Have you ever had the experience in your business, where you just didn’t know what to do next?

It could be that you’re overwhelmed by everything that NEEDS TO GET DONE and it causes paralysis.

It could be that you simply don’t know what the next “right step” is to take to grow your business the way you want to grow it.

Or, it could be that you’re simply feeling demotivated and uninterested.  Lazy, if you will.

Regardless of WHY you don’t know what to do, here are some ways to get yourself back on track, quickly.

1. Breathe…

I know, seems pretty simple.  But quite often, simply sitting still for a few moments and breathing deeply will allow enough space to calm your system and uncover what needs to happen next.

2. Focus Externally

I find that whenever I get overwhelmed by my workload, I am focusing on myself, on my to-do list, on my inbox.  I’m focusing internally on ME.

As soon as I switch and start focussing externally on my clients, my energy shifts and it’s easier to move into action.

Specifically, I “flash forward” one year out.  I imagine what it’s going to be like when the project I’m working on is done, it’s complete and it’s in the hands of my clients.

They are phoning and emailing me regularly letting me know how valuable my support has been, and how it’s impacted their lives.

Look for a way to SERVE instead of STRESS.

3. Do Something Else

If I’m really stuck on one particular project, I try switching projects and seeing if that helps.  Quite often, simply changing my focus into a new arena is enough to loosen the dam, even just a little, and I can start making progress again.

4. Make a List

If you don’t already have a list of what needs to get done, that could be what is causing your overwhelm.

This happens because you’re trying to remember everything that needs to be done… at the same time as you’re DOING the things themselves!

So make a list of ALL the thing you need to do.  Then prioritize them in order of importance.

5. Focus on ONE Thing a Time

Culturally we’ve been taught that “multitasking” is a good thing.  That being able to handle multiple projects at the same time is a GOOD thing.

In fact, it isn’t.

You have a finite amount of attention and energy.  When you split that energy, the available resources for each project go down, and so does quality.

Yes, you have many priorities and projects.  But focus on just ONE thing at a time.

The ONE thing that needs to be done right now.  Give it 100% of your attention and energy.

When you need to move on, close or complete that activity, log where you are so you know what needs to happen when you come back to it (if it’s incomplete) and then move to the NEXT thing, giving it 100% of your attention and energy.

6. Do Nothing

In some cases, it’s actually best to do nothing at all.  If you’ve tried all of the above steps and you’re still stuck, step away.

Give yourself the space to NOT have to perform, to be “on”, to deliver the goods.

As solo entrepreneurs it’s EASY to get overwhelmed and to think we have to work all the time.  But one of the great joys and benefits of working for yourself is that YOU get to decide when & how you work.

And if it’s not happening, forcing it isn’t going to make it go any faster, smoother or better.

AGREE, DISAGREE? Have Something to Add?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!

    5 replies to "What To Do (When You Don’t Know What To Do)"

    • David Jones

      The most important thing, is to do the hard things FIRST.

      • Paul Keetch

        Hi David, thanks for your comment.

        I agree that OFTEN that’s the best place to start… but not always.

        The truest best starting point is with the most IMPORTANT item. Often, it’s also the hardest. 🙂

        However, when you’re overwhelmed and can’t start ANYTHING, what strategies do you use to gain momentum?

        In those cases, it may be better to start small & easy, to build up some energy.

    • Anneille

      Thanks for the blog Paul. I received the email informing me of this article yesterday at the exact moment that I needed to read these exact words!

      Very informative and insightful!

    • Claudia Previn

      This post was useful in an unexpected way. As an energy healer as well as an editor, I am very aware of the difference between creating something in my life internally (small and tight and limited) and externally (big, expansive, and limited only by the power of my thought), and realized: when I don’t know what to do, I’ve succumbed to the old habit of making it as small as my body or the room I’m in, rather than the national or even global scale it deserves to fly around in and flourish. Thank you!

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