Let’s face it we all have some level of daily overwhelm in our lives. But if we aren’t careful it can start to eat away at our productivity and energy. Living in that negative anxiety will steal your momentum faster than anything else. Trust me I know. I was the overwhelm QUEEN when I first started my online business.
The problem with overwhelm is it holds us back from doing the things that actually matter and move us forward. Think about the last time you were overwhelmed. Did you choose to do the hardest thing on your to-do list or the easiest? Probably the easiest. And if you choose the easiest things to get done that means you aren’t spending time on the things that will move the needle. This can leave you with an unsuccessful feeling at the end of the week like you got nothing accomplished. Then you go into the next week feeling overwhelmed and behind again and the vicious cycle continues. Sound familiar?
Reality is, overwhelm is simply mismanagement of the mind. It’s actually your subconscious mind trying to hold you back from progress. Here’s how I’ve learned to take back control and manage the “feeling” of overwhelm strategically.
#1: Simply Choose Again.
Anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed I sit down and ask what feeling I would like to replace it with. Sometimes it’s love, compassion, joy, excitement, and so on. In the moments my mind goes to overwhelm I get up and cultivate a new feeling. Most of the time it’s me dancing around like a fool in my house to raise the vibe. How fun!
By doing this you literally train your brain to choose something better. It will over time reduce the number of times your brain leans towards the overwhelming feeling.
So what feeling do you want to replace overwhelm with?
#2: Plan Your Day
It’s so important to start the day organized. Most overwhelm comes from being distracted or reacting to everyone’s agendas. Oftentimes people wake up and braindump all the “things” that have to get done and start checking off the to-dos. The problem with that is we typically choose the easiest things on the list and those aren’t the things that will actually move things forward.
Throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks in your life or business without any intention behind your activities is lethal to your energy, vibrancy, and productivity.
I recommend starting your day off with a plan. Sit down the night before or in the morning and ask yourself “what are the 3-5 main projects that I’m working on?” “What are the 5 things I need to do in order to move each project forward?” Then choose the things you will get done that day and schedule block times for those tasks. Uninterrupted block time is gold. This gives you the time and focus necessary to get stuff done.
When you start your day off with intent it makes you feel more secure and reduces overwhelm because you know what’s coming.
#3: Transition Well
In between projects give yourself some white space. It’s easy to rush from project to project from task to task and have hours go by where you forgot the last time you went to the bathroom or stood up from your desk. I’ve even forgotten to brush my teeth. GROSS.
But this behavior actually creates overwhelm. Your mind can’t focus on one thing because it’s got 3 projects, 5 tasks, and being pulled to what’s next before proper room to digest, declutter and breathe. In order to have focus and creativity, your mind needs rest.
Think about your brain as a computer. If your computer has too many apps and programs running it’s hard for it to keep up and ends up slowing everything down. It may even overheat!
So I like to take a 5 min break every 25 min. Or for you just starting out you can take 10 for every 50. I get up and have some water. Sometimes I meditate, shake my booty to an awesome song, take a nap, go for a walk in nature. I encourage you to make a list of things you can do in between projects that you would enjoy. Then get out there and do it. Your brain will thank you.
Have a daily catch-up time. It helps so much to block off some time at the end of your day to play catch up. I like calling it closing loops. If we leave our day with too many open loops your mind can’t fully rest, relax and be present going into family time. I block off about 30 min daily for this, sometimes 1 hour in more hectic days.
I use this time to reply to any open emails, finish that last paragraph for the blog, edit the last 3 minutes of that video so it’s ready to post or make a couple of lingering phone calls.
I think of this time as my “last attempt” to crush it.
Trust me just taking that time and closing some loops will leave you feeling WAY more accomplished in your day and remove overwhelm for the activities to follow. You’ll be more present for your family and actually get some sleep instead of laying there going over everything you didn’t get done that day.
There you have it my top 3 ways to eliminate overwhelm. If you liked this post and got something out of it let me know your #1 takeaway in the comments. Or If you’re feeling generous and want to share with a friend you know could use it that would be great too.