Why does the holiday effect not last very long?

Have you found that your holiday seems a long way off, but you only got back last week?  You have got back to work to a shit storm of banks, cash flow issues, staff challenges and customers running amok and already you can feel that bubble of tension rising in you.

And then on the news they say that anyone who works over 40 hours a week has a 33% higher chance – that’s right 33% – of having a stroke than people who live in the ‘normal’ world of employment working 38 hour weeks.

You are facing a veritable tsunami of work, your partner is giving you a load of shit about the hours you are putting in, it’s not paying the kind of money you want and the grief – the day to day grief of running a business – is stressing you out. How do you deal with it?

I have just had the BEST summer and actually am off on my final sojourn of this year before my big trip in December so I am feeling well rested, but I have 4 days in the office this week – including 2 events in the evenings, a business plan proposal, new client contract, 2 legal actions and am looking at reviewing our financial plans.  And I am pretty sure there are only 80 working hours left this week – and God knows what 80 hours in 4 days means in terms of my stroke risk!

So people I am feeling it for you. The post-summer overwhelm has begun and so let’s tackle it before it becomes a wave we can no longer surf.

There are four big things that really help me so I thought I’d share.

I have said it before and I will keep on saying it – the best thing you can do is to PLAN.  Five years, then annually, monthly and weekly. You simply HAVE to do this because otherwise you will feel out of control – which makes stress exponentially worse.

Accept that your TASK LIST WILL NEVER BE FINISHED. This is one of the greatest learnings I have taken on board and I apply it to everything from my gardening, to my housework, to my business – there is an infinite list of things to be done which will never be complete. As entrepreneurs there is a literally INFINITE number of tasks that need completing – but what you need to do is to absolutely decide which tasks are critical and which are strategic and take your business forward – and then and ONLY THEN can you tackle the ‘nice to do’ and the C list of tidying/filing/fannying about.

Perfectionism is overrated.  Completing and finishing is where it’s at.  A dinner that never makes it to the table is pointless. So is an idea that is never implemented because you are fart-arsing around perfecting a tiny detail. Get it out there, get it done.

Teach, delegate, check and REPEAT.  Never ever do stuff which cheaper resources can do for you.  As long as they can do it nearly as well, that’s good enough.  See the above note on perfectionism. Get your ironing done, get someone booking your travel, get someone proofing your copy, get someone updating your website.  Use your time to do the big stuff – the critical stuff and the strategic stuff – C List and below is non-essential and can be delegated.

So Kate’s Recipe for the Cure to Post Sumer Overwhelm is:

  1. Take one Business Plan
  2. Add a dash of realism and acceptance
  3. Add a hefty tablespoon of pragmatism and scoop of delegation

And can I suggest something else. Try to build a mini holiday into each and every weekend to keep this post-summer feeling going.  Get into a routine or ritual of weekend wind down – starting with clearing your desk, then maybe with a nice meal and a good night with loved ones – and actually make time far away from work to properly relax.  And you may just keep this post-summer glow going to Xmas!

Time to get back to work.  And to get cracking preparing for a busy Q4. Have a great week.