FROM THE EMPRESS BLOG

How to Get out of Overwhelm Fast

JOANNA MARTIN

Co-founder Empress Global

Ping  —  text — your child has been sick. Please contact school office immediately to arrange pick up.

Ping — email — client: can we bring tomorrow’s meeting forward?

Ping — reminder — car insurance up for renewal. Sort today!!

Ping — text — business partner: emergency! Can you contact Smith immediately. Something about a change to the project scope.

Sounds like a crazy day — and yet, for many of us, this level of crazy is our “normal”. It’s no bloomin’ wonder we sometimes get overwhelmed!

We’re spinning so many plates on any given day — and not lovely clean plates either; messy, sticky plates, covered in spaghetti sauce that’s likely to fly off in all directions.

Normally, you’re pretty good at this. The plates stay spinning with minimal sauce splatter. In fact, you’re generally of the opinion that you could add another plate or two to the pile. After all, you’ve been doing this a while. It’s not like it was in the early days of your business; the days when you couldn’t figure out how to get the plate to start spinning in the first place. Or even which plate to spin!

Okay, enough of the plates for now.

You see where I’m going with this; we ALL have those moments when we just can’t. Yes, even (or especially) those of us who have made huge leaps with our businesses and are enjoying real success, suffer from overwhelm at times. And it’s a problem. It can stop us in our tracks, it can make us hesitate when deciding when and how to take our businesses to the next level.

So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to suffer in silence and just hope things get better?

Hell no! That’s certainly not our style and we know it’s not yours either.

Here’s my 10 step process for getting out of overwhelm so you can get back to being the amazing leader you are.

  1. Stop.

You’re exhausted, you’re not working at optimum capacity here, so just stop. There is literally no point in powering through right now. I think you already know this, but maybe you just needed to hear it from someone else…

  1. Recognise it’s okay.

This happens to absolutely everyone from time to time so don’t beat yourself up – this is a time to treat yourself with kindness. Remember, this is NOT a sign of failure. You’re still the powerful, effective ass-kicking Empress you’ve always been.

  1. Dump it out.

Who doesn’t love making a list, right? Hopefully you’ve followed steps one and two and you’re feeling a little better. Now is the time to grab a pen and some paper and start writing things down. Take a note of everything, no matter how trivial, that has led to you feeling this way.

  1. Become your own best friend.

Distance yourself from the list you’ve just made. Look at the tasks as if they belonged to your best friend. What would you tell your friend right now? You’d go through that list and you’d delete absolutely everything that isn’t 100% necessary or urgent. Do it. The world won’t end because you miss posting this week’s blog post.

  1. Best friend delegating.

Now you’ve reduced your list a little bit, it’s time to delegate. Do you have a partner or family member  who could help out with running the house, looking after the kids? Is there a colleague who could pick up a few extra tasks in the office or is there a task that you could outsource to an independent contractor?

  1. Refocus on your big picture.

What is your vision? What is your ultimate goal? It’s time to sit back down and refocus on your bigger picture. Chances are some of the stuff that has contributed to your overwhelm isn’t even relevant to your end goal!

  1. Prioritise.

Finally, the time has come to prioritise. Still thinking about your bigger picture, you now need to determine which of the things on the list are ‘urgent’, which are ‘important but can wait’ and which can be ‘put on the back burner’.

  1. Pause and replenish.

Now you’ve decided on your priorities, it’s time to replenish your energy. Take a break, open a bottle of wine, read a book, call a friend – whatever it is that will help you get into a better headspace, now is the time to do it.

  1. Eat the elephant!

So how do we tackle our nicely ordered and prioritised to-do list? The same way we’d eat an elephant: one bite at a time. Start at the top of that list and slowly and steadily work your way through.

  1. Rest and reward.

As you chew your way through that elephant, it’s important to recognise your achievements. Getting yourself out of overwhelm is no small feat so reward your progress each step of the way. You’re doing brilliantly!

Overwhelm can hit any of us at any time. We think we’re on top of things and suddenly bam, those plates start spinning like crazy and dropping one by one. But we can regain control — especially when you have a group of incredible women at your back.

Our members really benefit from the support, the coaching and the nurturing environment that Empress provides.

So if you feel your plates are spinning out of control, or you need to make sure you can add a few more plates without hitting overwhelm, download our brochure to see if our exclusive group of successful businesswomen is for you!

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