Fight Overwhelm with the ‘Ben Minimum’

In this post I want to show you a quick trick for helping with overwhelm.

I just got off a client call and she’s had a bit of trouble as she’s got a lot of work on. She’s had one of the best sales months ever, and now the next problem is that there’s so much work to do, and she’s feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

She’s got a long list of client projects, and each of those client projects has a long list of ‘to do’ items.

What we came up with on the call, and a term that we invented (partly tongue-in-cheek), she thought I’d better share with you. It’s called the ‘Ben Minimum’.

If you find yourself in this same situation where you’ve got a number of categories of things to do, and each of those categories or projects has a long ‘to do’ list, then my suggestion is to label a couple of key items the ‘Ben Minimum’, so then you’ll know which ones to focus on.

Use your own term, if you like.

Now these items that you choose to call the ‘Ben Minimum’, they’re the ones that get you out of trouble, e.g. to the point where you’re waiting on the client, not the other way around. Not ‘done’, just out of trouble.

This is particularly true for service businesses that do project work. The ‘Ben Minimum’ gets you to the point where the client needs to do something, or you need some information, or some answers from the client.

This could apply to other scenarios as well, if you’re doing any kind of project, or any kind of big task that you’re trying to get done. It doesn’t have to be a client project, it could be a business project or production run or anything like that.

There’s usually a long ‘to do’ list of stuff you need to do to get that project done. But there is only a few things that you need to do until you’re waiting on the next person. I call them the ‘Ben Minimum’.

Get it to the point where the other party needs to do something, so you’re not the bottleneck, and you’re not getting stressed because somebody’s waiting on you, you’re disappointing them, or they might get cranky or leave or whatever.

Spend 15 minutes now going through all the projects and all the ‘to do’ lists you have, and label the relevant items with ‘Ben Minimum’.

Then block out an hour of time first thing in the morning tomorrow to knock out as many of those ‘Ben Minimums’ as you can. It will be a great way to reduce your overwhelm.

Questions for you:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Do you have your own ‘Ben Minimum’ style technique in order to help you when you’re overwhelmed with too much to do?

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Ben McAdam

Hi, I'm Ben. I uncover hidden profit opportunities for small business owners. I've been advising business owners in Australia, the US, Canada, the UK, Europe and Asia for over a decade on how to grow their business, and their profits, faster. Book a free call to see if we're a fit, or see here for different ways we can work together...
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