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Handling Stress of Opportunity In An Entrepreneurial Economy


The heading of this post sounds like an oxymoron.

Can opportunity ever come with the baggage of stress?

But to those who regularly juggle multiple opportunities because of technological advancements and creative freedom, opportunity and stress are synonymous.

Understand though – we’re talking about good stress.

The stress that gets you excited about doing something because you’ve identified the scope of improvement in your ecosystem.

However this positive stress if left unchecked quickly metamorphoses into the negative kind.

The kind that makes you feel stretched thin, overwhelmed and at your wit’s end.

3 Challenges of the Entrepreneurial Economy That Can Hold You Back

Just as the industrial economy came with its challenges of monotony, poor compensation and displacement, the seemingly prosperous entrepreneurial economy has its share of flip sides.

  • Technology – Technology is the great equalizer. It gives everyone a fair shot at being someone and getting somewhere. But at the same time, it is also the perpetuator of disruption. Entire industries disappear – seemingly overnight. The change it brings is swift and those who can’t adapt fall by the wayside.
  • Information – The mission statement of Google is to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. It has succeeded. We now have googol channels to learn what we want to. But unfortunately, no business out there is on a mission to “build perspective and offer a lens to evaluate information”. And this leads to the issue of information overwhelm.
  • Surprises & Distractions – These are the byproducts of the above. It is possible for an email to change your world and turn it upside down. Friends you haven’t seen in years can ping you all day through social media. And you can randomly stumble open three money making possibilities as you browse the web. This is just way too much input for the human brain.

FOMO or Fear of Missing Out cripples the entrepreneurial economy. It is possible to take action on just about anything. And if you pause to check, probably someone is already doing it!

Most people in the entrepreneurial economy struggle with “finding enough time to do it all”.

So how do you do it? How can you handle the stress of opportunity in an entrepreneurial economy?

Re-Frame & Re-Set

The solution is to reframe your mindset. The solution is to move from managing your time to managing your attention.

Doing this has two benefits:

  • Once you attempt to “manage” your attention, something you always believed was infinite, you automatically value it more. You ask the important question, “Is this worth my attention?” before committing to a project, a task or an idea. And you start returning to your priorities to make decisions.
  • Priorities aren’t really clear to people. If you don’t know the full list of what you need to do, you can’t prioritize items and allot attention. This in turn triggers the search for a better way to inventory “what’s on your plate”, leading you to Getting Things Done®.

GTD® is the Best Way to Manage your Attention in the Entrepreneurial Economy. 

Through its simple 5 step process, it allows you to:

  • Capture what has your attention. Big or small, everything goes from your head to a trusted external system.
  • Clarify the Next Action. This is critical if you are to judge a task fairly. Often you may say “no” to something simply because you don’t know how to move ahead with it. This step kills the murkiness.
  • Organize tasks in contextualized lists. You make the most of every second of every day, when you are aware of what you should be doing in different settings. Have a few minutes free with your phone at hand? Make the pending calls. At your computer? Let’s finish the proposal.
  • Reflect on your priorities and what’s on the horizon. You change. Your goals shift. Your priorities evolve. With GTD® you are constantly evaluating which commitments are important to YOU.
  • Engage. Doing is underrated. Getting Things Done® helps you be appropriately proactive by getting the right things done, at the right time, using only the resources that are needed to wrap them to satisfaction.

Stress of opportunity, who?

All you’ll experience is stress-free productivity. 😉

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