So, it’s getting to that “mad rush” time again! You’re wondering how you will survive the busy season. Everyone wants it done before “that day!”
Might be good for the business to have all that work piling up – but, “It’s not good for me. I don’t know how I will fit it all in! I’m already starting to feel the stress.”
You are not alone – there is hope. In this article I give you three tried and true ways to reduce the stress of the busy season.
1 Builders Who Define and List Survive The Busy Season
“I feel really stressed!”
It seems to me that the feeling of stress is exactly that – a feeling – unless there is a medical or physical cause. Stressful feelings are preceded by thoughts. For example if your thoughts are, “There’s too much to do” or “I can’t cope,” then feelings of stress are likely to arise.
Conversely if your thoughts are, “I have plenty of time to do what I need to do” it is likely that you won’t feel the same level of stress. For example when I am on holiday and there are no deadlines to think about (apart from getting to the airport) I feel no stress.
I have found that one key to reducing stress is to change your thinking – from non-coping thoughts to coping thoughts. One way to do this is to define or list everything that needs to be done as it comes up.Estimate the time and resources it will take and compare with the time and resources you have available. If you can make it work or fit it in then add it to your “to do“ list. If not, add it to your “waiting list” and only agree to it becoming part of your “to do” list if you are able to add resource or find time.
Much of our stress comes from the feeling of being driven by the priorities of other people. Just because they want it done by “that day” does not mean that you need to drive yourself to comply. Of course it is nice to be able to meet other people’s expectations but not essential. So don’t get caught out with an impossible to complete “to do” list. Start a “wait” list.
2 Pounds before Pennies – Fact or Myth?
“Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.” Wrong!
Might be helpful in teaching a child basic financial sense, but not very helpful in business. For example, it doesn’t really matter if you have some small inefficiencies in your operational area (pennies) but heaps of forward work (pounds). But it is worrying if you have wonderful efficiency but no forward work.
So when you are facing a busy time, it is really important that you do not quit the (big) activities that created your busy time in the first place. For example some builders have found a networking group like BNI very useful to get them started. But then when they have become busy they have dropped their membership and quit the discipline of asking for leads and looking for leads. They have not marketed in other ways and their new business has declined away.
So when your business gets busy you may not have time to do the marketing and sales in the same way as you did it when you were not so busy. You may need to look for new ways. But it is vital that you don’t stop marketing, because that is what got you to this stage. Moreover, it’s when your business is busy and you are earning additional profits that you can afford to pay for new and additional marketing resources that could well help launch your business to the next level.
So when you are busy be resolute about looking after your marketing and sales strategies (the pounds).
3 Successful Builders Take One Thing at a Time
Possums get run over when they get distracted. If they kept to their initial plan (of crossing the road) and didn’t get sidetracked by the new interruption (the car headlights) they’d likely survive.
Similarly when you get interrupted you get distracted, your focus is lost and your output drops. While you are still on your first task you have started out on a second …and then a third …and then…
At the end of the day when you find yourself asking, “What have I done today?” it’s because nothing has been completed. So the “I can’t get everything done” thoughts start and the stress level rises.
But when you stay focused on the task at hand and do it until finished you will complete more and feel as though you are coping better. So don’t take that interrupting phone call. Leave it until lunch time. Switch off text and email notifications. Then when you are replying to texts, phone calls and emails give them your full attention until finished.
By putting these three steps in place now, you are likely to stay in better control of your work flow going into the busy holiday season. You can survive the busy season and keep your smile this holiday season!