I get it. It can honestly be SO easy to feel COMPLETELY overwhelmed.
Right now, I’m overwhelmed thinking about our basement.
We moved in about 5 months ago, and we still have SO many boxes to go through. As we go through and “declutter” rooms in our house, our basement has turned into the designated dumping ground. It’s the place we’ll get to last because it’s the place that no one sees. (Oh boy, this could be a whole other post!)
I have to go downstairs to do laundry. And every time I walk downstairs my heart sinks. It’s like a tornado came through. I’m embarrassed for myself. The mess is so big, though, that I don’t even know where to begin attacking it.
So I sit here in a fog feeling overwhelmed and unsure.
But I know I need to get things done. I won’t let the overwhelm, well, overwhelm.
First, I ask myself what it is that feels overwhelming:
TOO MANY OPTIONS
With so many things to do, I was face-to-face with decision paralysis. According to Psychology Today, “If you’re surrounded by an abundance of options, you typically end up less satisfied with your final decision than if you’d been given fewer options in the first place.”
In other words, I had too much to do, and even the thought of how much was ahead paralyzed me from even starting.
There really is beauty in simplicity, and in this case, less really is more!
Unrealistic expectations are such a killer in so many areas. As a musician, I often compare this to an adult learning how to play the piano for the first time. We KNOW what piano playing looks like. We KNOW what it can be. Heck no do we want to repetitively practice “Hot cross buns” over and over. We want to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and we want to play it NOW!
When our expectations are set too high and the goal seems unattainable, we freeze. We don’t see how we will ever accomplish it, so we don’t even try.
LACK OF PRIORITIES
Are you like me?
Do you find yourself daydreaming (and not the fun kind of daydream of yourself relaxing on a beach) about your never-ending to-do list?
Yeah, I thought so.
Having a long to-do list AND putting extreme pressure on ourselves to accomplish #allthethings only compounds when we don’t set priorities. Without priorities, we feel scattered and don’t know where to start. Add that to high expectations and too many options, and it’s no wonder we find ourselves paralyzed.
Once I’ve determined what’s overwhelming me, I am able to:
SET AN INTENTION
Instead of mindlessly going through our to-do list, let’s prevent overwhelm by setting a daily intention. What am I able to do TODAY? What is my ONE focus today? Even if I only got this one thing checked off my list, I would feel accomplished. Choose productivity over chaos, y’all!
PRIORITIZE THE HELL OUT OF IT
Look over your list of to-dos again. What can you delegate? What can wait for another time? What can you remove altogether? (Yep, there are likely items on your to-do list that just aren’t necessary anymore.) Overall, what are the critical steps to achieving your goals? You definitely don’t need a fancy planner to do this–a simple notebook will work! But if you’re like me and appreciate having a little more structure, click here.
I will level set with you on this step. This type of prioritizing can often feel like a selfish thing (which just adds to the stress). Been there, done that. You have to say “no” to something in order to truly prioritize. It’s hard to turn down or put off things you want to do, but it’s necessary. At least for now. Imagine the result: a lighter, more manageable workload!
TAKE ACTION : THINK BIG, BUT START SMALL
Do you ever write a checklist or to-do list and include items like: “Write to-do list” just so you can check it off? Yeah, you’re not alone! In fact, it’s very smart that you’re doing that because it sets you up for success. I often start with a small task because I know I can get it completed. Taking the first step can be difficult during the overwhelm, so being able to right away check something off the list can be so freeing. Think big, but start small.
While I recognize it’s not a one-size-fits-all remedy, the principles are the same.
We especially take this to heart within our business and offer great freebies like the Party Planner, New Consultant Checklist, and even the new 24-hour Getting Started Checklist with your AnchorCard. You can take immediate actions and not forget to tackle it all.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re constantly starting things and then giving up. It’s important to set yourself up for success so you’re able to follow through. Simple = sustainable.
With the right framework and mindset, ladies, anything is possible!