Small business tips on burnout and efficiencyI love gathering information and tips from other professionals. There are so many amazing, creative, and extremely articulate people online and in print today that when seeking resources, it is just a matter of time.

Today’s tips were extracted from an interview between Maria Forleo and leading expert on entrepreneurial ADD and Psychiatrist and Author Ned Hallowell.

Business Overwhelm

We all are feeling more overwhelmed due to so much technology and information coming at us and yet at the same time we also feel like we are really busy and not accomplishing much at the end of the day. What can we do about this? Dr. Ned Hallowell has 5 Main Tips that he offers clients.

Tip #1 Define Clear and Specific Goals

“The problem is you can do so much and you can do so much,” Hallowell says. His answer for solving this is to set goals that are very clear and specific. To set three goals for each of these points in life:

  • Every Day
  • Short Term – Weekly
  • Medium Term – 2 to 3 weeks
  • 6-Months to a Year
  • Lifetime Goals


When setting these goals we are putting time aside to prioritize very specifically what we want to achieve and not let the day take us whatever way it will.


Tip #2 – Watch For Screen Sucking

Technology overload can get in the way of your business progress

Screen sucking is that thing that happens when you are online and working when you notice an email notification, or social media notification go off and you immediately go to check it – even if you know it isn’t important.

What happens is that because screens are so interactive, they become physiologically addictive and feed us dopamine and the next thing we know – we have spent an hour messing around on our computer after checking our email.

The simplest way to prevent this is to set an amount of time for your email or Facebook to be up and then shut it down. You can use apps that shut off your internet and force you to stay on applications as well or you can simply turn off your notifications. You may also want to temporarily shut off phone notifications too.

Without turning off such Internet distractions, it is likened to having a bowl of M&Ms on your desk which you keep reaching for.

“People spend at least 20 minutes of every hour with unplanned interruptions”, Hallowell said, “then it takes time to get back to your focus after an interruption.”

Tip #3 – Set Your Default Response From Yes to Let Me Get Back To You On It.

When people are often asking you for help, give yourself permission to think about your answer before responding. You don’t always have to stop and say yes.


Tip #4 – Never worry alone.

In a world where we feel super-connected electronically we are more disconnected personally. We are no longer in a world where we feel a part of a large company nor do we all work with big group we can turn to. “We are surrounded by people but not really connected.”

“Toxic worry is usually rooted in wrong information.” Hallowell suggests we work with another person so that we can stop, get the facts, make a plan and then have another person whom we can solve problems with.

Working out problems with your small business

Tip #5 – Cultivating Lilies and Getting Rid of Leeches

Hallowell suggests that we have Lilies and Leeches.

“Lilies take a lot of effort but they are worth it. In order to have time for your lilies, you have to get rid of your leeches. They just arent’ worth it. They don’t pay back the time you put in. Some leeches you can’t get rid of but most of the time you can withdraw from leeches.”  One may also want to prune their lilies so that they have more time, which simply means to push back and prioritize our lilies.


The underlying message I got from listening to this interview is that you aren’t alone if you feel overwhelmed with trying to learn and do so much each day while trying to finish tasks for your business. As technology speeds up so does our need to keep up mentally and before we know it, we are exhausted and not doing the work we want or need to do during the day. So – give yourself a break, everybody is suffering from ADD and mental exhaustion, try some of the steps above and allow yourself to take breaks.