On Managing Overwhelm as A One Woman Business

This post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s 2015 Solopreneur Success Bundle, a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. 

When it comes to running a business, there are many things that you need to have in place: an editorial calendar, social media accounts, email (newsletter + your own inbox), clients/customers, etc. The list goes on and on. And the one thing that results from writing out every single thing you need? Overwhelm.


Psst! I've made a workbook to help you figure out how to manage your own business overwhelm. Look for it at the end of this post!

At the time of writing, I've been running my own business for a little over a year. It's a world that I fell into entirely on accident, so I wasn't really sure how to get everything running smoothly. For months and months I worked with inefficient systems, read every article I could find on running a business between my classes (did I mention that I also go to college full-time?), have experimented like nobody's business to try and get a handle on everything that I need to do.

But it isn't always easy. Especially when there are many, many demands for my time, and for yours.

One thing that I'm really working on going forward is managing my overwhelm. Because it's just me running the whole business -- doing everything from booking clients to accounting to blogging to sharing things on social media. And while I've gotten good systems in place, it's still slightly overwhelming on the best of days.

Tweet: How to manage overwhelm as a #solopreneur (+ a free workbook!) via @indigocolton | http://ctt.ec/9HJ3X+

So how am I going to manage my overwhelm?


1 | Batch my to-do's

Basically, I'm going to be blocking out 1-2 hour blocks every week to do certain tasks. So maybe Monday I spend two hours doing administrative tasks, Tuesday I spend 1 hour scheduling social media updates for the rest of the week, etc. This allows me to know exactly what's happening when, and to be able to give 100% of my attention to the task at hand.

One action you can take: What tasks do you do every single day/week for your business? Can you pencil in one block of time to knock it all out at once instead of doing them whenever they come up?


2 | Set clear boundaries

In all of the contracts I send to my clients there are very clear boundaries. I lay out when I'll be available via email, how the sharing of deliverables is handled, etc. My goal is to create these same kinds of boundaries for myself, so I can make sure that I'm taking care of myself and not looking at every single thing I need to do all at once.

One action you can take: Where can you set up firmer boundaries in your life? Maybe when it's time to do client work, you close everything on your computer that isn't related to that task to keep yourself from getting distracted. Maybe you take every Friday off so you can relax.


3 | Track my time

Another thing that I'm trying to get better at is knowing just how long it takes for me to get something done. I track my time for my clients, so why not make myself a client and do the same? That way I'll be able to see where I'm being inefficient (spending three hours outlining a paper is not the best use of my time) and where I can improve (how can I streamline the outlining process so it's only taking 15-30 minutes?).

One action you can take: Set up an account in Harvest and track your time for one week. This means everything from making coffee to writing a blog post! At the end of the week review your report and see where you're spending too long on a task and where you can improve your time management skills.

To help myself figure out how to implement these strategies, I created a 20-page workbook. And I want to share it with you! Enter your name + favorite email below to get instant access to the workbook: