Does your business leave you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you find yourself saying things such as “I feel left behind” or “I need to catch up!” Well, join the club. I will be sharing with you exactly what I do to remedy business overwhelm so you can keep calm, and profit on.
When I was a kid my mom was always telling me to clean my room. As I looked over the sea of dirty clothing and action figures, I never knew where to begin! I would spend so much time deciding where to start that I never ended up taking action.
Sound familiar? It can be hard to look at your long to-do list and pick a starting point. Before discovering how to take action and clean up the clutter, we first need to identify the source problem. In my case it would be how the room (aka life) got so messy in the first place.
The answer is simple: at some point in the past we made commitments, to either others or ourselves, that we just didn’t follow through on. When young James threw his clothes on the floor, he was failing to follow through with his commitment to be clean. These type of moments where you fail to follow through with your commitments are the moments that most contribute to your overwhelm.
Once we acknowledge that every “to-do” item that leaves us feeling overwhelmed is simply the result of a failed commitment of our past, we can employ the solution of only committing to things that are realistic.
You might have heard people talk about the power of “saying no.” It’s not that “no” is a powerful word, it’s that saying yes to something you should be saying no to takes away your power. You have to be realistic with others and yourself, it may sound simple but so few people actually do it!
Pretend that each week you write a newsletter for your blog, you wake up feeling confident about getting the post done and then disaster strikes. Your website crashes and you proceed to talk with customer services on the phone for hours. When you finally get everything back up and running you have a scheduled call with a client and begin feeling overwhelmed and unable to complete the tasks on your plate. This type of situation happens to everyone of us in one form or another. You feel overwhelmed because you failed on your commitment.
In a situation like this one some people stress out and break down, while others stay focused and carry on. The difference between the two groups is that the people of the second are clear on their commitments and the power of keeping their word.
When you experience a setback, such as your website crashing, you can choose to either honor your word and write your newsletter before the call, or honor your word and write a post saying your letter will be late.
Back in college when I was a bartender my boss made it clear that being late could lead to termination. Sure enough, one day I found myself rushing out the door, running late, and totally stressing out. I decided to call my boss and let him know I would be about ten minutes late and how sorry I was, his response: “ok.” All of a sudden my stress disappeared, and I ended up being able to keep my job.
If you’re overwhelmed the solution is not to bury your head in your work, all you have to do is be present and conscious in the commitments you are making to yourself and others. When you miss a due date, let the ones who it effects know and set a new date that is realistic and possible.
You might be still wondering “what do I do with all this stuff on my to-do list that needs to get done?” Unfortunately I am unable to answer that, the purpose of all this isn’t to help you knock items off your list, it’s to help relieve the feeling of being overwhelmed. The scary truth is that there will always be something that needs to be done, you will never be able to totally finish your to-do list.
Make sure to be fully conscious of all of your commitments and honor your word. Do this and I guarantee you will start feeling less overwhelmed and eliminate stress in your life.
You chose to become an entrepreneur to forge better life for yourself. Overwhelm is a common symptom of owning your business, but it doesn’t have to be your experience.