On a daily basis, we’re constantly being bombarded with texts, push notifications, incoming calls, and emails. As entrepreneurs, we’re totally consumed with not only the present but the future–and how our decisions will affect it. With so much to do and so much to always be planning for, it’s impossible not to get overwhelmed.
“Our greatest battles are with our minds.” – Jameson Frank
There are methods to both overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed, and prevent it from happening (as much as is reasonably possible).
Overcoming the Entrepreneurial Overwhelm
Before anything, it’s important to know your “overwhelm set point”. This set point is a threshold of tolerance for your growing to-do list and the anxiety that results from it. This point will differ for everyone, so it’s crucial that you find yours. Learn to recognize when you are not just busy – you are overwhelmed.
1.) Chunk it Up!
Set a specific amount of time to work on a task/project. How long can you stay focused? Whether it’s 30 minutes or three hours, break your day into chunks of time and schedule your tasks accordingly, and be sure to take breaks in between each chunk.
2.) Take a Break
While it may seem counterintuitive, taking breaks is very effective in increasing your productivity. Wash your face. Take a quick nap. Make yourself a snack. You’ll be refreshed and ready for work when you return.
3.) Ask for Help!
Naturally, as an entrepreneur, you are a doer. You like to take care of things by yourself, and in doing that, you forget to refocus the resources you have! If there’s a certain task you don’t like doing, don’t waste your time on it! Spending hours on things that you don’t enjoy is a huge contributor to becoming overwhelmed. If at all possible, delegate the tasks you don’t enjoy to members of your team. If you’re working by yourself, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member.
4.) Visualize Your Goals
Visualization is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs, it helps you stay motivated and on track. Also be sure to make the list of tasks (in chronological order) necessary in order to accomplish your goal.
Maybe it’s time to ask yourself whether you really don’t have enough time for your tasks, or you are just not using the time you have wisely. Efficient time management is key. Or– if you really don’t have enough time for your tasks or you notice that certain tasks on your list never seem to get done, ask yourself whether they’re actually worth doing.
When you’re overwhelmed with tasks on your to-do list and have no choice but to get back on track, sometimes it helps to focus all your energy on the tasks you must complete. That may mean sacrificing a few episodes of your favorite show, leaving your laundry unfolded, or staying home instead of going out. These worthwhile sacrifices for the short term will allow you to focus all your energy on your necessary tasks and be more productive.