As I readied myself to write this I took stock of what I am juggling and very nearly curled up in a ball of inertia. Now I know that may come as a surprise. You probably think of me as most of my clients do, the Energizer Bunny of productivity and positivity. Well, now you know the rest of the story.
I have moments, sometimes days and weeks, just like you where I feel like I have way too much on my plate, too many calls to make, texts to type, emails to read, blogs to write, clients to see, designs to create, marketing to master, and oh well just a whole lot more.
Contrary to my own beliefs, I am not a super hero and I don’t play one on TV! In fact, I’m human and you are too and than means we are going to have times where no matter how great everything is going we are going to feel overloaded, overwhelmed, and stretched thin. There are going to be healthy choices we can make and unhealthy ones. Which will you go for?
You can throw your hands up and bury your head in the sand and barely keep your head above water.
(Trust me the overwhelm just gets deeper!)
You can curl up in a ball of inertia and avoidance and miss deadlines, ignore email, and skip social media.
(This can be tempting!)
You can run yourself into the ground trying to do it all yourself and wind up a basket case.
(I’ve tried this and don’t recommend it!)
OR you can make masterful choices that really will move you forward like these:
1. Take a deep breath, and do a paper download (handwritten) of all tasks, projects, clients, and more you have going on.
Without a clear picture of what is in front of you, the overwhelm always seems unmanageable. Putting it all down on paper allows you to do brain dump and frees up your creative juices and refills your intellectual well with head space you can devote to solutions, completions, and delegations. Oh and if you hate to write, do it anyway because the physical sensation of getting it all out is far more impactful than when you use a keyboard.
2. Break large tasks and projects into smaller pieces to make completion manageable, one bite at a time.
The term punchlist is common in design and building but really applies to all business and projects. There are always going to be loose ends that must be wrapped up, details to take care of, and fine points to address. Create a punch list in your own business and then look at who you can delegate the completions to.
3. Delegate (a fancy word for get help).
The first thing I do with any task is decide if I have to do it myself or if I can delegate to a fellow expert and professional. You will be infinitely more powerful and productive when you create a flexible team of people you can call one. This may include contractors, accountants, lawyers, bookkeepers, cleaning people, organizers, or anyone else who can do what you need to get done in less time than you and at a lesser rate. This frees you up for profit making with passion and purpose.
One of the greatest ways to get out of overwhelm is to create your list, break it down, and farm it out. While you may be genius and have moments of super heroitis, get over the idea that you have to do it all. Not only don’t you, but it is the surest path to burn out and failure. The most successful people I know do the majority of their work in their head, and leave the rest to others.