The Formula To Eliminating Overwhelm in Life and Business
A couple days ago I asked my Instagram followers what their biggest pain points are. A few people responded back, but one particular response stuck out. It was about balancing your everyday life demands and focusing on your goals. This stuck out to me because I've gone through this before and even wrote about it on the blog before (GTKY: 3 Things Keep In Mind). Nevertheless, the comment is a topic that I want to discuss today. Overwhelm isn't new, we all go through it and not just in our business, but in life, period. There is no straight answer to getting rid of overwhelm, but today I'm breaking down the many ways that you can help manage your overwhelm and take control of it instead of it taking control of you.
1. Prioritize your priorities
Everything you set as a priority may not actually be one. We do a lot throughout the course of a day and everything can feel like a priority, but it may not be. We all have non-negotiable, priorities that cannot come second to anything else, but we can tend to all of those things at one time. Think of your responsibilities as a triage. Whenever the hospital has patient, they care for them in the order of urgency. The person closest to dying gets help first. The same process can be applied to your priorities. When you sense that your responsibilities are becoming overbearing ask yourself, what do I need to do in the next minute? If you can answer that question and get the task done, move on to what needs to be done in an hour, and continue on until you've completed your tasks or until you've become less stressed on how you're going to get things done.
2. Plan in advance
it never registered to me while living in my parents home that planning the night before helps so much. I love the days where I can do all that I need to do the day before, making tomorrow morning easy. Planning in advance can make or break your day. If you feel that you're falling behind on something, it might be because you didn't plan ahead. It happens. We all go through it, including me. There is no one-way to plan ahead, just do what you can to prepare for what's to come.
3. Set Up Reminders
Reminders are a good way to knowing what needs to get done and when. Besides an alarm clock reminding you to get up, you should set alarms for the most important things happening in your day. Don't get annoyed if your phone is going off a few times throughout the day. Reminders are there to help you remember the important things that need to get done.
4. Know where your time is going
In addition to reminders, knowing where your time is going is also important. We waste a lot of time. I'm definitely guilty of doing so. How often do you find yourself sitting down on your phone, on social media? You might click a link or two and only waste five minutes doing so, but eventually, you lose track of time and those same five minutes have now turned into 35 minutes.
It's easy to say that we don't have enough time in a day to do what we need to do, but when you think about it, we actually do. All the time we spending wasting could be time spent doing something important. To figure out where your time is going take note of the many times that you've spent doing something unproductive. Take note of how long you were doing it and find ways to maximize the time instead of wasting it.
While I'm at my day job, I spend my downtime reading articles on social media, business, productivity, etc. I save these same articles so that I can share them on my social media platforms on days that I don't have anything to share from the blog. I do the same thing for grocery store shopping, meal planning, and brainstorming blog ideas.
5. Set up systems & processes
Systems are key to getting through overwhelm. One particular system that I use is batch processing. Batching is gathering together certain tasks to get done. For the blog, I do my best to batch write all my blog posts for an entire week. I will spend a few hours writing the posts and then another set of hours editing and proofreading and design my graphics for it. All of this helps me save time from writing in real time, which will be harder.
In addition to batch processing, I have an entire process of completing my blog post. On Tuesday, I scheduled times to batch write my posts. On Wednesday, I batch edit and proofread. On Thursday, I batch create any worksheets, guides, manuals that my readers can freely download. Thursdays are also for batch recording my podcast episodes. By Friday, I should have at least 3 blog posts ready to publish and at least one podcast ready to be uploaded on iTunes or Soundcloud. My process ends on Sunday where I schedule my content to be shared and promoted on social media for the week. The next Tuesday, the process starts all over again.
Figure out the systems and processes you need to create to help you stress less about getting things done. Write down from start to finish what it looks like to cook for the entire week, what it looks like to get the house clean, what it looks like to maintain your business on a daily-weekly basis. Having systems and processes in place helps in knowing what it is you need to do and when.
6. Stop doing everything
Now that I am a mom, I'm guilty of taking on the "Icantodoitall" mentality. The truth is I can't, and I shouldn't want to do it all, and neither should you. Learn how to use your resources, especially when it matters most. Some days I am happy to know that my fiancé can care for our son while I get the house clean or cook dinner. And when I need to let him get some rest or downtime, I will take and entertain the baby.
The idea isn't the burn yourself from having to do everything. Having that mentality will cause you to feeling entirely exhausted and not operate at your full potential. Figure out what tasks or responsibilities can be given to someone else. Delegate tasks that you simply cannot get done or don't have the time for. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but that doesn't mean we need to work all 24 of them.