Overwhelm is something all business owners have experienced and I’m sure you have too. It can leave you feeling trapped, overworked and stressed – and that’s not good for you or your productivity.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you must find a way to deal with it and minimise the impact it has on you. As this article on the Mental Health Foundation website demonstrates, long term stress is not good for you. And if overwhelm is a regular occurrence for you, the more stress you will feel and the more it will impact on your work and home life, as well as your mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s therefore crucial that you learn how to manage your workload effectively, so you don’t suffer from overwhelming. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. So if you’re currently feeling overwhelmed by your workload, here are 3 steps that will help you overcome your overwhelm and get moving forward again.
Step #1: Stop and get clear on the facts
When you’re stuck in overwhelm it’s easy to get bogged down with your feelings and thoughts around it. It’s therefore essential that you take a moment to get clear on the issue at hand – the facts around the overwhelm. Take a couple of moments to get clear on your workload. Ask yourself:
- What are your goals and responsibilities around the outstanding work?
- Can you outsource or delegate to others?
- Establish the real priorities – what order do you need to get things completed in?
Write down those tasks you can outsource and who you can outsource them to. You can then work out the priorities for the remaining tasks, and get a clear picture of what is urgent for today, and what you can reschedule for later.
Step #2: Change your mind about the overwhelm
Once you’re clear on the facts, you can look at how your current thought process is helping or hindering the situation. Ask yourself:
- What are you currently telling yourself about the problem – what thoughts are on repeat?
- Are those thoughts helping or hindering you?
- What thoughts will be more helpful in this situation?
It’s easy to underestimate how important it is to think positively when you’re stressed. Taking a moment to remind yourself you’re in control, it’s all achievable, and you’ve got this, can help clear the fog of overwhelm and help you focus on the work at hand.
Step #3: What can you do today, now, to move forward?
And that moves us onto step 3 – taking action. What can you do to overcome the overwhelm? Now’s the time to:
- Make a plan of action.
- Take a breath to calm yourself and get focused.
- Get started with the first step.
Because ultimately, it’s the actions you take that will help you overcome your overwhelm. So what can you do right now, to take a productive step forward? Maybe you can hand over the work you’ve identified as suitable for outsourcing. You may decide your first step is to schedule everything in that could be moved to another day. And as for the tasks you need to do today, you may find setting a timer for 30 minutes and getting stuck in, is the best option for you.
No matter what your first step is, do it without delay – because the best cause of action is to just get started. Longer-term, it pays to learn how to manage your workload and time effectively, so you don’t end up in overwhelm. I’d recommend you check out this previous article on How to manage your time like a boss.
And if you’re looking for someone to outsource some of your tasks to, head over to my contact page. You can book in a free 20-minute chat, where we can discuss your requirements and see how your business might look if you have me on hand to help you and your business.