Five Ways for Small Business Owners to De-Stress

How to Declutter Your Life:

There are many times in our lives when change happens.

Like when you get married or divorced. Whether you have a baby or you birth a new business, when big changes happens in our lives so should your schedule.

And I’ve learned from personal experience that if you try to fight a schedule change, you’ll just end up feeling overwhelmed and filled with the anxiety of trying to fit 10 hours of work into a 6 hour day.

I recently went through a major change in my world with my son when he started high school.

He has to get up at stupid o’clock and as much as I thought I’d just get up at my usual time of 6:30am, well that’s just not happening. So when he gets up in the darkness, so do I.

Then I found myself settling into a new schedule and reworking my time blocking schedule. I had to add in buffer time into my week to create more space to get all the work done.


And this isn’t the first time that I’ve needed to find ways to add more space into my life.

As my business has shifted and changed, it’s grown through spurts of activity that have always lead me to the next step. And as my business has changed, my schedule has changed – causing me to find new ways to create more space in my work.

The thing is – I’m pretty good at doing my reviews to track my progress and set goals for the next quarter.

And I know what’s coming up in the next 3 months. I’m such a big planner that I know what’s coming up for the rest of the year!

I know what’s coming … seriously, I’ve seen the calendar. I’ve seen the days marked off in my planner with scheduled workshops and all the coaching programs I’m teaching and the conferences and events I’m speaking at that are coming up.

There is clearly a roller coaster of a schedule coming ahead.

So I had a thought — if I’m adding in buffer time in my work schedule, shouldn’t I also find ways to add in buffer time to the space in my personal life?

There’s something to be said about wanting to create space in your world not just to make sure everything gets done but to become open to the idea of new opportunities and allowing them to flow into your life.

Because here’s the thing about this stuff — if you’ve been feeling stuck in the same place and wanting so bad to see more shifts in your world, then it’s probably time to make some real changes by adding more space into your life.


Does time really expand?

I recently discovered the idea of something called Parkinson’s Law.

The law basically states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” You may not have heard about this Parkinson’s Law thing but I’m going to make a guess that you’ve experienced it a few times in your life.

Think about a time when you were in school or college and you waited until the night before your paper was due to work on it. It seemed like you had this big massive task ahead of you but yet, you were able to get it done before it was due. { and you may even slipped in a couple of hours of sleep! }

It’s really best explained by one of the corollaries of Parkinson’s Law that tells us, “Work contracts to fit in the time we give it.”


Or as the Doctor would say, “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”


Seriously, how many times have you said to yourself or someone else that you don’t have enough time to do this thing or that?

Time itself is not the issue. Because we all know that there’s always time to add in the stuff that’s important to us.

There’s always space for me to fit in blocks of time to get that big project done into my week. There’s always time for you to do whatever it is that you feel pulled to do – whether it’s your work or that fun thing you’ve been telling yourself for years that you’ll do … once you’ve found the time to go do it.


declutter your work


Looking for ways to create more space in your life? Here’s 5 ways to make this work.

To make sure you’re not using the excuse that you don’t know how to create more space in your life, here’s a few suggestions. I’m sure you can find a way to add one or two of these suggestions into your life, no matter what your schedule looks like.


1. Read a good book

Remember those days when you were younger and you could crawl into bed in the middle of the day to get lost in a good book? Just because you can’t disappear for a few hours to curl up with a book doesn’t mean that you can’t find small pockets in your day to read.

Not only is reading one of the top activities that helps you relax, it also improves your memory, expands your vocabulary and if it’s a really good book, it can put your mind into another place, even if it’s just for 10 pages.

2. Put your phone away

Reading your emails or scrolling through your Instagram feed doesn’t count as creating space in your life.  Put your phone away and unplug for awhile.

We spend so much of our day looking at the screen – either our phones or the computer – that it’s hard on our eyes and our brains.

Think about it — how many times has your head hurt from spending all day shifting between your phone and your laptop?

Give yourself a break from the screen and find something else to watch like your dog or the birds outside on your porch.

3. Be Social

No, I don’t mean being social in your Facebook Groups or hanging out on Twitter. I mean, spending real time with real people.

Earlier this year, I decided to grow my local business and that meant I needed to add in time to meet face-to-face with people.

Remember when we use to do business like that? I mean, being in the same room with someone, not just a Zoom call so I can see more than just your face.

How would your day feel if you actually met at someone’s office, for a coffee or a Happy Hour drink to catch up? What if you spent some time listening to that other person about how their day was going?

We humans are social by nature and it helps us feel better to be around friends and people whose company we enjoy. Make some time to be social in person.

It might just be the best part of your day.

4. Listen to music

Music does more than just affect our mood. It can bring us back to another place and time where we laughed or had one of the best days of our lives.

And it works even better if we can get up out of our chair and do a little dance. So hit the play button, let your mind wander and break into a little happy dance in your space.

5. Schedule unplanned days

Some days it feels like I’m rushing from one thing to another, from school to baseball to back at my desk for another day of work. And somewhere in there, I think I slept and ate some food.

When I have too many things scheduled in a short period of time, I begin to feel the toll it’s taking on my body. I feel sluggish, anxious and sometimes it feels like just one more thing is going to push me over the edge.

I know that I’m feeling burnt out.

When I get that feeling come over me, I know it’s time to plan some downtime. Some time where I can just sit and do nothing. Or watch that show I taped on the DVR like forever ago and I’m still a season behind.

I know what you’re thinking, “But I just can’t take any time off, all this stuff won’t get done!”

No it won’t get done – at least not at that very minute. But will the world end if you wait until tomorrow to finish folding that load of towels? Probably not.

One of the best ways to create more space is to schedule time on your calendar to have fun, even if it’s just for a few hours in the afternoon.

Yes, I said SCHEDULE it in your planner. Block off the time like you would for a client appointment and give it a priority to make it happen.

As you plan your stuff for the week, I want to remind you to give yourself the space to do what you want. Carve out some time to just sit and breathe.

Maybe it’s something as simple as putting down your phone and picking up that book that’s been sitting on your nightstand. Or schedule a Do Nothing Day and watch those movies or shows you’ve recorded on the DVR.

Do something this week that you’ve always told yourself that you just don’t have time to get it done.


Want more tips to make more space in your work?

Time to think about subscribing to the Create Your Business box!

It’s time to stop focusing on the short term fixes and growing your business from customer to customer rather than working on the bigger picture to develop an overall marketing strategy to give you a path to see real results.

Subscribe to the Create Your Business box and you’ll go from feeling overwhelmed and unproductive to having a business you want to share with everyone. You’ll gain your time back to grow your business, be with your family and make more money doing the work that you love.


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