With everything that’s going on, it makes sense that you might find yourself feeling just a little bit overwhelmed in your business and in your life. While I can only do so much to help cure the life overwhelm, I do have some tried and true ideas for shaking off the feeling of business overwhelm.
Get your space cleared out and set up
We are all impacted by our spaces so much more than we realize, especially if you work in any kind of visual field. If you want to get rid of the pressures of overwhelm, the first step is to get your space completely cleaned up and cleared out. Get rid of the mess and clutter in your office, organize your desk, and consider getting rid of any excess that isn’t either bringing functionality or joy in your work environment. Once you get everything nice and tidy, make a cup of tea and pour a big glass of fresh water, and sit down to…
Do a major to-do list brain dump
Often, the reason we feel overwhelmed is because we have so many different things swimming around in our brains that need to get done, but no real plan on how to get everything accomplished. Sit down with a blank piece of paper, and just write down every single thing that comes to your mind when you think about things that you need to cross off your never-ending list. Don’t worry about structuring your list, or even making sure that the list items make perfect sense… just write.
Sift through and prioritize
Now that you have your full list of every single thing that is currently overwhelming you, it’s time to go through that list and prioritize. We all have at least one or two things on our list that should have been done yesterday… or a week ago… but the further down it gets buried the harder it is to accomplish. Go ahead and put those line items at the top of the list, knock them out because they’ll have to be done eventually, and then you can stop feeling guilt every time you think about them. From there, pull out the items that are going to be the most important for your business success, or the items that actually need to get done immediately, or have the closest due date.
Create a strong plan of action to cross the big items off
For the little things like the emails that you just don’t feel like sending, there really is no solution but to just pull yourself together and get them sent – but for the bigger items that are going to be a little more time intensive but are currently hurting your business to not be checking off? Sit back and create a bullet point plan of action for getting those things done. If you set up all of the front end work for launching an email list two months ago, but haven’t set up any workflows and have subscribers just subscribing and getting nothing, then take a step back and think about what you’re going to need to get those email workflows up and running. Make everything into a simple action checklist – for example, “brainstorm 5 email subjects” is one action item, “write subject lines” is another, and “create content for welcome email” is a third. Taking a large, seemingly daunting task and turning it into smaller, easily actionable tasks makes it so much easier to start to work through, and likely you’ll have an incredibly successful email list in no time.
Make a plan of action for the remaining items
Instead of letting the items that aren’t high priority just fall to the backburner again and lead to another bout of overwhelm in the next month or two, go ahead and make a plan for getting them checked off your list for good. Using the above method, go ahead and break down these big tasks into smaller, more actionable items, and then set a due date on them. Even if it’s something that doesn’t have a clear cut due date, the fact that it’s on your to-do list means that it’s likely that getting it completed will in some way help your business – so set your own due date!
Once you get all of these steps checked off, the final step is to breathe. Your immediate tasks have a clear path of action that will get them accomplished. Your longer term tasks have set due dates, and you’ve committed to getting them accomplished by then. You’re no longer having to rely on your brain to hold everything that needs to get done, you have a clear and easy plan of action. So take a deep breath, maybe do a five-minute meditation to clear your mind, and then get to work!