I’m going to let you in on a secret… although if you know me at all, then this isn’t really a secret.
I get overwhelmed.
And having a new baby (little Gus is currently 8 weeks old) and still trying to do all the things I used to do, only increased those feelings.
I know I’m not alone in this feeling.
The feeling like we have to do it all at the same time, that we have to have all our ducks in a row.
Like we should have the perfect website, be consistent daily on social media, be running webinars, writing books, making big sales, and still manage to run the house and look after the kids.
What is Overwhelm?
According to Merriam Webster, overwhelm has several meanings, including:
Simply put, in this sense, it is the strong feeling of too much.
So how do we solve the feeling of overwhelm?
I don’t have all the answers, that’s for sure. I regularly feel like there is too much on my plate… but here are some of the steps I take.
Start by asking why you feel overwhelmed.
Do you have too many things to do? Things you really have to do?
Or do you simply have too many things you feel like you SHOULD do?
When I stop and think, there is a big difference between the number of things I HAVE to do right now, and the things that I feel like I SHOULD have sorted out.
I should have a better sales funnel…
I should run more webinars and be more visible…
I should improve my systems…
But at the end of the day, I don’t have to do any of those things right now. And adding them all to my to-do list right now simply increases my feeling of overwhelm.
So they are on a different list. On a one day list.
Reflect on your current to-do list.
How much of it do you have to do right now? And how much is simply there because you feel like you should be doing it?
Reduce your to-do list.
This might sound easier said than done, but it is possible, I promise.
First, if you haven’t already… remove all of those should items.
Next, look at the list and focus on what really needs to be done today, or this week.
How much of it is as urgent as you say it is?
Finally, look at reducing the number of things that YOU need to do.
Can you delegate or outsource?
I get it, you can’t always pay someone else to do it for you, but there are other ways.
Maybe you can trade services with someone?
Maybe you can ask a friend or family member to help out?
Focus on fewer things.
Even once your list has been reduced, there is still a large chance that you can’t do it all at the same time.
Strip your list right back, and simply focus.
Last week, I had just 4 items on my to-do list. One a day, and Friday left to catch up.
Sure, there were plenty of other things to do.
School pick ups, loads of washing, answering emails… all those normal things.
But other than the normal weekly tasks, I added just 4 small steps.
Take it one step at a time
Looking at the whole picture can help with planning, but it can also be really overwhelming.
Seeing “write a book” or “launch a course” on your to-do list simply feels like standing at the foot of a mountain and looking upwards.
But you don’t need to know how to scale the whole mountain to take the first step forward.
So for any major projects on your to-do list… simply work out what the next small step is.
Be kind to yourself.
You don’t have to do it all right now
You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row
No ones life is really like their Instagram feed
It’s OK not to do everything today
It’s OK to let some things slip
And yes, I’m telling myself this!