Overcome the Overwhelm
Lately the word "overwhelmed" has been an understatement to say the least. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, especially when you're juggling a full-time job and a side hustle and when you add just one more thing to the mix it can get stressful.
For me, my husband and I have been working on our little fixer upper. It's getting down to the wire and the pressure is becoming a lot to handle with everything else in life.
As we move into our third month of work and renovations, I'm just plain exhausted. I don't want to throw a pity party here but friends, it's been a struggle.
How do you cope with your already busy life and add a huge project in the mix? I'll share some of the things that have helped me, and I hope they'll help you too.
I grew up never wanting to own my own business or forge my own path because I have seen first hand how consuming it can be. People who have their own business, they take every call, they drop anything to jump in and save the day, and their entire thought life is about the business. At least, that’s what I’ve witnessed personally. That’s why I never wanted any part of it.
But, as time goes on, and as fate would have it, I've started my own business. And, as I am getting some footing I can understand how it can become very consuming. But, I've stuck to the one thing I set out to do: I'm giving myself permission to do things my way and do things differently.
And what I want to do differently is give my life balance.
But even when you set goals and try to make things balanced, life can get in the way. But that's the beauty of having your own business. You have the choice to slow down or speed up. If things are getting crazy and you're at that point in your business where you need help, ASK for it! If you can get an intern or an assistant, go for it! But if you're in the beginning stages and you're not at the point to get outside help, pump the breaks and take a breather. If you're blogging 5 days a week and posting on Instagram 3 times a day and you're feeling stressed with your client work as well, cut down on your blogging to 2 days a week and post on IG once a day. You have control of your business. Don't let it control you.
It’s important to know what things are most important to you. This sounds like a no-brainer but maybe you can do an exercise that can help clarify. I did this same exercise a couple months ago. For the exercise, you take a blank sheet of paper and draw a vertical line in the middle and a horizontal line in the middle so you end up with 4 quadrants on your paper.
And you name each quadrant with things that are important to you. When I did this exercise, it was pretty eye-opening because I found that I wasn’t putting time into things that were important to me and I was wasting time on things that weren’t fulfilling to me. For example, I wasn’t putting a lot of time into eating healthy even though being physically healthy is one of my quadrants that is important to me. Having something tangible to see and know what your goals and priorities helps making decisions easier. When you know what you are working towards the other things fall by the wayside.
So, I’m a big fan of Pat Flynn, the online business expert (and this exercise comes from his new book “Will it Fly” [which is really great by the way]) and I was very surprised to read in his book that he turned down a huge deal that would have made him a ton of money because the job would require that he be traveling and it would take him away from his family. And his family is one of his most important things. He said making the decision to not do that deal was very easy because he knew it wouldn’t grow his relationship with his family it would probably take away from that. I was very impressed and it challenged me to make decisions, maybe not of that magnitude, but ones that are completely aligned with my goals and priorities.
So in the midst of all the house renovations, I put working out on the back burner. Working out, more than anything else, is a huge stress-reliever to me, so the thought that putting it off to the side would help me deal with stressful situations was not my best idea. So I've gotten back into it and it's amazing how it affects my energy, ability to focus and how I feel. So, when your life is getting crazy busy, remember what's really important and put time into those things. They are life-giving and can bring you relief in stressful times.
I’m not a big fan of hearing people say they put in 18 hour days. Is that really necessary? I don’t think so. Maybe for a very short amount of time in the startup phase, but even then... shouldn’t you be able to work efficiently where you don’t have to? Is work that important that you put your best mental energy, your most time, and all your devotedness into it? If so, good luck with that.
But I don’t think it should be that way.
A lack of rest and overexertion causes many things to suffer, including relationships and health. It’s important to take a breather every once in a while, especially when things get hectic, and recognize that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t publish Tuesday’s blog post, or whatever the case may be.
Give your body and mind a break and take a night off to be completely present with your significant other. Or, gasp, take a vacation as you’re growing your business. I think taking a vacation while you’re growing will only help you in terms of sparking creativity, allowing mental clarity and also it can give you the boost you need to continue so you don’t burn out.
I think it’s easy for us to put our heart and soul into our little biz but keep your mind open to have balance, know your top priorities and make sure to give your body time to rest. All these things will renew your energy, give you inspiration and will keep the drive alive to make your dreams a reality. We're in this journey together!
Do you find yourself overwhelmed often? Or rarely?
How do you help yourself when you do feel overwhelmed?
Are you in the same boat as I am? Do you have a lot going on? I would love for you to share so you can get it off your chest :)