As online entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to feel overwhelmed from time to time.
Some of the leading causes of this are from multitasking, taking on too many projects at once, trying to do things that are outside of our comfort zones, attempting to meet impending deadlines, or for many people trying to balance their online business with their full-time job and family.
Most of the time, a sense of overwhelm creates either procrastination or a "freeze" where we have so much to do we don't have any idea where to start, and so we don't get anything done.
You have to be very careful when you start feeling overwhelmed, though, because it can also lead to severe stress and even outright anxiety.
Fortunately, when you start feeling overwhelmed, there are several helpful ways you can deal with it.
If you're feeling overwhelmed to the point where nothing is getting done, it can be very helpful to walk away for a little while. This simply means doing something completely different from what you were doing when you started to feel overwhelmed.
You can take a walk, call a friend, go for a drive or even take a short nap.
Two important things to keep in mind when you walk away are to a set time to return to your tasks and not to spend your time away thinking about what you "should be" doing instead.
Walking away is meant to give your brain a chance to regroup.
Create a priority list
If your sense of overwhelm is coming from either too much to do or from the stress of an upcoming deadline, you can create a priority list.
The easiest way to do that is to create a list of everything that you are working on. Then, assign numbers next to each task indicating its importance. For example, a 1 could be something that has to be done today, a 2 is something that is high priority, but doesn’t have to be done today, and so on.
Then, create a new fresh list on a separate piece of paper or in a separate notepad window that only has the top priority items. Make those the only things you focus on and nothing else. Let yourself know that as long as you get those things and only those things done, you've had a successful day.
Many times we see so many tasks that need to be accomplished, we forget that some of them can be put off. A lot of us are in the habit of fighting procrastination so much that we try not to put anything off, which only leads to trying to do everything at once.
The problem with that, of course, is that we get overwhelmed! It can become a vicious cycle if we don't take a little bit of time prioritizing our tasks.
Develop a plan of action
Sometimes overwhelm comes from just trying to get too much done at one time. This happens a lot when we have a project that we are working on and it has many components.
For example, if we have a product launch approaching, we might need to finish editing the PDF or videos, get the sales letter finished, make sure the affiliate page is up, resize and edit the graphics that we'll be using, get everything uploaded, and get the information properly loaded into the affiliate payment system. That's only part of it and we still have to maintain our family, work the other job if we have one, and network with affiliates so that when we launch there are actually people to promote it!
When dealing with projects, much of this stress and overwhelm is caused when we don't have a clear and concise plan of action.
Creating a plan of action is similar to what we discussed above when for dealing with prioritizing, but now we are also putting things in a specific order with sub-deadlines for each individual item.
Think of a plan of action like a map. A map tells us exactly what route to take to arrive at our destination. A proper plan of action is exactly the same thing. The only difference is that it also includes the time frames to complete each leg of the journey.
The “Success Formula” report on the Free Downloads page of this website can shed some additional insight into actionable steps to reach a particular goal. Be sure to download it.
Sometimes just taking a few moments to close your eyes and actually breathe can make a huge difference in relieving the sense of overwhelm. Standing up while you do that or maybe even doing a few jumping jacks is not a bad idea either!
There are also breathing exercises that can be done that will invigorate the body and the mind. You can Google "breathing exercises" or if you are open to meditation or yoga, Google the phrase “pranayama”.
The simple act of conscious breathing can, in and of itself, relieve a lot of stress and allow us to approach our tasks with newfound energy.
Ask for help
Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing, especially for us entrepreneur types that like to think we can do it all!
However, the reality is, while we can be a jack of all trades, we cannot usually be very productive that way.
Using the example above, if we have a product launch coming, it would behoove us to have a copywriter do the copy, a graphic artist do the graphic work, a technical person handle all of the web items, etc.
I know a lot of people, when just starting out, feel that is not feasible or affordable. I understand that notion, but how affordable is it if you're not getting anything done in a timely manner?
Even if you are not in a position to outsource anything at the moment, you can still ask for help, opinions and assistance.
Instead of spending two hours Googling how to change something in WordPress, you can get on Facebook or one of the forums that you belong to and ask someone to help you figure it out.
Not only will this give you a quicker answer, it will help you network with other people that are willing and able to help, and in some cases they will jump at the chance of helping. You can in turn help them down the road.
This is how great relationships are built.
Probably the most important thing in overcoming the feeling of being overwhelmed is to be aware of when that feeling begins to arise.
If you catch it before it becomes full blown stress or anxiety, it is much easier to keep at bay.
Put these methods in practice and enjoy a more stress-free day!
If you have any other successful techniques that you have used to rid yourself of the feeling of being overwhelmed, feel free to comment below.
We would love to hear what has worked for you!
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