6 Tips to Overcome Overwhelm in Your Business
Do you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do?
Does that to-do list just keep growing and growing?
You feel like you’re working all the time, but when you look back at all the things you DIDN’T accomplish, you wonder where all that time went?
It can be exhausting to constantly feel like you’re just barely keeping your head above water in your business. You know there is so much more you could be doing, but even the bare minimum tasks feel like they’re sucking all of your time away from you, leaving you totally overwhelmed and stressed.
And the worst part of it all? Feeling constantly overwhelmed and like you never have enough time to do it all will sabotage your success. All those clients you SAY you want? Deep down, you’re repelling them because you’re afraid you won’t have enough time to actually serve them.
This was absolutely the case for me when I first started my business. I was traveling full-time and cherished my freedom and spacious schedule more than anything else, so as soon as I would start to feel overwhelmed or stressed out about not having enough time to do everything I wanted to do for my business (and my life), I would immediately back off from all the things that would get me clients.
I kept myself stuck in this pattern for way too long because I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I was so frustrated by my lack of results, but I was also terrified of GETTING those results because I hated feeling so overwhelmed.
Can you relate? Time (and feeling like there’s never enough of it) is a theme that has been coming up a lot lately within my Facebook community, with my clients, and is definitely something I’ve had to work through in my entrepreneurial journey.
But the good news? If I was able to break the cycle of overwhelm and scale my business to a full coaching practice and $10k+ months WITHOUT sacrificing the spacious schedule I wanted so badly, SO CAN YOU. A big part of the work I do with my clients is putting systems and structures in place so they can be intentional and strategic about their time, and that’s exactly what I’m going to help you do today with the following 6 tips to overcome overwhelm in your business, so you can get big results AND have more time freedom.
Tip #1: Change your mindset around time.
On a daily basis, are you constantly thinking about how you don’t have enough time?
Remember, what you focus on always expands, so if you’re constantly thinking ‘not enough, not enough, not enough’ then of course that’s what’s going to continue to be true for you.
Think about the reality you WANT. Do you want to feel secure and grounded instead of panicking that there isn’t enough time? Do you want to feel free and like you have control over your schedule instead of like time is always slipping away from you?
Start thinking about small ways you can cultivate those feelings, and bringing those things into reality now. Maybe it’s carving out an hour to go do something you love that makes you feel free each week, like going on a walk or going to the beach. Maybe it’s having dedicated time each day to meditate and feel grounded in the present moment. Think of a few small shifts you can start making right now to start changing that reality little by little.
Then, start telling your new story. Where so many people get stuck with this is when they try to jump from one end of the spectrum to the other. If you’re feeling super stressed out about time, then you try to start telling yourself you have tons of freedom, it’s just going to make you even more irritated. So, bridge the gap little by little by reaching for better feeling thoughts.
Go grab your journal, and write whatever you’re feeling right now at the top. Maybe it’s something like, “I’m feeling so overwhelmed right now, and like no matter what I do, more and more things just keep getting added to my plate and I’ll never get it all done.”
So then, start reaching for some GENERALLY better-feeling thoughts around that subject. Don’t pressure yourself to jump right into ‘everything is perfect and I’m free as a bird,’ but focus on getting just a little relief. So:
Even if I don’t get everything done on my to do list today, I will still be okay.
Nothing bad is going to happen to me TOMORROW if everything on this list doesn’t get done.
And so on and so forth. Keep going with these statements until you FEEL a sense of relief. When we get so worked up in our minds, we turn things into WAY bigger problems than they are, so the purpose of these initial statements is to give yourself some perspective, and remind yourself that the world, in fact, is not ending.
So once you feel that initial relief, you can start reaching for more positive statements and actually start BELIEVING them:
I am getting better and better every day.
I release myself from the pressure of having to get it all done today.
I know that all I need to do is focus on my right next step.
There is nothing that I need to fix right this minute. I have the steps, and I can focus on them one by one.
Instead of spiraling into panic and overwhelm, your brain will naturally start gravitating toward the practiced thoughts that you’ve created in your journal, and your reality WILL start to change. It may feel difficult or like total bullshit at first, but I promise, if you stick with it, everything will start to feel so much easier.
Tip #2: Know where your time is going.
Are you finishing out each week feeling defeated because you didn’t make any real headway on the to do list you created in the beginning of the week?
What I see happening so often in this situation is people beating themselves up and putting themselves down for not getting it all done, which doesn’t actually serve them whatsoever, nor does it solve the problem because you still don’t have any answers.
Like I tell my clients all the time, you have to figure out a way for you to ‘win’ in this situation. If you’re making yourself ‘wrong’ for not getting it all done, and also making yourself ‘wrong’ for not knowing why you didn’t get it all done, that’s an un-winnable situation.
So stop with the blame game and start investigating. Start tracking your time every day for the next 7 days, from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. Keep a log of every activity you do, and how long you did it for. Don’t over-analyze it or try to do anything differently for these 7 days, just get the information.
At the end of the 7 days, take a look back through your log and you’ll start to see all the places you can start spending your time more intentionally. Are you getting distracted by stuff around the house? Start working from a coffee shop or co-working space a few days a week. Are you getting side tracked with errands and doing things for other people? Start having dedicated ‘work hours’, and let your friends and loved ones know what those are and ENFORCE that boundary.
Once you have the answers to where you’re spending all your time, you finally start to feel like you’ve regained some control, and can be more intentional about it.
Tip #3: Spend less time consuming content, and more time creating it.
You know you need to be creating and sharing content consistently in order to attract clients, but for some reason, days and weeks keep going by where you don’t get anything out there.
I have DEFINITELY been there, and this is the place where so many of my clients come to me at. They’re frustrated and confused because they KNOW what they need to be doing, but somehow, time slips away from them and the most important thing on the list keeps getting pushed to the back-burner.
In almost every single case, once we’ve done the mindset work and tracked their time to figure out where it’s all going each week, we discover that they are spending WAY too much time consuming content from other people instead of creating their own.
So the fastest way to get out of consuming mode and into creating mode is putting yourself on a good ol’ content detox. I recommend starting with a 30-day detox, where for that entire month, you commit to NOT consuming any content from anyone else. No live streams. No scrolling through social media. No podcasts that are industry-related. NOTHING.
My first coach made me do this in the beginning of my business and it was an absolute GAMECHANGER, and every time I’ve assigned a detox to my own clients, they’ve come out of it not only feeling like they have so much more time on their hands, but they’re also more confident, inspired, and creative.
BTW - if content is still feeling REALLY hard, go check out this blog post I did all about how to make your content creation process easier.
Tip #4: Break everything down into realistic blocks of time.
More often than not, people are spending a TON of time procrastinating and in analysis paralysis over a project instead of executing on it, which is exactly what leads to feeling super stressed, and checking exactly zero things off your to do list.
One of the things I teach my clients how to do from the very beginning is taking their big-picture vision, breaking it down into bite-sized tasks, then assigning a block of time to those tasks so they know exactly what they need to be accomplishing each week, and give themselves enough time to actually get it done.
So often, we put ourselves in these lose-lose situations where we have a totally unrealistic to-do list, and then proceed to beat ourselves up for not getting it done. When you assign blocks of time to your tasks, not only can you plan your week more strategically, but you’ll also start feeling so much more productive because you’ll only be putting things on your list that you can realistically get done in a day.
Again, the reason why we get overwhelmed or stressed out is usually because we feel like we have no control over the situation, so the more we can help you regain that control (by knowing where you’re time is going, deciding how much time you’ll spend, etc.), the more you’ll feel like you’re finally back in the driver’s seat of your life, instead of being dragged along behind the car.
Tip #5: Know which tasks will get you results, and PRIORITIZE.
The key to running a successful online business, AND having the freedom and spacious schedule that you’re craving, is by mastering and consistently executing on the tasks that lead directly to the result you want, and prioritizing those tasks before anything else.
If you don’t have money coming through the door, you don’t have a business. But so often, I see entrepreneurs getting side-tracked by things they think they SHOULD be doing (website, graphics, back-end tech and systems) instead of the things that WILL, without a doubt, get them a result faster than anything else.
Think about what those things are for your business, and make those your ‘bare minimums’. The things that you execute on first, every single day, before you even think about anything else on your to do list. Then at least you know you’re doing all the right things to get results, and can start viewing the rest as a bonus so you feel WAY more productive, and ditch the overwhelm for good.
And if you’re an online coach or service provider, and you don’t know what those things are, let’s fix that immediately – hop over to http://biztracker.thatfreedomlife.com/ and download your free activity tracker.
Tip #6: Know when you’re the most creative, and be selfish with that time.
When do you work best? Are you a morning person? Night owl? Mid-afternoon warrior?Think about the time when you feel your best, and typically get the most done in your day.
I know I have about 2 hours each day where I’m the most focused and creative, and it’s always in the morning. So that means mornings are sacred time for me, and I’ve created really strong boundaries around that time. If I have something that needs to get done, I don’t schedule appointments, I don’t scroll through social media, I don’t go on breakfast or coffee dates, etc.
I figure out what the one big task is that I need to accomplish for that day that needs the most brain power– and I usually decide on it the night before– and I do THAT THING before anything else.
So figure out what that time is for you, and start structuring your days around it. Look at your to do list, and create time blocks for the biggest projects during your ‘creative time,’ then prioritize the rest of your tasks accordingly. For example, if there’s something on the list that is busy work, or that you could do SUPER easily without thinking too much about it, schedule that in for the time that you’re least productive, and schedule the rest in between.
If you’re running an online business, you HAVE to be selfish with your creative time. You can give the other 22 hours of your day to the rest of the world, but for the love of all things holy, if you want this business of yours to get off the ground and make the impact you want to make, save those precious TWO hours of your best, most creative, most productive time for YOU and YOUR business.
So there ya have it! If you’ve been struggling with overwhelm and time management, I’d love for you to put the tips above into action and shoot me an email to let me know how it’s worked for you!
And, if you prefer to watch or listen to the 6 Tips to Overcome Overwhelm in Your Business, check out the replay of a livestream I did on this exact topic below!