22 Apr What to do, when you don’t know what to do!
Very often I find common themes developing amongst my clients – and I always like to share them with you as I know if they’re experiencing something, you may well be too 🙂
So last week was the turn of OVERWHELM.
Pretty much every business owner I worked with in the last week came to our sessions armed with a huge to-do list and a sense of panic, ‘I don’t know where to start, I can’t possibly get all this done’.
So I took them through the steps below, and you’ll be pleased to hear they all left our sessions with a clear plan of next steps, time scheduled in to do it, and feeling back in control and calmer.
1. GET THE BASIC TOOLS RIGHT – you don’t need the latest time management app, programme or book, but you do need to have a decent diary that helps you plan your time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s online or a paper version, make sure it adds value to you and helps you clearly see what you need to do, rather than filling you with a sense of panic when you look at it.
As soon as one of my clients took out her diary last week, I could immediately see why she wasn’t feeling in control of her time. It was a tiny thing, with hardly any space to write in for each day, and looked a complete mess to be blunt!
(My own preference is using a filofax, personal size, with a week on 2 pages horizontal layout, with hour by hour appointment times, in case you’re interested.)
2. DREAM BIG, BUT KEEP YOUR FOCUS SMALL – having big goals is great, but they can simply be overwhelming when you look at them and see how far away they are.
Always make sure you keep your to-do list focused on the small actions that are moving you there.
This is probably one of the best ways to banish overwhelm – break everything down to, ‘What is my next small step?’
These will be small actions such as make a call, set up a meeting, type up a report etc. Focus on what you can do right now.
3. TAKE THE TIME TO STEP BACK – It’s the old ‘can’t see the forest for all the trees’ moment. When you have so much to do, the temptation is to just keep going and working through it.
But what actually happens is you waste time energy on thinking too much, worrying, procrastinating and doing things that aren’t really adding any value. Your progress stalls, even though you’re busy.
One of my clients last week actually said she nearly rescheduled our session as she had so much on, but she knew deep down it was exactly what she needed to do, in order to move forward.
And yes, she was absolutely right! She came in thinking she had about 7 days worth of work to fit into 1 day, and she went away with a list of 6 small actions she needed to do now, taking no more than 2 hours to do.
4. USE YOUR DIARY PRO-ACTIVELY – most people just use their diary to book in appointments with other people, but used correctly this is the best way to manage your time and get stuff done.
Use it to book in time to do the next steps, after the next steps!
This takes it off your list and out of your mind, so you need to waste energy thinking about it and feeling overwhelmed every time you see it on your list.
5. GET HELP! – Very often, when you’re in the middle of overwhelm, it’s really hard to see anything clearly. You end up going round like a whirlwind, stirring up more chaos!
Having someone to guide you though it, and get you clear again, is invaluable.
It’s also crucial to have somebody holding you accountable on your journey – getting out of overwhelm is simply the first part to achieving your goals.
If you’re curious to see how I can help you, there are 2 options you have right now:
1. Book in for the half day workshop I’m running on 13th May, ‘How to work less hours and get more done’ and you’ll come away with a clear plan of next steps and feel back in control. (Hurry though as the early bird discount ends today).
Find out more and book here.
2. If you can’t make the workshop, book in for a complimentary 30 minute strategy call with me, here.