Starting a business is an exciting, yet overwhelming time for entrepreneurs. Our days our long, rivaled only by our ever-growing to-do-lists. One minute we’re accomplishing the impossible. The next, we’re feeling overwhelmed and unproductive. The inevitable entrepreneurial brain fog creeps in, clouding our ability to think, produce, or create.
It this has recently happened to you, don’t panic! Do not throw your hands up and run away. Here are some surefire ways to clear the fog and take back your productivity:
Step Away from the Mothership
It’s important to take periodic breaks and get away from your workspace in order to stay focused and on task. Go for a five minute walk or take a few days to do something fun. Time away helps you regroup and will get you thinking clearly again. You’re not a slacker for allowing some downtime. If anything, you’ll come away more productive and successful than the entrepreneur who never gives him or herself a break. That alone is a competitive advantage!
Create a Three-Point Punchlist
I know what you’re thinking. What? More lists? For now, file away that twenty-page to-do list and create a three-point punchlist. Consolidating action items into easy digestible chunks is easier to tackle than trying to conquer Rome in a day. Choose one big ticket item and two smaller ones from your master list. Completing these tasks will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on more.
Blast Some Music
Nothing sets the soul on fire and makes the creative juices flow like music. Music inspires us and makes us feel. It gives us a background rhythm from which to think and create. Research has found that people can boost their mood simply by listening to upbeat music. So turn up the volume and let yourself go.
Take Deep Breaths and Clear Your Entrepreneur Mind
One of the most rarely-discussed secrets to maintaining a healthy body and mind is also one of the easiest: just breathe. Cleansing breaths are great for alleviating stress. Connecting your body and mind through breathing has been shown to lower blood pressure and can put you into “relaxation” mode. You can even take it a step further with meditation. Taking a few minutes here and there to sit in a comfortable spot and clear your head of all thoughts, may help you find increased clarity. Yoga and tai chi are also ideal “mind opening” programs for entrepreneurs.
Organize Your Work Space
If your work space resembles the aftermath of a hurricane, it’s time to switch from doer to fixer. Clean up the mess and implement an organizational system to keep things under control. Clutter serves no useful purpose. Piles of stuff thrown everywhere can slow us down and be very distracting.
Take a Power Nap
If you need to recharge, don’t lean on caffeine. Consider taking a power nap, which will boost your memory, cognitive skills, creativity, and energy levels. Power naps bridge the gap in our sleep deficits, but don’t go crazy! These quick sleep sessions usually last between 10 and 30 minutes. If you sleep any longer, you run the risk of developing “sleep inertia,” that deep groggy feeling that is hard to shake off.
Talk to a Mentor or Colleague
Talking is cheap therapy. If you have a trusted mentor or colleague, give them a call. Talk through the issues and ask them for their insight and help. Letting it all out is like a total brain cleanse.
The faster you clear your head, the quicker you can get back on track, conquer your workload, and come up with fresh ideas to innovate and excite. Stay focused and productive with these tips!