What, Me Worry?

3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When worry strikes, strike back.

What's the cost of allowing worry to get the best of you? "Your business willultimately fail," admonishes T. Renee Wilson, 23, president and CEO of CMGCommunications Management Group, a high-tech consulting firm based in Atlanta."When you start acting out of worry, your whole demeanor, your whole attitude,changes--the way you respond to clients, the way you respond to your employees,the way you carry yourself."

Fortunately for Wilson, she never allowed worry to fester in her mind for long,as her business' success demonstrates. In just four years, Wilson, who startedher firm as a 19-year-old student at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, hastaken her company from start-up to $5 million in annual revenues, with officesin both Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What's her secret to overcoming worry? "One of the biggest [solutions] is timemanagement," says Wilson. "Entrepreneurs are faced with so much on a day-to-daybasis. It's simply impossible to bring [worries] from yesterday or two or threedays ago into today [and still handle the] new challenges you face every day,every hour, every minute."

So how do you keep your focus on today's tasks when your mind is flooded withworries about what went wrong yesterday or what could blow up in your facetomorrow? Here's Wilson's five tips:

1. Plan and prioritize what needs to be done for the next day. "If youdon't plan ahead," says Wilson, "a lot of times at the end of the day, you havenothing to show for your efforts. If you have a list of things you've actuallychecked off, you can see how productive you really are."

2. Estimate how long each task will take. "A lot of people attempt to dotoo much at one time, setting unrealistic goals for themselves. As a result,they get frustrated," Wilson explains.

3. Tackle one thing at a time and stick with it. "I [used to] have alist of 10 things and tried to work on seven of them simultaneously, but itwould take me four times as long to complete just one thing," says Wilson."Stick with one task until you're finished; then move on."

4. Plan for interruptions. "A lot of people say, ´From 8:00 to9:00, I'm going to do this; from 9:00 to 10:00, I'm going to do this; from10:00 to 11:00, I'm going to do this,' " Wilson observes. "They never[schedule] any time for returning phone calls, speaking with clients, talkingto employees, or [interruptions]. When you don't plan for any of that, your daygets totally off schedule."

5. Plan time for yourself--and guard it religiously. "Regardless of howhectic your schedule is," Wilson advises, "take time out every day to dosomething you enjoy, even if it's only for 10 or 15 minutes."

With your business' success at stake, break free from the tyranny of worry.When you take control of your time by focusing on your highest priorities,you'll accomplish more--with less stress.

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