Ahh, overwhelm! That old chestnut!
I REALLY need to get this done, but…
…I keep getting distracted.
…I just don’t know where to start.
…I’m feeling really overwhelmed.
…I’m just not sure I can do this.
Can you relate to this? Do you sometimes get stuck in the mud and struggle for motivation in your business; at the same time as feeling the pressure and stress of needing to run your business, achieve your goals AND make money?
As an entrepreneur myself I know that this is an issue for many of us.
So how can you get from Point A (procrastinating and stuck) to Point B (achieving that big, scary project or task on your to-do list), when getting there feels like wading through treacle and we’ve got no motivation?
We probably all know that we need to:
Remove overwhelm—Feel really motivated—Be really productive—Have zero procrastination—Get on and do it!
I know this sounds easier said than done but keep reading as I can tell you how (and it’s actually pretty easy believe it or not!!). These are my TOP TIPS on how to step out of overwhelm and reduce the external and internal NOISE that’s getting in the way of you achieving that big, scary project or task that’s been hanging around on your to-do list and is doing your self belief NO GOOD.
FIRST UP: Empty your head!
Have you ever tried to empty your head before? If finding headspace is a new concept to you then it’s worth having a think about the activities that quieten your mind and help you feel clear-headed and then trying them out a bit until you get to one that really works. For me it’s journaling. I just pick up a pen and a notebook and I free write all of the things that are in my head, no paragraphs, no punctuation, no real thinking about what I’m writing – I just get it out.
Other things that might work are meditating; going for a run; or having a chat with a fellow entrepreneur or someone who really gets your business and can understand where you’re coming from when you share your brain dump.
NEXT: Sort out the things you really have to do
To-do lists can actually create noise so here’s a tip that I use to sort mine out and prioritise them into the things that I HAVE to do:
- Take each point on your to-do list and break it down into individual tasks, for example, rather than “Update website” you’d write “Upload new photos to website” / “Update sales copy,” etc. It makes the list longer – but bear with me on this!
- Write each task on a post-it note (1 task only per note).
- Get a red, orange and green pen and mark each note according to urgency. Red = urgent, orange = important and green = non-urgent (but needed to be written down to get it out of your head).
- Arrange the notes in order, with red at the top, then orange and, lastly, green.
- Put realistic completion dates on all of them.
- Do the task on the date that you’ve noted it for!
I use this all the time – it’s so good for freeing up my creativity and productivity, which otherwise gets drained away by overwhelm during challenging times.
AND FINALLY: Remove any remaining noise and give yourself some time pressure!
SO, you’ve cleared your mind and re-assessed your top priority tasks. Now it’s time to get on and DO IT! But there are still things that could get in your way and divert you from being as creative and productive as you could be. This is a really common one when we run our businesses from home, too, as all of the home environment pressures and tasks can creep in. So prepare your environment to remove those distractions. For me that’s making a brew; opening the window; lighting a scented candle; making sure the dogs aren’t going to bother me; closing all other programmes and windows on my laptop; and putting my phone on silent.
I followed the approach that I’ve described above, using the mindset of “don’t aim for perfection, just get it done” recently, when I was re-writing my sales copy for my new website. I had to be out of the house 45 minutes later so I had a strict time pressure and I knew what I wanted to achieve in that time. Not only did it totally work, but it also worked wonders for my confidence and self-belief! AND, within 90 minutes of sending the new copy live I’d made a few £1000 of new sales!
It’s SO easy to get distracted and pulled into places that aren’t actually what you’re working on in your business at the time. Removing all that noise is what enabled me to get where I need to go with something that was seriously affecting my mindset.
I’d love to hear from you if this is something that you’re affected by or you can relate to – share your comments below and if you want more top tips like this then the place to be to hear it first is Self-Belief School – my free facebook community.