As we fall into the last quarter of the year, I am witnessing an all too familiar situation that many entrepreneurs find themselves in: overload. In a recent conversation with one, she summed it up beautifully saying "I am going at Mach 2 with my hair on fire!" In this blog, I am going to give you my top six tips to help you to put the fire out and fast.
When one is in business it can sometimes feel like you are on a desert island; alone, adrift and not quite certain what the escape plan should be. What used to seem like plenty of time nine months ago is now a case of, "Holy you-know-what! I only have less than three months left of the year!" and one or more of the following issues is raising their ugly head:
• You are off your sales targets year to date
• Business that you were certain was going to close this year has now been postponed to Q1 next year (through no fault of yours)
• You do not have enough new business in the funnel
• You do not have enough new prospects
• You have been so busy working in the weeds that you have not had a chance to come up for air and do any planning for next year (sorry to remind you about next year!)
• You are utterly exhausted and don't know how you are going to make it through the next three months
• Halloween and the holidays are right around the corner and you are freaking out
Fear not for you are not alone but although there is safety in numbers that is of little comfort right now. Here are my top six tips to help you salvage your year-end and feel like you have come out on top.
1. Book some 'me time' to stop, breathe and regroup. I can hear many of you now, what does she mean stop I don't have time! It is impossible for the human body to go full tilt 24/7, everyone needs a chance to power down and recharge their batteries. However, for some reason entrepreneurs and sales professionals chastise themselves that down time is forbidden time.
2. Look at your plan for the balance of the year and decide if you can realistically do everything that you planned to do back at the start of the year. Sometimes being successful requires making some tough decisions and also admitting to yourself that you are only human.
3. At the end of each day, make a list of the top three things you need to accomplish the next day and make sure they are focused on revenue generating tasks, you want to be in green time. Lying awake in bed at night worrying about things will not allow you to get the sleep you need to operate at full capacity during the day.
4. Get out of your office and network. I have a newsflash for you! The four walls in your office are not buying what you have to offer. Networking allows you to meet new people who can and will become your prospects and clients and who will introduce you to other people. It also has the direct effect of bringing your energy level up because you are with other people and you can feed off their energy.
5. You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with (outside of your immediate family). Take stock of whom you are spending your time with and determine if they have been sucking valuable business time away from you or depleting your energy stockpile. It might be time to make a change in your circle and that is not a bad thing.
6. Determine if you are charging enough for your products, programs or services and stop giving things away. Your brain is not for free so learn when to say no!
Build a bridge, get over it and keep moving towards the end of the year. You have the power and control to make it a great finish!
To Your Success!
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Buy your vegetables in advance, chop them how you like, and store them in containers in the fridge for the week, says registered dietitian Kiran Bains of edovivo. "You’re more likely to use the healthy food in your fridge when it is convenient and ready to use."
One you get meal prepping down, eating healthy during the day is easy. "When grocery shopping, I choose two proteins that I will enjoy for the week and about five to six different veggies," Bains says. Try making your batches on Sundays and Wednesdays (to keep your menu fresh) and for starches try variations of rice, sweet potatoes, wraps, quinoa and pastas high in fibre.
For some of us this may be a wrap or a stir-fry or a rice bowl. Whatever your favourite meal is, stick to it during the week. "My go-to meals are stir-fries, wraps, soups, and salads when it comes to lunch items and of course, I love using left-overs from my dinner meals whenever possible," she says. If you're having chicken dinner, use leftover pieces for a wrap or salad the next day.
"One of my favourite things to do and easiest ways to get all of your food groups into a meal is to make a soup from leftovers," Bains says. If you're cooking chicken or beef, use the bones to create a broth. To keep things healthy, make sure you add as many vegetables as you can to your pot of soup.
"If you decided to splurge on that sugary baked good that’s been calling your name in the cafeteria, try to find an option that is higher in fibre like a bran cookie or bran muffin," she adds. Not only this, but combine your snack with peanut or almond butter for the added protein.
Keep snacks that are high in healthy fats, fibre and protein at your desk. Try nuts and seeds, fruit and low-sugar granola. And just like snacks, hydration is always important, Bains says. Make sure you keep a water bottle handy.
"Set Outlook reminders to snack throughout the day if you’re one of those people that forgets to eat during the day. Snacking throughout the day and keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to ensure your portions aren’t blown out of the waters when it comes to your main meals," she says. You can also use apps on your phone and set reminders to drink water and eat a healthy snack!
We don't need to tell you which office snacks to avoid. But if you aren't ready to give up your mini doughnuts and chocolate bars just yet, think about portion control. "When I do splurge on sugary items, I like to keep the portion size to just half the size of the palm of my hand in mind," Bains says. "If I’m still hungry, I’ll increase the amount of protein that I’m having with it, to make up for that loss."
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