First of all, we can be overwhelmed with our business, our to-do lists, our email, our prospecting and follow up – so much so that none of it gets done, right? Ever been there?
So stuck on what to do that you can’t do anything productive at all?
Well, when (or if) that happens to you, I hope you stop to think first:
“What is the big goal that I am trying to achieve? What are the most productive things I can do to get me there?”
Then of course you want to prioritize those things and hold yourself accountable (or get someone else to) and get to work. Easier said than done, huh?
There is stress – and then there is overwhelm. One feeds the other.
Life has a way of sneaking up, heaping things on your plate and leaving us feeling overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed can leave us completely unproductive and at a loss of knowing what to do next. Especially when life throws you a curveball with issues in your business contract/clients, relationship, a death or sickness in the family, a child moving out to college or some other life-changing or tragic occurrence.
How are you supposed to focus then? How are you supposed to get things done then? How do you overcome those setbacks in life and get back to living the life you desire? Well, I may not be a psychotherapist or anything along those lines but what I do know is that it revolves around how you let yourself BE, feel and adapt to what’s going on that will make or break your results, your transformation or your lessons learned from that particular situation.
You can cuddle up on your sofa with a good chic-flick and wallow in your sadness for a day or two. Or, you can stand strong and tall and get back up on that horse so to speak; surrounding yourself with those who care about you, those who will pull you up and inspire you to perform your greatness.
How this relates to your business as an entrepreneur/executive is so obvious to me but might not be to you; let me explain…
In your business, you will have ups and downs. You will have successes and failures. You will have big boosts of revenue and big valleys of nothing at some point. It’s your big picture vision, your belief in yourself and what you are meant to do here on our planet and your stick-to-it determination to keep going, stepping up and stepping out regardless of what is going on in your life that will ensure your ultimate success and happiness.
So, how do you break the cycle? Here are some things you try to do to overcome that feeling of being overwhelmed:
1. Put it in perspective. Yes, times are tough. In fact, they’re pretty horrible. But where do you stand, in the grand scheme of things? Take a hard look at what’s going on around you. Look for the bright side – there always is one, somewhere – and hold on to it like a lifeline.
2. Look to the past. Have you been in this situation before? Has anyone you know been in it? It took me a while, but then I remembered what my own parents went through, when we were in the middle of bad economic times and they were struggling with day jobs and putting six kids thru school/college. How did they handle it? I’ll have to ask them, but the bottom line is that they got through it. Which means that now, 30 years later, I will, too.
3. Evaluate your responsibilities. Each person has many areas of life that they are responsible for. What are the things you must do each day to meet your obligations? List your responsibilities and determine what’s important to you.
4. Have a plan. How often do you chart out the steps you must take each day? Each hour? Make a plan and let it be your guide to keep you on course.
5. Take baby steps. Pick one thing – one small thing – and do it. Then another. Divide your day into hours, and if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, get through the day in five-minute chunks, if need be. The time will pass whether you’re constructive or not… might as well be constructive. Work in increments. Working in blocks of time designated to specific time allotments will make you more productive. Block off the time you need to be working on a certain aspect of your project and stick to that time frame.
6. Take breaks. Working without taking a break decreases your productivity and creativity. Realize that you will become a more efficient worker as you take the breaks that your body was designed to need. Be gentle with yourself. Being angry with yourself doesn’t make things better, and there’s no need to add guilt to the mix. Cut yourself some slack, take a short break, and give yourself a treat.
7. Take control of your mind. Often we overwhelm ourselves with the silent words that flow through our mind every moment of the day. When you speak about being overwhelmed your thoughts and then your behaviors will follow. Guard your thoughts for out of them flow your actions and your life. Create thoughts that banish the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Holding feeling and thoughts inside won’t work, especially for women. You know the secret to success? It’s your own ability to BE who you are and express what you feel. If we all did that this world would be such a better, more loving place.
For more information on how to jump start your small business (and your LIFE) with creative strategy and business building ideas and a clear plan to reach your unique target market find out how to talk with me in a complimentary Strategy Session, go fill out the questionnaire at eMBCinc.com.
Let’s plot out YOUR Big Picture Vision and Strategy now before it’s too late!
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.