As an entrepreneur, you often wonder how you can get out of overwhelm. Because when you started your own business, you probably did it to have more freedom. Freedom to make your own choices, to live life on your own terms and freedom to feel powerful.
But then suddenly the business takes off, you get a bunch of demanding clients and your to-do list explodes. In other words, you're way too overwhelmed and already wondering how to get out of it. As a result, that freedom you longed for is nowhere to be found.
Sound familiar? Hmm, I thought so. Let's go over the 3 tips I have for you to get out of overwhelm.
My 3 tips to get out of overwhelm
Getting out of overwhelm doesn't have to be difficult, not at all even. Are you ready to make it easy for you to control the amount of stress the entrepreneurial life brings you? Let's take those first steps toward actual freedom together.
1. Create Your Ideal Schedule
Focus on the YOUR in this tip. Overwhelm often is created because you're too busy worrying about your competition or even your customers. Now of course, you should think of your clients and what they need. However, your personal schedule should be equally important.
First things first: what you should always schedule for yourself regularly is self care. Prioritize this before anything else, even your clients and their needs. You won't feel the need to get out of overwhelm as often if you religiously commit to self care once a week or once a month.
Secondly: remember to eat and if you have the habit of forgetting to – like me, also include them in your schedule. We need to eat to keep our blood sugar levels stable, and to allow us to function at our best.
“You won't feel the need to get out of overwhelm as often if you religiously commit to self care once a week or once a month.”
What many entrepreneurs forget to prioritize is their sleep. At first, you might think ‘let me put in a lot of hours and then the results will come in' but then it becomes your new normal and that, my friend, is not meant to happen. When you're tired, the overwhelm will come quicker and it will become harder to get out of it. Additionally, a good night's sleep helps you stay focused instead of falling into a lull halfway into your day.
Now I know, lots of entrepreneurs fear resting, because they think they won't find the drive to get back up afterwards. But I can promise you, after coaching hundreds of people, you will want to get up again.
What specifically do you need to do to avoid or get out of overwhelm? Create your ideal schedule without focusing on the HOW, instead focus on WHAT it is you want.
2. Only say yes to activities that are worth your time
The second tip I'd like to share with you when it comes to getting out of overwhelm or avoid it altogether is to only say yes to activities you actually want to do – the ones that are actually worth your time.
Imagine for a second you get multiple invites and some you're really excited about while others already feel like a drag to you. When you're already feeling overwhelmed saying yes to the ones that sound like your personal hell won't help you get out of that feeling.
This applies to both your business and your personal life. It's in line with guarding your energy and caring for yourself.
I can hear you thinking, “But Amy, how do I know if it's something that's worth it to me?”
Follow your gut feeling is what I would say. When you get the invitation, base your decision on the first thought or feeling that enters your mind. Look for that yes feeling; which feels light and airy.
A small reminder I'd like to give you as well is: don't agree to anything out of guilt. You don't owe anyone anything. You owe yourself a happy mind and body, so put that above all else. Find out what fills your cup not what drains it because you can't pour from an empty cup. So again, this turns back to sleep; when you lack rest, the overwhelm will catch up to you and it won't be easy to get out of it.
3. Write Things Down
What should you write down? Things you can't forget. People have the habit of mulling over different things while lying in bed and they usually don't have a notepad on the bedside table. Make sure you have a designated space to write things down you can't forget, like a task or certain groceries. I think we've covered that sleep is crucial when you want to get out of overwhelm or avoid it altogether, but when you're thinking too much while in bed, you'll never be able to get a good night's sleep.
A method that has worked well and still works for me? The CBA principle – Catch, Batch, Act. Read more about it in my article about the CBA principle.
When you’re so overwhelmed that you can’t even remember what you forgot to remember, writing everything down is your only hope for getting things done. This is how you start getting out of your overwhelm. And that is what the CBA principle will help you accomplish.
Get out of overwhelm by starting small
So while eventually it would be great to implement all the advice here, don’t focus on that now. For now, just pick one action that would make a big difference to your life.
Once you've noticed that this one action helps you get out of your overwhelm and it actually brought about change, you can start thinking about which one to apply next.
To conclude: forget about the shoulds in the world and focus on your wants. It's only by focussing on your wants that you'll be able to stay farther away from overwhelm and it'll be easier to get out of it when it does happen to you.
Also remember that overwhelming feelings don't last forever and you will eventually get out of them.
You got this!
PS Do you want to know how I start every day so my overwhelm doesn't even have a chance at getting me? I take 15 minutes to do my FastForward15 exercise.
Fast track your focus by doing this exercise daily and watch that overwhelm wither and die. In my FastForward15 videotraining, I explain it to you in detail so you can reap the benefits too.