As a Productivity & Success Coach I work with women who are striving to reach goals and create their version of a successful, meaningful life. They have big dreams and ideas for what they want to accomplish in life but they don’t know how to make it happen. When they come to me they are usually at a stand still and don’t know how to move forward. They are overcome by overwhelm.
So what causes overwhelm in the first place?
The main causes over overwhelm I see are: having too high of expectations, taking on too much at once, having a negative mindset, trying to do everything perfectly and trying to be in control of everything.
How to Ditch the Overwhelm
No successful person has achieved their success in a state of overwhelm. We must learn how to overcome the overwhelm so we can achieve our goals. Here are 5 steps I have my clients go through. Try them out for yourself and ditch the overwhelm for good!
Get out a pen and a notebook and make a braindump of everything that’s on your mind. This often includes things that are stressing you out in life, things you want to accomplish, projects you want to do, things that need to be done. Anything that is cluttering your mind needs to be captured on paper.
Next, pick out all of the items that can be put off til later. Make a separate list of these items and rest assured that you will get to them eventually.
Now pick out all of the items that you can have someone else do. Maybe this person is a friend or family member or maybe it’s someone you will hire to help you. We must come to terms with the fact that we can’t do everything ourselves.
Being a control freak myself, this was a huge one for me to overcome. People really do like being helpful and if you give them a chance to bring you value they really appreciate the opportunity. This gives them a chance to use their talents and gifts in a way that helps someone else and gives them some satisfaction. Think of it as if you’re being selfish NOT to let them help you.
Next, you can pick out the items that really don’t need to be done at all and simply delete them from your mind.
The items left on your list are things that you will need to do. Go ahead and write this list in order of priority. What needs to be done first, second, third, and so on. When you become clear as to what is most urgent and important you can feel more comfortable focusing on one thing at a time.
How to Prevent Overwhelm
Every day should have a chunk of time set aside for working on these tasks. Even 15-20 minutes can make a big difference in the course of a week. In order to keep yourself motivated I recommend only scheduling 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs) per day. I want you to end the day feeling very productive and successful. Keeping our minds positive will allow us to move forward every single day. We never want to start the next day feeling like we’re already behind.
It’s also important to have weekly reflection meetings with yourself to see how much you did that week and celebrate all of your small wins. Achieving our big goals is a process that stretches over several weeks, months and even years. This is a marathon, not a sprint so remember the phrase, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Anytime you feel overwhelm creeping back into your mind, go ahead and do the 5-step process I outlined above. At first you may be going through that process every day and that’s okay! Over time you will be a pro at keeping the overwhelm at bay and you will be on your way to all the success you’ve dreamed of!