Tips for Surviving the Chaos of Busy Times

You start to see a lot of life’s ironies when you are trying to manage a consulting business, care for two almost-three-years-old kids, and preparing for the arrival of another set of twins. One of those ironies, for me, is that my business has virtually quadrupled in the past month.

It’s almost as if someone sent out a memo to business owners saying, “Hey folks, if you need Kelly to do something for you, better get cracking because she’s gonna be taking some sort of maternity leave in the late winter. So…ready, set, CALL.”

What this means for me is a challenge with regard to managing my time. Bill and I have invested a lot of time and energy working on the issue of time management, and you can find more about that here.

To get you started, here are a few strategies that have helped me get through this chaotic, stressful and, yet, productive time:

1) Say NO. There just may come a time when something’s gotta give. Many of us have a hard time saying no to anything (especially Oreos, for me), but let’s face it, when we’re being spread thin, we have to protect the time we have and use it wisely.

So, when—at a time when you’re crazy busy—your neighbor asks you to walk his dog three times a day, that is the time to say, “Sorry, Sam. Maybe next time.”

2) Ask yourself CONSTANTLY, “Is this the best use of my time right now?” Folks, step away from Facebook, get off of, and walk away from the water cooler. When you are crazy busy, stay focused, be disciplined and make sure you are serving your greater purpose.

I assume that most of you are concerned with growing your sales, so if a given action doesn’t serve that purpose, either delegate, reprioritize, or decline to do it. It’s as simple as that.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • Jim T

    I have a harder time keeping focused when it is not raining kittens and puppies. (Kittens and puppies are more difficult than cats and dogs. Think about it.)

    When things slow down and I have time to work through miscellaneous tasks that have piled up while I was busier, I really struggle to concentrate on doing just one thing. But if I have oodles of things being thrown at me all at once, I feel that I operate at a much higher level and accomplish much more. I’m really trying to work it out so that I can maintain that high level when not inundated.