Dealing with tech issues can often feel like an overwhelming challenge, especially if you are an entrepreneur and you run your own business.
Unlike in the corporate world, as an entrepreneur you don’t always have someone you can turn to and ask for help or an IT department you can just call up with a query.
Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of life and especially running your own business. What is happening in those moments is that your thoughts and feelings are getting jumbled up. Emotions such as frustration, anger or sadness can become exaggerated and to other people you might seem to be acting in unusual ways.
The important thing to focus on and think about when you find yourself in these kinds of situations is to breath.
Simply taking long deeps breaths will start to slow your heart rate down and you will find yourself becoming calmer. Then you can start to address the issues you’re dealing with more rationally and with a better chance of success.
Here’s my advice if you’re at risk of feeling overwhelmed and out of your depth when it comes to your technology
1 – Take action
Taking action is crucial because it will help you find your way through those moments of overwhelm – doing nothing will only keep you stuck where you are.
When I work with my clients we create ‘go to checklist’ so that when they find themselves in a state of tech overwhelm they have a list of potential actions to take that helps them get their problems resolved.
For example, it could be as simple as googling or searching on YouTube to find a step-by-step video that provides a solution to the problem you are experiencing. Or it could be calling someone like a tech savvy friend or even the company behind the tech or software you’re using to see if you can get support over the phone.
All of these are practical solutions but when you are in a state of feeling overwhelmed often these simple but effective approaches go out of mind. So, having a checklist helps you start taking action and the more times you go through the process of dealing with tech problems in this way the less overwhelming it becomes.
2 – Stop the overwhelm before it starts
There are some practical steps you can take to prevent the overwhelm from starting in the first place.
a. Reduce the mental overload. I recommend my clients reduce the amount of apps they have on their phones and encourage them to turn off all notifications. This cuts down on interruptions and distractions because it’s so easy to get lost in a social media channel and before you realise it you have wasted an hour or more.
b. Take downtime from your technology. It’s really important for general good health and well-being to take some downtime from your work. I encourage my clients to go for a walk in the sunshine without taking any technology with them or go for a run or do an exercise class. Often when you walk away from something and allow your brain to relax your mind will provide you with a solution or a potential way though. Sometimes we just need to switch off.
c. On the other hand, I also encourage my clients, if they find themselves in a situation of having a technological nightmare, not to leave it to worsen but to address it head on. You don’t want a tech problem turning into a tech meltdown. Having something unresolved whirring around in your mind can be very stressful. It can be difficult to concentrate on your work and your thoughts can keep drawing you back to that issue or source of concern. Basically that problem is taking up mental space in your head, so deal with it, go as far as you can to get it resolved and when you can go no further know what your next action step is going to be.
3 – Commit to continuous learning
One great way to reduce the scope for tech-based overwhelm scenarios to emerge in your professional life is to commit to learning on a consistent basis.
Technology isn’t going away and if you are an entrepreneur then you are going to have to get to grips with any number of digital products and software platforms so you can run your business smoothly. Any way you can enhance your understanding of how all this works will only be beneficial and you never know when it might be absolutely crucial.
You don’t need to learn everything to do with technology, by any means, but you can seriously benefit from learning more about the digital products and the software you rely on the most. So that might mean learning more about your website, your social media channels, your email marketing strategies or your video content processes.
Whatever it is – you need to commit to learning how to use it so you don’t fall into the overwhelm trap.
Bridging the learning gap
There are now lots of courses available both on and off-line designed to teach people running businesses how to make the most of technology. Some are paid for but others are free of charge.
My recommendation is to identify the learning gaps in your knowledge, then map out a ‘training and development plan’ for yourself, including timings and a budget and then take on one platform or piece of software at a time.
Dealing with the tech-side of business life can be overwhelming but with the right approach there is every reason to feel confident about your abilities to make the latest technologies work for you and to give yourself the capacity to troubleshoot any tech-based problems that get thrown your way.
And if you continue to struggle with your tech or are unsure where to start PM me to arrange a no obligation call or download my handy guide to coping with a meltdown!