October 1, 2021

Making Work Feel Simple

Work = crazy hours, long nights, chaotic to-do lists, running by the seat of your pants, finishing as much as you can as rapidly as possible only to fall into bed wondering, “what did I even get done today?” 

Have you ever felt this way as a business owner? I know I have!


I started my business when I was in college, and I thought I was the queen of doing it all. I overextended myself, overworked myself, and wore my hustle like a badge of honor. I thought being busy was a skill. (Ha! I laugh at myself now.)


Do you want to know what I learned?


Simplifying your work schedule so that you can actually live your life is so much more satisfying! 


No one hands out a medal for being burnt out.


The real reward is being able to do work you love with flexibility in your schedule; being able to end your day knowing that what you did was enough and that you moved you forward in your biggest goals. 


I’ve learned the hard way how to make work really, REALLY hard–– and how to work #smarternotharder and make work feel incredibly simple and satisfying.


In today’s post, we’re covering how to make work feel simple with these three easy tips:

  • Dump your brain
  • Automate your workflows
  • Set your guide rails


 It’s all in your head!


As I was scrolling through some business-related books on Amazon, this title caught my eye: Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life.” 


I was intrigued by this idea, so I slid the book into my cart. Only a few pages in, I was having AHA moments about how to re-organize and re-evaluate how I was doing my work tasks. 


Here’s the one huge AHA I learned from that book: 


That chaotic feeling that you need to get it ALL done right now? All of the overwhelm that comes with your pile of biz tasks? That to-do list that makes you feel anxiety from the moment you open your eyelids? 


All of those feelings can be alleviated by organizing your mind. 


That may seem counterintuitive or “woo-woo,” but containing our work overwhelm starts in our head. It’s not actually that you need rework your to-do list (again) but that you need to stop and intentionally create structures and boundaries around your work schedule and tasks so that your brain isn’t constantly being shot around like a silver bullet in a pinball machine. 


How do we go about doing this?


Brain dump


Don’t let any new ideas into your headspace until you have time to really deal with them. Instead, keep a running “brain dump” note on your phone!


Think of a to-do? Write it down and allocate time to it later rather than getting distracted by it.


Automate your workflows


Rather than trying to remember which client needs what email sent when or what you should be doing for each person that you’re serving in your business– automate your workflows. 


Aka– make it so that you do not have to use even one brain cell to know what step comes next for each client, no matter what they’re paying you to do.


Otherwise, you will undoubtedly have a million thoughts of “oh, I need to email her!” Or, “oh, shoot I forgot to send that off.” Hello, mental chaos!


In setting up a clear system for your workflows, you also clear your mind from having to be your storage space (which your brain is NOT designed to do!) and also prevent important tasks from falling through the cracks (which = less anxiety.) 


 Set your guard rails


Boundary lines are what protect us, our time, and our loved ones, right? It works the same in our business!


When we have clear “guard rails” as to what work will look like for us on a daily/weekly basis, we’re more likely to feel like we’re in control and not insane (which is a nice feeling!)


So take some time and draw out your guard rails– what days will you work? What type of tasks will you work on during those days? How long will your work time blocks be? What are your office hours? When are people allowed/not allowed to call you? What days are for meetings and what days are no meeting days?


Structure creates order, and order begets rhythm. Once you have a good rhythm, you will feel more at peace and like your mind is clear and free enough to actually enjoy working… and then shut it down when it’s time to shut it down and enjoy life!


 Keep it simple

I hope these tips on how to make work feel simple and ditch overwhelm helped you! If you are looking for more tips on how to create systems in your business that give you more time and life back, I encourage you to join our email family, the Creative Club! You can sign up here!

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We're Shelby & Jared, Springfield MO wedding photographers passionate about meaningful living. We document timeless moments for free-spirited, elegant couples across the Midwest and beyond. As fine art photographers, we strive to create work that will leave a legacy of love for years to come.



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