Designer …

You may think you don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything you want or need to.

But I beg to differ.  What if you were unknowingly allowing efficiency to literally slip through your fingers every day?

You would do something about it right? Plugging those inefficiency holes doesn’t take up your time or cost you a fortune.

It’s about making small, bite-size changes to what you are already doing in order to do the work that actually matters, and be energised throughout the day so you can achieve more, and still be able to enjoy the company of your loved ones at the end of the day.

Efficiency is the Holy Grail to most solopreneurs but to achieve it you need to manage what I like to call your Energy Bank.

Managing Your Energy Bank 

It works pretty much like a bank does – you wake up in the morning and check your balance. 

Every day we wake up with a relatively fixed balance in our Energy Bank. It can vary a bit based on whether we got a good night’s sleep the night before, whether we are a bit under the weather, whether we are nursing a hangover but on a day-to-day basis it is relatively constant. 

The goal is to get to the end of our workday with as many credits in our account as possible (because then you get to spend those remaining credits on yourself and those near and dear to you —not laying comatose in front of the TV bingeing on naughty goodies because you are exhausted).

Who Sucked My Energy?

Everything and I mean everything, depletes the Energy Bank, it’s just a matter of how large the withdrawal is. 

You already know how to identify the large withdrawals—a tense meeting with a contractor/client, a fight with your spouse, the unexpected bad-news call from a business partner. Those are the ones that knock you off your game. 

But it’s the constant small energy depletors (much like those insidious ATM fees) that we are going after—and can make the difference between going into the evening in the red versus the black.

Finding the Energy Vampires

Look out for these signs so you can identify and put a stop to those insidious energy vampires.

DIY TRAP – Do IT Yourself culture is pervasive in the side-hustler/solopreneur world. IT is probably THE reason why you set up your company- you felt you could do better than the next person. And there is nothing wrong with having all that ambition and grit. But a surefire way to become overworked, overwhelmed and ultimately burned out is to do everything by yourself.

Best way forward is to really identify your superpower – everyone has at least one. Really!

Pick the FEW activities that you are the BEST at. The areas where very few others will surpass your skills. Simple. 

PERFECTIONISM CURSE –  I have occasional bouts of this and being a Type A personality, it takes A LOT of effort on my part to just accept that done is good-enough sometimes. Sometimes I feel no matter what I do, I won’t be satisfied.

Regardless of the compliments my work might get, it won’t be enough because there is always some kind of room for improvement. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle of self-criticism which is why you must focus on this and make it your daily mantra: it is more important to deliver something that gets the job done, than to deliver something ‘perfect’.

There’s always room for improvement, but that doesn’t mean you NEED to do them.

SAYING YES TIME -KILLER –  Learning to say NO is one of the most important life skills I have learned and it has translated into working on profitable projects I actually care about with clients I enjoy working with. Win- win scenario. It isn’t easy saying no, it gets pretty uncomfortable and sometimes I dread having to turn down an opportunity or request but it is a necessary evil. As long as you give a good reason to why you are saying no, I find people generally accept it and respect you more for it. Use the time and energy you save to be more productive, take your business to the next level, get fit, or enjoy the company of your family and friends.

PROCRASTINATOR CHAIN –   There has been tons written about this but I describe it as when your present self is not aligned with your future self. It could be for a bunch of reasons : lack of clarity or momentum or motivation or even sometimes, fear. 

My approach to beating procrastination is to just start.

Everything becomes less overwhelming once you actually START.

The best thing you can do if you’re suffering from procrastination, is to look at the thing you need to do, and break it down into the tiniest possible steps. If you were to start doing it, what would be the smallest first thing you would need to do? Then JUST DO IT.

Want to better leverage your natural strengths to build a successful small business without causing overwhelm or stress?

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Eve Kinyua
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