One of my biggest complaints about being in business for myself is the feeling of overwhelm. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my business.
Just the other night I found myself wide-awake at 2:00 am. I just lay there thinking about my large To Do List.
This got me feeling stuck. Confused. Ashamed.
My old friend “Overwhelm” kicked in – once again.
Fortunately, things looked different the next morning as I rolled over and saw the sun bouncing off the trees outside my window.
At my core I know that most of the overwhelm I experience is made up in my mind.
And I also know I’m not alone. For fun, I did a quick internet search on small business overwhelm and learned that MOST entrepreneurs experience this.
What I know for sure is that it doesn’t matter if you have it all figured out. The vast majority of us don’t. What’s important, though, is to remain in the game when overwhelm creeps in.
The following three tips help me remain focused and on task. And I share them with you in hopes that they will serve.
Flip Chart and Post-It.
These days there are endless online resources for calendars, tracking tools, etc. For me, I prefer to go “old school.”
I track my thoughts and tasks on large flipchart paper. As soon as I do this, it starts to make them real. When I get an idea, or create a specific task, I first write it on a Post-It and then attach it to a flipchart sheet. The end result is a large sheet of paper with a crazy amount of Post-Its attached. It’s a parking lot of sorts, and it helps keep me organized. When a task is completed, I simply remove the Post-It.
I’m such a random personality-type that this method really works for me. My ideas are parked on the sheet so they won’t be forgotten, and I simply scan the Post-Its and focus on whichever one jumps out at me next.
Shake it up.
When things get really bad, I step away from my desk and shake up my environment a bit – and go for a jog. This works wonders for me. And it’s when I tend to think the most clearly, and when most of my creative ideas occur. I make it a habit to jog with my phone so I can record my thoughts as they come to me. Now I’m not suggesting that you take up jogging, but I do suggest that you shake up your environment.
Remember your allies.
You have allies all around you. Lean into them and ask for help. You can’t do it alone. At times, it seems like it takes a village to keep me going (LOL): my business coach, my partner, and my therapist. Get the support you need. For me, it’s quite freeing to know that I can lean into a small group of intimate allies when needed.
You are worthy of a life even greater than you can imagine. Dare to dream it. Dare to live it. Dare to Play Your Bigger Game.
What works for you when you get stressed or overwhelmed? I‘d love to know.