Do you run your business…or does your business run you?

The thing about business is that you won’t always get it right and you’ll never get it all done.

The relationship between you, your business and your personal life have taken on a new identity courtesy of random COVID lockdowns, masks, and social distancing which resulted in either keeping you at home or away from home. N

Meanwhile, as you have been adapting, the business you were once running has become so integrated into your personal life it’s hard to see the warning signs of losing control of you!

Five signs your business is running you: and how to claim back control

1. Less “quality” time

Whether you have become accustomed to working from home or find yourself devoting more time to managing increased demands it is easy to lose sight of the small things when you are focused on the big things. When your loved ones start to complain, say they never see you or that you never have time for them anymore, it’s a telltale sign you could be falling into a trap of being run by your business.

● Make a commitment to strike a balance.
● Take time every day to be present in conversation without distraction of devices.
● Pay attention to future relationship goals, if you are single make time to date and meet new people, so your business doesn’t ruin your love life.

2. Business has become your hobby

Making hay while the sun shines or making lemonade from lemons? Whatever increased motivation you have for spending extra time on your SME the dopamine rush of achievement or survival can become all consuming. Have you fallen into the trap of being so focused on business it becomes your favourite pastime?

● Set aside designated time to pursue outside interests.
● Expand your network by connecting with people outside of your SME.
● Resist the urge to work to fill in time.

3. You’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of micromanaging

The reflex action to step up and take control when the stakes are high makes it easy to fall into new detrimental patterns. During periods of rapid growth or a sudden downturn in cash flow many SMBs experienced as covid became a new competitor can manifest fear resulting in the need to control every aspect of your business…

● Learn to delegate and outsource low priority tasks.
● Encourage staff to be more independent.
● Set boundaries with clients and customers.
● Shut down the macbook and put the phone away at a designated time to avoid temptation.

4. You are not prioritising tasks

Are you focused on high priority actions or lower priority distractions? Being over consumed by daily responsibilities without a clear action plan is evidence you need a shake up. Running your business effectively starts with discipline.

● Make a list of goals and tasks you want to achieve the following day.
● Set time limits on each task. Stay on track by downloading a pomodoro app which keeps you accountable.
● Do the things you most dislike first.
● Avoid distractions of mobile phones and social media.

5. You aren’t taking care of physical or mental health

Devoting time and energy to the things we most value is natural but worrying about the future creates a false fear of events which haven’t yet manifested. When something runs your mind it also runs your body, the neglect of one becomes the downfall of both.

● Celebrate the small wins everyday.
● Do some form of exercise regularly.
● Fill your love bucket to balance out mental overload.
● Ask yourself regularly, “Am I running my business or is my business running me?”