Being overwhelmed is not something any one person is susceptible to. It’s something that happens to everyone. It’s a fact of life. We all get overwhelmed. The best way to deal with these feelings is to have a plan on how to beat it. If you haven’t noticed, I love plans. They help me keep an illusion of control and such. My overwhelm comes from all of the things I want to get done. Having a plan makes me comfortable with tackling all of it and dealing with everything I need to get done.
I like to take things one at a time. In order to get a handle on everything, I make a list of everything I need to do. It’s a list which encompasses everything. This isn’t a list of everything I need to do in the house or everything I need to do in business. This is my MASTER LIST. Yes, I truly did need to write it in all capital letters. It needs to be clearly conveyed this list is the list of all lists and holds everything.
I house this list in Trello. This way, I can move around each and every task depending on when I want to tackle them and if they have a deadline. I remember to breathe. I remember I don’t need to have every single task in my MASTER LIST done in one day, one week, or even one month. My MASTER LIST is just that - a list where I can add things I want to remember to get done - eventually.
This list is something some people actually can’t make. They physically can’t do it, because just looking at the length of the list makes them anxious and stressed out. If that’s you and you really want to have this list for your reference, then continuously remind yourself the list doesn’t need to be done right away.
Maybe you could take your list one step further and add goal dates for each task you want to complete. The best way to make sure you don’t overload yourself and schedule too many things to be done on the same day is to schedule 5 things a day. If you go through each of your tasks, give 5 of them the same deadline. Then the next 5 get another deadline. In general, as long as they make sense and aren’t incredibly difficult tasks you want to get done all at once, this technique will work.
If you are the type of person that no matter what you know or tell yourself, you still end up getting panic attacks from just thinking about such a thing, then don’t attempt this technique. Try writing your feelings in a journal or scheduling a weekly call or meeting to debrief with a friend. There are a ton of techniques for you to experience. All it takes is knowing what your personality type is and how well you handle things.
I have several things that help me to execute my plan and get my mind in the right place. I use my bullet journal to help me keep track of information that won’t fit in my head any longer. I also schedule tasks and meetings out. I have a post all about my bullet journal coming out and I will probably do a walk-through video of it. Let me know in the comments below if you’d be interested in seeing it!
The next item in my kit is actually very personal to me: it’s my confidence in my abilities. I’m going to be honest for a minute and let you know my confidence isn’t high in a couple of areas, but one thing I know is I can handle anything. The reason I can handle anything which comes my way is because God doesn’t give me anything I can’t handle. It’s been a truth which has given me a ton of peace and has helped me get through some rough times.
The third item in my kit is that MASTER LIST. We’ve talked about it a lot, but it’s something I really enjoy making and see shrinking. I like to do braindumps on paper and then transfer everything to Trello. It’s easier for my brain to process what I’m trying to get it to recall if I’m not staring at a screen.
MUNCHIES! If I’m going to be working this hard, I need to have some snacks with me. We all do. It helps my brain focus and helps me to really get down to the nitty-gritty of what I want to focus on. It’s a big help to me and I have had a ton of success making sure I always have brain food nearby whenever I start to work on conquering my overwhelm.
Get Outside Help
Sometimes you just can’t do it all yourself. The best way to help yourself in this situation is to get someone else to help you with it. They can help you take things off your plate. Make a list of things you really don’t want to do but need to get done. In other words, what have you been seriously procrastinating on? What can you pass onto another person?
There are several ways for you to get help. You can hire a Virtual Assistant or someone who specializes in what you’re trying to do. You can reach out to your business friends and see if anyone is willing to trade time and get them to help you for a few hours and then once you’ve caught up or gotten past your overwhelm, you can help them with a few things. You can also reach out to your Facebook groups or your community and ask if any of them want to volunteer a few hours. It’s all about making your life easier and to get past your feelings of overwhelm and reaching out to everyone who knows you and what you do can do that.
Take a Step Back
Sometimes, no matter what you plan or how many people you have helping you, you just can’t shake the feeling of overwhelm. It’s natural. Go take a break. Get out of town if you can. If you can’t, go take a walk. Get out of the house. Just step away from your work for a few hours. It may be the best thing you do for your business.
Don’t feel guilty for taking that break. Needing a break doesn’t mean you don’t love what you’re doing. Needing a break doesn’t mean you’re bad at your business. Taking a break doesn’t mean you should quit. It means you’re human. It means you need to enjoy other things in life for awhile. It means you are taking time to indulge in self-love and letting your mind relax. It’s going to be a big help with your creativity and thus improve your business.
I am giving you permission to feel overwhelmed. I am giving you permission to curl up in a ball and spend all day watching stupid TV shows. You have permission to do whatever you need to do to work through your overwhelm. However, you ONLY get one day. You get one day to do what you need to do. After that, you need to get up and get back at it. After you take your time, get right back up and get back to what makes you feel most alive.