How to Cope with Overwhelm
There seems to be a lot of entrepreneurs talking about having the feeling of overwhelm at one time or another. I’m talking about the overwhelm that has you waking up feeling as though there is just too much to do. Your to-do list expands far past the hours in the day. You may need to:
…so the list goes.
You are just weary. You are carrying 35 things that you need to do and you’ve only cleared three of them at the end of the day.
Overwhelm may also look like people over here telling you to make a video, while people over there are telling you to make a sales funnel, this coach is telling you to create a Facebook group, and you are baffled and you don’t know what to do first or what to do at all.
When you are in overwhelm mode, accidents can begin to occur:
The truth is we aren’t going to make overwhelm go away.
I tell my clients that overwhelm is a good thing because the opposite of overwhelm is that there is no work, no clients, and ultimately no money coming in. Overwhelm means that you are busy and that you have multiple opportunities on your plate. I would much rather be busy than having nothing to do as a business owner.
Following is an acronym, COOL, to help manage overwhelm:
Sometimes we can start to wonder why something is happening to us and get into a victim mentality. We can begin to dislike the opportunities that are coming in. And we will begin to put the message out there that we don’t want those opportunities.
Occasionally people ask me how I get so much done without becoming overwhelmed. The way that I do it is by reminding myself that I chose this. I rarely let myself complain--out loud or in my mind. Sure I get tired at times and wish I had more bandwidth; however, I remind myself that I chose this and at any time I can change my mind and make a different decision.
If you are in overwhelm, take a deep breath and be gratitude for the work. Then, if you need to adjust your choices, you can pause and evaluate that.
Another way of looking at choice is thinking about the positive outcomes to being in overwhelm. What positive aspects of your business come with the choices that you are making? These choices might be difficult right now, but when you see the bigger picture of why you are doing this, you can better manage the moment.
You may carry your entire to-do lists in your body all the time--in your head, your shoulders, your belly--24/7. This is unhealthy. Write it all out. Every week I transfer my entire to-do list from my head onto paper my an EverNote notebook online.
Take the list that you have just made and decide what you are doing to do with each thing:
Are you going to delegate the task to another person? Is this task something that you need to complete this week? Is this a task that you can delete, meaning you aren’t going to do it this week or maybe never? Or you can defer the task and accomplish it another week?
another system that you can align yourself to when you are organizing is to look at your three quarterly goals and how these tasks help you accomplish your larger goals.
This is vital because you just can’t carry your entire to-do list in your head. You can only carry a single thing at a time. If you continue trying to carry everything that you have to do in your head, you will not only be exhausted but you will also be robbed of the joy from each event/experience that you have to live and do that day.
Focus on one item at a time. Keep your attention on what you are doing in this moment and when you are finished, go back to your to-do list and select a new item.
Know that you are not going to get it all done. Time management is a myth. Ultimately we will never arrive at the end of our to-do list. As someone who is a 6-figure business owner, I am here to tell you that there is more on my list now than there was at the start. So the key is prioritizing what needs to be done right now. Focus on one thing and let the rest go.
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