These days stress and overwhelm is like the second nature of the most human beings. Unfortunately! But how to deal with overwhelm in business when it’s really, REALLY just too much? Let me share some tips with you!
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Well, I’m the one to talk! For the past few months, I managed to get on WAY too many freelance projects (although I actually wanted to kind of ditch freelancing in the first place), I decided to start a new project on my own, I was SUPER serious about finding out new ways on how to build and grow my email list and on top of all that we also managed to plan a short trip with a few friends (which, in retrospect, means less time to get things done!!). Oh, I also started 20 day Facebook video challenge to get more used to being in front of a camera (perfect timing, I know!). But I did found my way out of it. And, along the way, I also managed to research and gather TONS of truly amazing tips I’m here to share with you today!
How to deal with overwhelm in business
TIP #1: Get super clear about your goals
Goals. Blah. Who has time for that NOW, right? But when you want to deal with overwhelm in business, that’s exactly when you should care the most. Even if you already have a business plan or a clear to-do list for each of your days, you still should get on this task as well.
Here’s how I did it:
- I went to a countryside where it’s quiet and no fuss of the city and all its tempting parts is taking my attention
- I literally just sat down by the fireplace with my notebook and started writing. Writing ALL I have in my mind about my business, about my goals, about my future, my life within a week or ten. The most important part of this process is to GET IT ALL OUT because mind clutter is a real thing, folks.
- After a while, I reviewed all I had written and started separating it in different chunks. For example, some parts were related to “Growing my business”, others were more related to “Building an amazing email sequence”, etc. Then I could see what are the different parts of my business or life I was interested in working on and I was thinking about.
- Then it’s time to prioritize and start making the sense out of it by stating clear GOALS. I wanted to grow my mailing list. How many people per week do I want to get on board? What is my goal for December? And what’s my goal with the list itself?
- QUESTION all the things you have written. Why it’s there? Do you REALLY need it now?
Having it all written down and put into some kind of a scheme simplified my own understanding of what the hell am I doing. And I didn’t believe in this at first since I had a business plan ready, I knew what are my goals and my to-do’s. But when your head is exploding from all this info, it IS easier to store it all on a paper and start making the sense out of it.
TIP #2: Eliminate the rest
Did you write something that is super amazing project idea, your inner urge is to do it but… it’s not really aligned with your goals? Eliminate it! At least, for now.
I loved starting and doing my 20 day Facebook video challenge but it got short in day #16 or so. Although I do feel shitty about quitting what I promised to myself and to my audience (there were unexpectedly many followers for this project so THANK YOU ALL!!) – I decided that it’s the best I can do. Filming + editing a video took at least two or three hours of my day. Which is a lot of hours for something that isn’t in my business plan, gives me no revenue and there isn’t real outcome either. So I decided to ditch it. I’m still kind of sad and I still really want to get back to video making, it was so much fun! But with all the freelance projects on my hands, stretching my days for these videos and stressing about not making it just wasn’t worth it.
Minimize. Simplify. Let go. That’s how your business will grow!Minimize. Simplify. Let go. That's how your business will grow! Click To Tweet
TIP #3: Use Google Calendar instead of to-do list
This is my golden tip, really. I used to love to-do lists. I still kind of do. But when you write a to-do list, you don’t focus on the time you have. Instead, you focus on the things you should do. And that’s how everything gets out of hands!
Here are just a few reasons why I LOVE Google Calendar:
- I can schedule time for my to-do list in a very visual manner that lets me actually follow the time I spend for each task
- I can easily see how much time I spend for nonsense – I regularly update my calendar with the things I’m doing right at this moment so if I do nothing or use my time for nonsense, I leave it empty
- I can move tasks from day to day, without forgetting a thing
- Instead of writing a task on my to-do list, I can schedule it for the future, either it’s a day or a month – without forgetting about it!
- I love the option to color each task so that I can keep color-code my calendar and see what I’m spending the most time for, etc.
As I said, these are just a few things I love about using Google Calendar instead of a to-do list. It has made me much more productive and I definitely deal with the overwhelm way better than I used to when I had tons of impossible lists written!When you write a to-do list, you don't focus on the time you have. Instead, you focus on the things you should do. That's how everything gets out of hands! Click To Tweet
TIP #4: Take some time off
Yes, I’m following the good old knowledge that “If you don’t have 10 minutes to meditate, you should do that for one hour instead“.
TIME OFF IS IMPORTANT. I can’t stress this enough. Especially, when you don’t have time to eat or breath. Especially, when your to-do list is exploding. Especially, when you’re overwhelmed in your business.
I don’t suggest going for a week offline or leaving without a trace. It can be enough with one evening in a lovely dinner with your spouse, with no phones and other distractions, it can also be an hour long walk each morning or weekend getaway. Anything will do.
Recently I wrote a post “Is offline time a real thing for freelancers?” where I’ve written about my experience of going away for a whole week without my laptop. Oh, it was crazy, no doubts. But so worth it!
Having some offline time is the thing that’ll make you more productive, clear your head and give you more inspiration. Go for that walk! Take a bike ride. Go to the seaside. Read a book for a complete hour or just chase the clouds. Whatever rocks your boat.Having some offline time is the thing that'll make you more productive, clear your head and give you more inspiration. Click To Tweet
TIP #5: Outsource
This is something I started doing just recently when I finally realized that I just can’t do ALL I want to but there still are things that need to get done. That’s exactly how I got to outsourcing.
I have a hard time trusting people since I’m such a control freak. I just love doing things on my own even if I don’t have time for that… And especially, if it’s for my business!
Anyhow, there always are some basic tasks that others CAN do for you and that you’ll save tons of your own time on. Here are just a few tasks you can outsource:
- Graphic creation for your business, especially, if you have the template/-s.
- Blog post editing. Although I use Grammarly for it, if you prefer doing blog editing manually and you have tons of content on your blog, you can definitely hire someone to do that
- Tasks you’re not a pro in. We all have some things we have more knowledge in than others. Especially, if you have a budget for that, don’t hesitate to hire professionals instead of spending your own time! Whether that’d be blog redesign, email marketing or social media…
The good news are – if you found time to read this article, you can definitely juggle your schedule! Use one or more of these tips and you WILL get through this. When writing this article, I’m a few days away from our weekend getaway with friends and after a super-insane-you-can’t-even-imagine-crazy month I’ve managed to minimize my to-do list to almost nothing super urgent!! And I haven’t had a success of this in a loooooong time.
What are your favorite methods to deal with overwhelm in business? Let me know, I’d be happy to share your ideas! 🙂