My ‘to do’ list is stacking up. Things are going wrong, creating even more to be done and the things that will make a big difference to my business keep getting put off again and again.
Overwhelm and frustration builds up and I feel like I am making no progress at all with everything going on.
Time just seems to be going faster, months are zipping by before I even get my head around what I am trying to achieve in that month. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done and it seems harder to make progress on getting the business thriving.
Can you relate?
As small business owners we can have a lot on our plates. A lot of responsibilities and a lot to manage. Probably too much to be honest!
I can easily get into this disempowered state when I become frazzled and overwhelmed, and I know a lot of business owners can relate to this experience too.
It is easy to get caught up in reactive mode, constantly dealing with issues arising and trying to keep up with the never ending “to do” list that needs to be done, where everything on the list is “Urgent, #1 Highest Priority.”
My business certainly isn’t perfect. I do get into this state sometimes. I’ve been caring for a sick family member the last couple of months, as well as growing my business and managing everything else, and so this has been happening regularly for me recently.
Life happens. Business continues. I’m gonna keep moving on.
The great thing is that I do have effective processes and strategies to help myself and my clients get out of this place when it happens. Which means things can get back on track faster and smoother.
So, what do you do when there just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day to get everything done?
Here are 5 strategies that work to get out of overwhelm and get back on track:
#1 Take time out
I know this can seem incredibly counter intuitive, because there already isn’t enough time, but stepping back and taking some time out works. When we are in the depths of overwhelm it can be hard to see a way out. It can feel all-encompassing and impossible to see any viable solutions. Taking some time out to step back, looking after your own wellbeing and clearing your head can help get things back in perspective and see a way forward. Even taking just 1 hour to step back (my favourite is a walk in nature) can help you gain hours back in your week.
#2 Get it out of your head
Get a notebook and start writing! When we are overwhelmed, we are usually carrying a massive mental load in our head. With too many things to think about, it all gets mixed together and takes up a huge amount of mental load to keep in there. Get everything out of your head, even if it doesn’t seem important. Do a brain dump. Write it all down and then you can start to get perspective on how to move things forward.
#3 Get clarity on what is important
Often we lose sight of what is important, especially when we are stressed and not coping. Getting clarity on what is really important helps to provide direction of how to move everything forward. There will undoubtedly be things that can be dropped or adjusted because they are just not that important. The things that are important will be moved to the top of the priority list.
#4 Be honest with yourself
So there are still a million urgent, high priority #1 items on your list. I can totally relate.
Now is the time to be honest with yourself. If there is too much for you to do without harming your wellbeing then things need to change. Either you need to delegate more out to your team (or an external support team), or you need to cut things out or accept that they will take longer than you want them to. You don’t have to work yourself to the ground. It’s not worth it. Sometimes we need to lower our expectations of what we can do in the short term and be gentler on ourselves.
#5 One thing at a time
Once you are back in a clear head space and have your cut down list, it is time to take action again. As tempting as multi-tasking is, it usually isn’t very efficient! So remove the distractions and set focus to get one thing at a time done and tick it off. Usually we can get so much done in short focused time blocks if we work through the list systematically.
I trust this will help you when it feels like there is not enough time to get everything done to get out of overwhelm and back on track. Also know that our Inner Game affects our relationship with time. How we feel about time can influence what shows up for us. If we always feel like there is never enough time, then situations can occur to help create more of those feelings around us. So as well as the practical tips above, check in with your thoughts and feelings around time. If you have limiting or disempowering beliefs when it comes to time then it might be time to create some new supportive ones.