Whether you are brand new to business or have been around a while there are always new things to learn, free training (or paid) to get stuck into or new projects to start. The fact is, it is pretty overwhelming if you’re not careful!
I am often the victim of overwhelm and we don’t talk about it enough. You can get so full of ideas and projects you want to do that you don’t know where to start and guess what? You usually end up doing nothing, or half starting a few things. This is dangerous ground and achieves nothing for your business or yourself. You get bogged down, disheartened and give up. Well don’t. Get smart about it.
Write things down. When you are full of ideas have a central place where you jot these down. You don’t need to plan it all now, some things may not be suitable for months, but take a note now. I have notepads everywhere, which can be messy, so I try and write lists and put them on my pinboard every now and again. I also use the Colornote app on my phone. A business journal or similar would also be good. Bullet journals are all the rage!
Plan, plan and then plan again. Plan ahead long term including all those big ideas, plan your month (including non-work things). Plan your day. Write a list of what needs to be done, and then bloody stick to it! Obviously urgent work things that come up should be dealt with but don’t get bogged down in unnecessary things or start scrolling Facebook and disappear down a rabbit hole. It is so easily done. I lost a day to website building and achieved almost nothing. That was after I had said I would allow myself two hours then do something else. I didn’t stick to it. Be strict. I write my to-do list on a sheet of paper and pin in front of me at my desk, there’s no getting away then.
Don’t be afraid to refocus regularly, in fact it is necessary. Not just in your day, when you go off task, but in your business as a whole. Are you still on plan? Is what you’re doing feeding into that overall goal? Be adaptable as well, sometimes things change, and you may need to alter your goals, so check regularly what your aims are and if they still work for you.
Ignore advice. Okay that is a blanket statement, clearly some advice will be useful but be picky about who you listen to. Have a couple of trusted people you can chat to or a business coach perhaps. But take the advice you get from all and sundry with not just a pinch but a vat of salt. Not only will some people only be telling you things because ultimately, they are trying to get you as a client, some will absolutely be genuine, but they won’t know you well enough to be giving the right advice. We can only see things from our own perspective and whilst well-meaning it can lead to total overwhelm if you try and take it all on-board.
Take a break – don’t work ALL the time. Give yourself some downtime. Allow yourself to watch Netflix or go for a walk or book a spa day. But don’t feel guilty about it. Plan it into your working month as it is necessary, or your mind and body will eventually breakdown. Yoga, mindfulness or meditation are all great, and just some simple breathing exercises can make all the difference.
Feeling overwhelmed? Step away, reset and go back. You are in control of you. Put the phone down, walk away from the laptop and make a cup of tea or get some fresh air and get some fresh perspective.