Close to Overwhelm? Don’t Freak Out! Do a Business Spring Clean
I recently had a moment in my business where I felt like I was doing too much.
My 20 hour work weeks were stretching out to after hours. And I was going to bed feeling like there were things in my business that I should be doing and because I was going to bed stressed, I wasn’t resting well.
I’ve been in business for over 17 years, and I know what approaching overwhelm and burnout looks like for me. Feeling like I was overcommitted, overstretched and getting cranky at my family were all signs that the dreaded burnout was nigh.
However, I love a good system. And so, I built one to pull me back from the clutches of the overwhelm beast and to regain my sense of control and flow. So, in this article, I’m going to share with you my 3 step process for ‘spring cleaning’ your business. Now, you don’t have to just do this during spring. This works really well to revisit at any time.
By the end of this exercise, you’ll feel more at ease, have clarity on what you’re meant to be focusing on as well as feeling totally awesome.
Step 1: Reflect.
Reflection is a great place to unpack what is actually going on. It’s great to slow down and get out of our brain all of the things.
So, I recommend you start with a big surface – like a whiteboard or a piece of butcher’s paper. Then, draw three columns. And for each column write ‘Stop’, ‘Start’, ‘Continue’.
In the ‘Stop’ column:
Brain dump all the things you want to stop. Maybe you want to stop mindlessly scrolling the Facebook feed. Or stop saying, “Yes”, to clients who aren’t a good fit. Just get everything out.
In the ‘Start’ column:
Write down all the things you’d like to start doing. For example, start a podcast. Or start going for a walk at lunchtime. Remember that as a business person, you need to take care of yourself too. When you suffer, your business suffers, so personal items can totally go on this list.
In the ‘Continue’ column:
Acknowledge all the things you’re currently doing well and that you want to keep going with. It can be hard when you’re close to overwhelm to recognise the things you’re actually doing well at. So, make a note of these too.
Then, once you’ve done this, head on to step 2.
Step 2: Focus.
Now, you probably are feeling a little less overwhelmed already. But now it’s time to do some planning.
For me, I like to do a 90-day plan that focuses on just three key projects with measurable Key Performance Indicators. I map out where I am now and where I’d like to be in 90-days and plot out key steps in each project to get me there.
Then, I stick my 90-day plan up behind my computer so that every day when I sit down to work, I see my 90-day plan.
Step 3: Practice ‘Joy Of Missing Out’ (JOMO).
I’m human. I get distracted by shiny things. Oh, such-and-such is running a webinar? Oh, that looks like fun, maybe I should run a webinar too.
But, it’s that endlessly chasing new shiny things – that ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO) that so often leads us to taking on too much and heading down the road to overwhelm.
Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to the idea of the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’, and I’m freaking in love with it. Instead of being afraid that I might miss something, I’m embracing the slow lane, the focused place that I’m in.
If an opportunity does come my way that I think, “Oh, that looks cool”, I’ll run it through my Shiny Object Syndrome Flowchart. (Alysa add link to Google doc) It stops me from feeling FOMO and taking on too much.
Feel the freedom!
Once you’ve completed these three steps, you’ll feel like you have so much more room in your life, clarity on what you should be focusing on and you’ll feel freaking awesome.
This is how I beat the ‘overwhelm beast’.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Did you find my 3 step process at all helpful or insightful? Let’s chat in the comments below.
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