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During a session recently I was coaching a client who is self-employed and we discussed the fact that he felt completely stretched by all the different roles he had to play within his company and his family life.This is not unusual as in the current reality he is not able to employ extra staff to carry out some of the simple tasks that he would have had his old staff, pre-recession do.When the recession hit he had no choice but to rationalise is staff numbers and is still not in a position to re-appoint staff.So he is currently doing about five different jobs trying hard to keep his company going until the upturn in the economy starts. 

It is widely accepted that if you give somebody two or three tasks within their job description you will see those tasks completed with a high degree of efficiency, but if you increase that to four or five tasks you will see problems develop as the person will begin to lose focus trying to cope with all the tasks at the one time.So in an ideal world you would not give staff members more than three main tasks in their daily employment role.

That could not work for the small business person as they are pulled from pillar to post by a whole myriad of work to be completed.From sales to administration and every role in between and as my client said the whole business is reliant on him completing these many tasks.So we set about trying to take some of the pressure off his shoulders and looked at what it was he was doing a daily basis.We spend a few hours going over all the tasks and then examined the urgency in them.As my clients main concern was that he was not concentrating enough effort or time on developing his business.He was working IN his business not working ON his business.

This is a very common problem at the moment across the country and one that I feel guilty of letting happen me as well at the moment, because the natural reaction is to try and cover all the base’s.This is not good and the loss of focus will mean that your companies will suffer.So we examined all the different tasks that my client was now doing on a daily basis and sure enough when written down some very obvious trends began to emerge.So the next step was the prioritize the tasks and the frequency that they needed to carried out.

What we found was that my client was doing some tasks to frequently and when we prioritized these he suddenly had more time for the important tasks, such as sales and delivery of the product on time.This to some may seem straight forward but I would say that lack of focus is one of the main factors in creating stress and making effective people into frantic busy people every day.Lack of planning and lack of clear goals but most importantly lack of focus is a killer.

Focus is one of the main keys to any part of your life be that business or just everyday life and relationships.Focus rates very highly when it comes to your business but to maintain that focus in such testing trading conditions as we are experiencing now is difficult.As you are so stretched by what you feel is the need to be everywhere and your focus goes out the window.My client and I agreed that he would now start his day by writing down his priorities for the day.Then after a week of the daily list if he saw a benefit he would start a weekly list.This was to give him more time to plan and get back to the point where he was developing new clients and putting together a strategic plan for the further.

We had another session early this week and the difference in my clients demeanor and the stress reduction was noticable.He feels that he has more control and he had introduced the weekly plan after one week as the daily list had made such a huge difference in the first week he had tried it.He will spend the next four weeks doing this and will then introduce a monthly list and begin to strategize for longer periods such as six months and one year.

The telling point for me was when we met this week he admitted that this was something he had done down the years in his business but he had let the situation get on top of him and had lost his focus.All over the world people are doing the same thing but the most successful people are the ones that have kept their heads admitted that this is the new reality and begun to move forward from that point.They have embraced the current reality and re-arranged their business and their lives to accommodate that reality.He now feels that he has control back and that has relieved him of the pressure which he was feeling.He has a starting point and can see where he needs to go with the next six months to make his business survive for the up swing which will come.He is refocused and feeling the benefits of that.

My client is not alone in these feelings and if you are interested in any of what I discussed above contact me or any Executive Coach in your area and we would be delighted to assist you on your journey.