Do you ever get the frustrated feeling that you’ve been working absolutely nonstop for the last few days or even the last few weeks but somehow you’re just not making the inroads that you want to?
Do you feel as though everything you have to do for your business is just overwhelming? Like you’re struggling to see the wood for the trees and struggling to see any real progress?
Because I’m working with a few new clients at the moment it feels like I’m talking to quite a lot of people about this right now. And to be honest, I think its one of the most common challenges of growing a business.
So I thought I would share three of my key tips to help you handle this. And the good news is that I’m going to deliberately keep this article nice and short because it doesn’t make sense to ask you to read a looooong blog about feeling overwhelmed does it?
Tip 1: Focus on the short term
So, my very first tip whenever you feel like you’ve just got too much going on is to change your focus and keep it short term.
One of the biggest causes of feeling overwhelmed is thinking about the eight bazillion things that you want to do to grow your business this year; about all the different products you want to design, the processes that you want to put in place, the marketing that you want to do and so on and so on.
But you simply can’t deal with all of those things at once. You can’t handle all of that right here right now. So stop trying to focus on all of it!
Look for the key priorities and just focus on what you can do this week or this month.
It may be that you’re really keen to overhaul a meaty part of your business. Perhaps something like developing and documenting all your processes, which can feel like an enormous project.
But if you reframe it to think about developing the processes one at a time and completing one each week, then you’d have 12 new processes in your business in the next 3 months, which would be amazing progress wouldn’t it?
But if you try and focus on the whole project it’ll probably feel like an insurmountable mountain and feel thoroughly overwhelming.
So just strip it back and think about the key focus for this week and the key focus for this month and everything else can wait.
Tip 2: Get the stress out of your head
One of the biggest sources of overwhelm is having a million things going around in your head because that’s the only place they’re stored. It’s when that happens that you’re likely to find random ‘things you mustn’t forget’ jumping out at you from the second you wake up in the morning right through to you lying in bed at night and desperately failing to get to sleep.
Or every moment that you’re driving, or showering, or pausing for a few seconds. The billion things in your head just keep hitting you.
“I’ve got to remember this, got to remember this, got to remember this.”
And that can make things feel out of control and make you feel as though you’re under constant pressure.
So the key is to get every single thing out of your head. Create yourself the ‘everything that ever needs doing list’. But remember, it doesn’t all need doing now.
You’re still going to stay focused on what needs doing this week and this month, but once everything is out of your head and either down on paper or down into a task management system, whichever you prefer, then it doesn’t have to sit in your head and cause that feeling of kind of panic and stress. So that’s tip two.
Tip 3: Keep a clear target in mind
The final tip is to make sure that you’re always working towards a single clear target. That could be a financial target that you’re aiming for, or it may be a target number of new customers you want to work with, or the number of processes that you want to create, or perhaps a large piece of work or a big project that you want to get completed.
The key is to have that distinct clarity on your number one target right now. Because that helps you avoid the urge to work on a million different things at once, and keeps you focused on the specific things you need to work on right here right now.
So those are my three big tips to stop you feeling so overwhelmed:
Keep a short-term focus on this week and this month.
Make a list of all the ‘stuff’ that’s going around in your head so you don’t have to store any of it in there any more.
And make sure you’re working towards a single clear target to keep you focused.
If you know that staying focused and make clear progress is particularly challenging for you and you’d like some more specific help with that then get in touch and let’s share some ideas.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts or extra ideas about this blog so please feel free to leave a comment below or send this to anybody else who you think might benefit from reading it.