Feel like you’re riding in a one-horse open sleigh? Or slipping and sliding from one problem to another, trying to plow through mounds of issues – and losing your footing trying to solve all of them? As a budding entrepreneur, one of the hardest things to do is learn the right way to balance. Another challenge is staying focused when you have so much to do. It's easy to feel like all you’re doing is simply putting out fires – and getting nothing accomplished.
I know this is an all-too familiar topic for many of you. The good news is that you can stay focused, even when it feels like you have no time to spare and you’re extinguishing whatever fire seems to be burning brightest. Here, a blueprint for staying focused from the experts who made it work.
Turn Off The Phone, Close Your Email & Shut The Door To Regain Focus
Ever hear of a digital detox? A lot has been said about the importance of disconnecting from technology from successful women like Arianna Huffington to hotel executives, who are beginning to fold a “detox package” into their offerings. Instead of a shoe shine or dry cleaning, participating locations give guests a chance to “cleanse” by dining on a special diet and engaging in a fitness plan.
Digital detox packages have been called the “next big trend” in the hospitality industry.
Another option is a mini-detox. Rather than spending days detoxing – make a few changes and see a big difference. Close out that email, turn off your phone, and shut the door to focus on what’s really important, rather than trying to decide whether or not you should post "Happy Birthday" to your ex on Facebook.
We all have the same amount of hours – so instead of trying to use your energy on dozens of tasks, target your energy on a limited number. Focus on what will give you the biggest bang for your energy buck!
Many people say yes to avoid confrontation or to save face, but as Holly Weeks writes in Harvard Business Review, you can take the middle of the road option: the neutral no. “A neutral no is steady, noninflected, and clear. It is mostly notable for what it is not: harsh, combative, apologetic, reluctant, or overly nice," says Weeks.
Saying “yes” to everything is one of the fastest paths to burnout. Practice makes perfect on this one, and for some people, saying “no” can be really hard. Just keep practicing until it becomes comfortable for you. When you do this, you’ll gradually feel more and more empowered and confident.
Take A Deep Breath When You See Something On “Fire”, Then Take A Closer Look
Although there may be another fire burning somewhere right now, just waiting for you to come put it out, it is imperative to take a minute and prioritize. Is it really something that needs your attention now? Has it turned into a total conflagration, or is it just a flare-up?
If it’s actually something that can wait, even if it’s just for a little bit, that extra time may allow for the fire to burn out on its own…and if not, that bit of added time allows me to look at the issue with a clearer mindset.
Allow yourself to set boundaries with technology.
Reset Your Expectations
Sometimes, because we have such high expectations of ourselves, we assume other people have the same expectations of us. Oftentimes, however, it’s our own expectations running the show – and rarely do we live up them.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation – but your thoughts about it,” author Eckhart Tolle has said.
Reset your expectations and be real – and by taking an unbiased second look, the situation can end up looking totally different.
Free Yourself By Delegating
This strategy is unfortunately often under-utilized by many people who think they have to “do it all”. In the Harvard Business Review Amy Gallo says if you’re working long hours and feel you’re the only one who can do the job while your staff keeps regular work hours, you may not realize that you’re hoarding your work.
It isn't always easy to stay on top of your finances, especially when you have developed unhealthy spending habits over the years. However, as you begin to realize the many benefits of having healthy finances, it can become something you want to make a conscious effort to improve. When your finances are in a good place, you often have access to better opportunities whether it be a mortgage loan, greater credit line or business loan. On that note, here is how you can become an expert at managing your finances in case you need a few tips.
Learn to Use Technology
The good thing about managing finances in the technological age is that you don't have to do it alone. There are so many apps available that will help you pay bills on time and track your expenses. For instance, some apps force you to live within your actual income and tell you what to do when you need to balance your budget.
If you need an app that will help you get better at saving, then some will set aside your spare change for you. Also, don't be afraid to use more simple tools such as your smartphone calendar to set reminders about payments if you don't automate them.
Seek Legal Advice
Sometimes, being an expert at something means understanding that you can't possibly know it all. This is why you have professionals around you that can help fill in the gaps where you're lacking. Consider hiring a legal firm to help with any challenges that are beyond you. Lexington Law is a good firm as they could help remove negative items from your credit report. Read this Lexington Law Review (Our #1 Credit Repair Service of 2019) to find out more about how they could help improve your finances.
You can't do better than what you know when it comes to managing finances. You should, therefore, invest your time in learning more about finances and how to manage them. Think about what your goals for your finances are and what knowledge gaps you need to fill.
For example, if you want to invest in the stock market so that you can improve your net worth, then you may need to learn more about investing to do so successfully. To boost your knowledge, try reading articles on credible blogs that share finance information from professionals. Also, be weary of content from finance-driven companies as it could be biased.
Work on Growing Your Income
As a self-proclaimed finance guru, you know that the more sources of income that you have, the better. Work on increasing your streams of income so that you have more money to meet your targets whether it's to save for a property or put larger sums towards retirement. One way to do so would be by getting extra income by doing social media marketing for businesses or creating tutorials on YouTube. If you own a property, renting out rooms is a great way to make passive income.
Live Within Your Means
It can be difficult to live within your means when you live in a society that is always presenting you with things to buy. However, being more conscious about the things that you purchase could help you realize that most are wants rather than needs. To live within your means, always take time to think about a purchase as opposed to impulse spending. You should always get good at bargain hunting as many times you can find items of similar quality at a cheaper price.
Learn How to Manage Debt
Debt doesn't have to be a bad thing if you understand how it works and how to manage it. It can be a tool for credit building when you understand the fundamentals. For instance, if you take out a loan or credit card, always be mindful of your interest rates.
By paying the amount of money you borrowed back in full before the due date, you won't have to pay interest on what you borrowed. If you can't pay back in full, paying more than the minimum payment will ensure you incur less interest. For the most part, the secret to good debt management is never spending more than you can afford to pay back.
Managing finances is a life skill that can help improve your quality of life. By following the mentioned tips and taking your finances more seriously, you're more likely to master the art of healthy finances.