Challenge: The 21st century brings with it a new level in the state of "overwhelm." Every day we fit in errands to cover basic necessities, social time with friends and family, daily emails, phone calls and texts, caring for children, maintaining good health, etc.
If you’re a business owner, you can now add to that already extensive list a host of decisions to make, skills to develop and tasks to complete. At the end of the day, the money in your bank account is a direct result of your ability to successfully make those decisions or complete the tasks.
Impact: This combination puts many of us into a state of overwhelm and can lead to two extremes:
* we run around trying to do everything at once without enjoying our activities or doing them well; or
* we freeze not knowing what to do first.
And then there’s every conceivable reaction in between.
When things don’t get done or events missed, we experience the feeling of failure, regret, resignation and even resentment of our business or family for pulling us in so many directions.
Practices: It’s important to realize "overwhelm" is as much a state of mind as it is a situation. Start with these steps to move beyond it:
1. Work with a friend, spouse, colleague or coach on a weekly or even daily basis – just a few minutes a day is enough – to verbally process what’s going on in your head. They don’t even have to respond. Explaining things out loud is one of the easiest way to clarify priorities for yourself.
2. Establish a physical to-do mechanism. Use a list, a job jar, whatever works for you and revisit it every morning. Prioritize as A (important and urgent), B (important, not urgent) or C (not that important, not urgent)
3. Give up the feeling that you’re a failure or somehow incomplete if you can’t do everything. At the end of the day, be able accept that you did what you did and see tomorrow as a new opportunity.