Overwhelm. It’s easy to get there as an entrepreneur.
Maybe you have too many tasks and too little time. Maybe you are facing a deadline and are nowhere near completion. Or perhaps it’s a project that so big, you don’t know where to start.
Remember the old days, when they promised that computers and technology would make our lives easier and give us more free time? Yeah, they did the opposite, didn’t they? Instead of making our lives easier, we are more overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed that ever. As Judy Shapiro said in her Advertising Age article, “Technology makes tasks easier, but it does not make our lives easier.”
Parkinson’s Law has dictated that the amount of free time we might have gained from the efficiency of technology has instead been filled with more work.
So how do you overcome overwhelm? Try these steps:
- Break that project down into a plan. List out the steps. And if those steps still feel overwhelming, break them down even more.
- Create ANY forward momentum. Find the simplest step toward your goal and just do it. Return an email, organize your list, type one sentence…do something to move you forward. Even if it only takes two minutes, do something.
- Stay focused. A recent study shows by salary.com says 89% of us admit to wasting time at work. A survey of CEO’s reveals that executives are losing an average of 20 hours per week of productive work due to meetings, distractions, and other interruptions. How much could you get done on that overwhelming list if you even cut out HALF of those distractions. Close your door or tell others you are overwhelmed and need time and privacy to get things done. They’ll understand.
- Get help. Talking about your overwhelm can do wonders in reducing the feeling of stress. But don’t just vent to anyone who will listen. Instead, sit down with a trusted colleague or mentor and have them help you create a plan to tackle your overwhelm. Negative complaining is useless. Proactive action is empowering.