As a busy mum running a successful and thriving Business, I get to overwhelm stage pretty quickly. In fact, it’s something always hanging about in the background. When I get overwhelmed, it takes me a few minutes to realise that the key to moving forward is to stop, re-assess, and plan forward. Today i’m going to share with you the process I use to get out of overwhelm, and back to centered and powerful.
Stop & Re-assess
Stop and re-assess how you are using your time. I find that trying to speak with clients on the phone, make website edits, and shuffle emails at dinner time for example is just chaos. So, rather than trying to do everything at once, I tend to re-assess, and intentionally choose to turn my phone and computer off while i’m doing mum duties. That way I can be fully present with the kids, and much of the stress is taken away. Boundaries are a great thing, you teach people how to treat you and your time by the way you respond. I need to deal with this regularly, but its super important. If its not a life or death scenario, it can wait.
Many times you find that those you work with don’t expect the same high expectations that you put on yourself. They aren’t actually expecting you to reply to an email at 7pm, or be up late working on their stuff. There is a time and a place. i have worked nights recently to clear some urgent stuff out, or if I knew I was coming into a crazy busy week or month with workshops. But most of my clients, aren’t actually expecting me to be working late, or weekends.
Ask yourself, am I expecting too much of myself right now? Can i take a break and refocus? Do I need to re-align anything?
Get selective about what you work on
The experts say choose 3 things each day that you need to get done. Then work on the other stuff if you have time. There are times when I choose just one thing to work on. I’m in major development phase at the moment, and i’m just so excited that there are times when i’m not getting anything else done but being excited, dreaming and scheming! So while I work best in big blocks of time (on my own), it’s rare that I get that kind of block time, and when I do, i’m normally so buggered that I need to rest!.
I was reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert recently and she talked about how much this is the preferred method of getting stuff done, and I was like yah preach it sister! But, she went on to say that not many people are able to achieve this, and this is the number one reason why people don’t get their courses out there, their books finished, their websites done. (sighs). Rather, its about setting smaller blocks of time aside regularly and committing to those. One day you will wake up and be one of those ‘overnight success‘ stories. Your Book will be ready for Publishers, things will be done. I struggle with this concept but regular process is the key.
Right now I have approx 5 projects on the go, for my own Business alone, not to mention client work. Rather than sitting looking at your computer wondering what to do next, consider either scheduling in your development time as an appointment, or consider working on ONE project until completion. Choosing that ONE project, is never easy, but what is the project that will take the least amount of time, or make you the most amount of money, the quickest? The thrill of getting something finished is amazing! So then ride that MOMENTUM WAVE and get the next project finished. It’s easier to keep momentum going than it is to achieve it in the beginning.
Get stuff written down
I have a pack of A3 paper handy, because I have this ability to come up with an idea, and be able to nut out much of that idea within the first 30 mins. I need to write this stuff down or, its going to continue to distract me from what i’m actually supposed to be doing, as I don’t want to forget! I use the Idea Planner that I created not that long ago, to help jot down and file my ideas away. Then when i’m ready for the next project, I simply go through my pages and pages and pages of A3 jots and find what i’m looking for. Inspiration has a funny tendency to all come at once, all within a few minutes. Write it down and pick it up when your ready.
If what i’ve just come up with solves a problem for Business and it’s relevant to what’s in front of me now, it’s best to get the wording out while you are living it! In that moment, you can find your own direction forward, and also inspire others along the way. It’s pretty amazing how it works. It’s easier to know how a person will interact with your product or service when you are in the middle of the same scenario. The best books are written this way as its so authentic with the moment!
Stop for a moment and try to determine whether the tasks in front of you can be completed by your team, or a Virtual Assistant. If you don’t have help it may be time to outsource some things. A bookkeeper can do in one hour what you waste a whole day stressing about. A web developer or social media manager can create your posts or get your website changes done a lot quicker as they are constantly in that space. Its not worth wasting your time at eg. $150 per hour when someone can come in and do it in a quarter of the time at a much cheaper rate. Learn when its time to outsource, to delegate, or to get some help. Figure out where your time is best spent.
The great thing about the Business Economy these days is that you don’t actually need to be taking on ‘staff’. You can upscale and grow your Business using Contractors until the point that you are ready to take things to the next level.
So for me this weekend, it’s about spending the time that I would be wasting feeling overwhelmed (when I really should be having a day off!), and assigning some tasks to my team members to complete next week. Its better to get stuff done next week, than still be stressing about the size of your list and all your unfinished projects, in a months time.
Till next time