3 Steps for Beating Business Overwhelm
This article will give you 3 tips for beating business overwhelm to help you be more productive and feel good about what you accomplish.
Entrepreneurship is not without its challenges, and one word I hear over and over and over again from entrepreneurs in the home business industry is “overwhelm.”
Please allow me to nip this in the bud right here: Stop it.
What?? Stop being overwhelmed? Oh that I could…
Well, you can. I’ll explain:
A little over a year ago I had the opportunity to take a riding lesson from a trainer who was part of the 2012 US Olympic Dressage Team, Heather Blitz. My new mare was injured at the time, so I ended up taking the lesson on my retired gelding, Kennebec (Kenney). I love Ken… he’s practically my equine soul mate. He came to me with a slew of emotional and physical baggage, one of the most over-achieving attitudes I’ve ever seen, and the tendency to over stress a bit when he’s learning something new. He expresses this stress in various ways, the most common being to take off at a higher rate of speed than what I’m asking for.
It was during one of these moments of “expression” that Heather Blitz called out to me from the middle of the arena, “Your horse is only running away if you think he is.”
What?? I’ll admit my initial reaction was to stop and stare at her with an open mouth… but seeing as how stopping was not really an option at the time, I took a moment to think about what she said, take a deep breath and embrace the tempo as if it were my own.
As it turns out, my horse wasn’t running away. And hasn’t since.
No, his rate of speed did not immediately decrease, however as I took a moment to not only embrace and accept the rate at which we were moving, but to also push him even further I made the speed MY choice, and that made all the difference. Since I was now choosing the speed of my horse’s legs it was fairly simple to choose a lower speed and bring him back down to a quiet, relaxed walk.
Overwhelm works the same the way!
The fastest way to guarantee overwhelm is to SAY we are overwhelmed. We look at a to do list (99% of which is of our own design) and in that moment we CHOOSE overwhelm. It’s kind of like that Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Whether you think you’re overwhelmed or you think you aren’t — you’re right.
So… what steps can you take when business overwhelm threatens to rear its ugly head?
Here are 3 steps I recommend:
1. Embrace Your To Do List + Take Ownership: By simply choosing to stay in a place of calm, inspired action, take control of our list and own it as something we not only created but have complete control over, the feeling of overwhelm will melt away almost instantly. Overwhelm often shows up when we feel out of control of our agenda — when we feel we’ve overcommitted ourselves to a set of tasks we either aren’t good at or don’t particularly want to engage in. Take control by simply acknowledging that you DID say yes to every item on your list — if not directly, at least in part. For example, I chose to be a horse owner which sometimes means an impromptu trip to the vet. I may not have CHOSEN the trip to the vet that day, but I did choose to be a horse owner, and going to the vet just comes with territory. Acknowledging that every action on your To Do list stems from something you said YES to puts you back in control, which allows you to embrace your list and approach each thing from a place of inspired action.
2. Apply the 80/20 Rule: 20% of our actions are responsible for 80% of our results. When I feel overwhelmed its often because I’m spending too much time focusing on the wrong tasks — the ones that make me feel “busy” but unproductive and/or inefficient. The easiest way to overcome this issue is to look at your list and ask yourself, “What ONE thing can I do on this list that will have the biggest impact on my business today?” Then, go do it! Repeat this process each time you complete a task and even if you aren’t able to make it through the entire list you can rest easy knowing you accomplished the most impactful tasks.
3. Schedule Uninterrupted Time Blocks: I can hear you already… “Uninterrupted time blocks? Yeah right.” Well I’m here to tell you if you have big goals to create a full time income with your business, this absolutely needs to happen. Yes, you CAN work your business into the nooks and crannies of your day! But you also need to schedule a minimum of a 1 hour time block 4-5 days a week where you can work interrupted. And what exactly should you do during this time block? See tip #2 above ^^. Try this for 1 week and I promise you will be AMAZED at what you can accomplish by spending 4-5 hours a week of focused activity on your most impactful tasks. Try it for 1 month and you might just have your biggest month of business ever. Try it for 90 days, and watch out. The cool thing about this tactic is action inspires action — you’ll feel so inspired, motivated and energized by the actions you’re taking you’ll start recognizing more opportunities to spend time in focused action, which will start a wheel of momentum in your business that has you really moving forward!
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