… and recover the energy to achieve your goals and dreams.
Overwhelm has been a recurring theme lately. It’s a problem for many people especially solopreneurs, and even soulopreneurs!
You want to achieve your big vision and goals, but life gets in the way, time is flying by and there just aren’t enough hours in the day… or so it seems.
Here are 5 simple steps to help you overcome overwhelm using the 3M’s of Mindfulness, Manifestation and Management.
Step 1 The Power of Intention
Words are powerful manifesters, so be mindful of what you express as you may manifest the opposite of what you want! Every time you think or say that there aren’t enough hours in the day, that’s what manifests. Time is relative, as Einstein’s theory states, so when you are stressed and in a hurry to get something done, time rushes by – the opposite of what you want it to do.
The intention I express when I know I have a long to do list is to say”there are plenty of hours in the day to get the important things done”. Try it! Just saying that can make you feel calmer and clear your mind to get more done.
Step 2 Slow Down and Breathe
First of all, take a couple of minutes and breathe deeply, focusing completely on your breath. That in itself will give you a feeling of inner peace.
Just focusing on your breathing will also slow down your thoughts and your reactions, which will give you the space to think clearly. I have a saying I developed from my work with horses – the more time you take, the faster you’ll get there. I know that seems counter-intuitive but it’s true. Horses pick up on your energy when you try to rush them, and instead of achieving the result you want, you achieve the opposite and make the situation worse.
When you try to rush a task, at the same time thinking about all the other things on your list, the quality of your work suffers and you feel stressed so the energy attached to the outcome is affected too. (Remember, everything is energy and vibration.) Your mind flits from one task to the other so instead of achieving your task faster it actually takes longer.
Step 3 Reassess, Re-prioritize and Refocus
Are the things on your list REALLY important? Reassess them and cross off or reschedule the ones that aren’t important or urgent. Is your overwhelm due to what’s happening today or is it an ongoing problem? If it’s today, just focus on what absolutely MUST be done today which would have dire consequences if they don’t get done. Then you can start tomorrow with a whole new approach feeling good that you got the important stuff done.
Also assess why you’re feeling overwhelmed. Is it due to things outside your control or under your control? If it’s outside of your control – your child got sick so you had to drop everything to pick her up from school or you got a flat tire on the way back from an appointment so you had to wait for the roadside rescue to change it for you. The best way to approach these situations is to practice acceptance, then do steps 1 and 2.
If it is due to things under your control, it’s time to take the necessary steps to correct the problem. Perhaps you’ve been procrastinating and putting off doing the work until the last minute so you’re up against a tight deadline. Maybe you didn’t have a plan with clear steps to take to complete the work within the time available. Perhaps you’ve taken on too much and need to learn to say no. Once you’ve got over the immediate need to get things done today, it’s time to recognize what you need to change in yourself stop (or minimize) this happening in the future.
Step 4 Single-Tasking – Not Multi-Tasking
There’s an interesting study that confirms that women are better at multi-tasking than men (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24645100), but the study also says that
Both women and men slowed down, and made more mistakes, as the switching became more rapid.
The problem with multi-tasking is that you are introducing interruption, which means that every time you switch tasks you have to spend time getting back to the point where you left off.
This brings me back to step 3 – reassess, re-prioritize and refocus, then do one thing at a time in the right sequence.
The study also says
A group of women and men were given eight minutes to complete a series of tasks – locating restaurants on a map, doing simple maths problems, answering a phone call, and deciding how they would search for a lost key in a field.
Completing all these assignments in eight minutes was impossible – so it forced men and women to prioritize, organize their time, and keep calm under pressure.
Follow that same process and you’ll work more effectively and efficiently to get the essential work done in the time available.
Step 5 Baby Steps
The common saying ‘the devil is in the detail’ actually originated from an earlier expression ‘God is in the detail’. I like to say ‘the Divine is in the detail’ as it is those baby steps that move you from where you are now to the achievement of your goal.
When you have a plan made up of small steps you don’t waste time thinking through what you need to do every time you work on that particular project. You can just look at your plan and get straight to completing the next task.
If you make each task too big, you immediately risk introducing resistance (“I haven’t time to do that right now” or “It’s too hard”) resulting in procrastination and missed deadlines, extending the time that it will take to achieve the end goal or outcome, or even making you give up completely.
Invest time in making a plan so you become more efficient in your use of time. Make each step in the plan the smallest possible so you avoid creating resistance (for help with this read the excellent book ‘One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way‘), plus the more small tasks you can complete, the more you have to celebrate and really feel good about yourself.
More ways to deal with overwhelm
I wrote another article on overwhelm back in 2014 that gives additional tips on how to beat overwhelm and how to prevent it. You can find that article here.
Follow this advice and you’ll not only reduce your stress levels due to overwhelm, you’ll also become more productive by adopting these time management strategies.