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6 Steps to Taming the Negative Beast in Your Head

6 Steps to Taming the Negative Beast in Your Head

6 Steps to Taming the Negative Beast in Your Head
By Jaimie VanSickle

There are days that an entrepreneur may get ready to crawl into a hole and just cry. I know, I’ve been there. I also tell myself that when the going gets tough – then there’s something in store just around the corner that is about to make this all worth it.

The simple reason is this: if you are working really hard and you finally hit that breaking point where you feel like you’ve just been spinning your wheels – then you’ve been doing a very good job at what you do! And your payout, (perhaps not the biggest one of them all, but surely a payout of some sort), is almost there.

So here are 6 steps to take when encountering this negative beast that is looming around in your head:

1. Step back and let your mind breath!

Taking a simple break – whether it be a weekend off or an entire week away from the office – may be in order. When I say a “break” that doesn’t mean stepping away for 2-hours and watching a movie. It means shutting down your computer, putting your iPhone on the shelf, turning off your lights, shutting and locking the door and going home for a couple days…or if you work at home, then shut the door and keep it shut! I’m not saying QUIT or WALK-AWAY, I’m saying take a breath! You need to release your mind of the anxious business-related thoughts that are consuming it. If you do this you will have a fresh perspective and you won’t feel so exhausted. This is a hard call to make, I know. There’s a lot to do, but if you’re over stressed from working too many hours you’re not doing yourself any good.

2. Get some rest!

Ever toss and turn throughout the night with all those business tasks running through your already cluttered mind? I know – it’s in our nature to go-go-go. But guess what? Your mind needs time to rest-rest-rest. I do it, so I know you do too. Going to bed at midnight (after working straight through since 6 am) and getting up at 5am to start your next day isn’t resting your mind. Each of us requires about 6-8 hours of “solid” sleep each night. Your magic number is individual to you and you should determine what it is. Also going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time puts your body into a harmonious routine (rhythm) which leads to higher energy levels. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine right before bed and try to find some quiet time before you finally snuggle in. Putting your mind at ease will help it rest even with all those business-related burdens running through it.

3. Get organized!

Even if you need to stop everything you’re doing, you need to get yourself organized. Stop right now! Clear your desk of junk, clutter, and paper clips. Take your trash out. File your papers. Create a system right now that you can actually use. Don’t ask yourself, “how does she do it?” but rather find a way “that doing it” works for you. Example: I use a variety of bright colored pocket folders (the kind you get in the school section at the store) and organize items into “projects”. Social Media, Accounting, JVVA (my business initials) To Do, Article Submissions, etc. Then when I’m working on a specific project I pull that file and everything I need is there. I manage my clientele files even different. They each get a manila file folder. As they get bigger and require more folders I color coordinate the manila files to each client and keep each client with the same type of filing system…similar to my project files I just mentioned…only in manila files which clearly separates my personal tasks from my clients. When you get interrupted or when your “assigned time” is up for a particular task, add a sticky-note in the file with the details of where you left off so you can pick back up when you return to that task.

I also highly recommend utilizing something like Central Desktop – especially if you’re in the business like me where you have to manage more than just your desk. However, it is also a great tool to use for just you. Visit it at http://centraldesktop.com to see more of that. I also use pageflakes (http://pageflakes.com) – which I couldn’t run my business without this! It gives me a way to organize and add tags to my online bookmarks, view my Yahoo email account, Twitter account, Facebook account, MySpace account and so much more – all on one page! It’s sweet! Google calendars is another thing that I can’t live without.

You will soon find what keeps you organized – but you have to stop, breathe, and look for it.

4. Get moving!

You’re going to get stiff and your back is going to get sore if you just sit at your desk all day long. You’re also going to get fat! Sorry, but it’s inevitable. So you must get moving every day. So determine a time each day where you are going to put things down, close the office door, and go for a brisk walk or hop in the car and go to the gym. 20-30 minutes is all you need! This is a great time to refresh your mind (breath again!) and you will have a clear perspective when you return. And you won’t get stiff – or fat! A healthy business owner is a happier one, and a happier business owner is more successful!

5. Eat better!

I know I sound more like a personal trainer than an entrepreneur here. But guess what? If you don’ t take care of yourself then you’re going to start to feel miserable. You’ve been given one body and one body only so you best take care of it. That doesn’t mean you have eat nothing but tofu and bok choy (although, yum). But you do need to be lighter on the caffeine, chocolate and snacks – and heavier on the water, fruit, veggies and protein. Just think before you eat it and slow down long enough so you can enjoy it (without scarfing down a hot dog between conference calls). Think energy and life – not “food”.

6. Avoid other negative pitfalls!

I hear people tell me all the time how I was such an inspiration to them. They were feeling so overwhelmed and when things were getting really tough they spoke with someone who just threw a gallon of gasoline into that fire making things seem so hopeless. Don’t listen to negativity! If you’re approached with someone who is saying, “you can’t – you shouldn’t – it’s all wrong”, then just walk away. It really does take an entrepreneur to know one. People without our “flame” just don’t understand us and you need to be very cautious because they’re going to be negative. Understanding the reasons why they’re being negative could help too. Perhaps they’re jealous because you work your own hours, or they’re just completely confused as to why you work so many of them. I don’t mean to say that everything should be peachy and should smell like roses, it won’t. And some criticism is completely necessary for you to grow as a person and as a business. But there’s a fine line between criticism and negativity. If someone is telling you all negative stuff and is not pointing out the positives while giving you insight on how you might jump over some hurdles – then they’re just being negative and you really shouldn’t focus too much on it.

Jaimie VanSickle, the owner of J VanSickle Company, understands that there are two key problems that entrepreneurs are faced with on a daily basis. 1. Time. 2. Budget. Her company streamlines administrative, bookkeeping, and marketing tasks into an affordable solution that can free their time, and fit into their budget. She understands that not every business’ needs are the same so she tailors her services to meet their individual demands.

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