We sat across from each other, both feeling heavy and abnormally tired. We couldn't figure out the funk that we'd found ourselves in. After all, we'd just had an amazing day of brainstorming and dreaming and gaining much needed clarity for the directions that we both need to take. Shouldn't we be dancing in our seats? Hitting the ground with enthusiasm? Busting our ass to make our dreams come true?
Where did our fire go?
It's not uncommon to find yourself fired up after an experience like a great brainstorming session, a work retreat or a conference only to return to everyday life with a bad case of overwhelm.
How does this fit into my everyday life? Will this really make me money? It all felt so easy when we were living in the land of daydreaming, now we have to go for it and we don't even know where to start.
Here are my top 5 tips for managing overwhelm:
1. Acknowledge the fear.
Ignoring the often crippling fear that we all experience when chasing the dream just isn't helpful. The sooner you give the fear it's space and time the faster you can move through it. Write it out, tell a friend, talk to me about it. Whatever you do, don't pretend it doesn't exist or that it's not that big of a deal. Think on it, talk your way through it. Sometimes it's as simple as hearing yourself say it out loud, sometimes you need someone to just remind you that the fear is a lie and other times you may need to crunch some numbers and make a plan. But, what you don't need is to stew in the fear, stall your progress and find yourself still wishing you were making a move one year later.
2. Keep an idea journal.
If you are anything like me and most of my clients then you have approximately 1,000,000 ideas at any given time. I have no doubt that they are GOOD ones too. Often those ideas cause more problems than solutions because we keep getting distracted with saying, "I could do this, but, I could also do this." I encourage you to focus on the most relevant idea you have at the moment and keep a book filled with all of your other great ideas somewhere else. This gives those other ideas a place to live and you can put creative energy there if you want to, but, know that they don't need to have legs yet and that's fine. They belong in the idea journal until they don't anymore.
3. Focus on planning just one project today.
Maybe you have three great projects that you know you should pursue but, you can't figure out how to do them all at once. I suggest picking just one and focusing on it today. Break it down and make a plan. That plan should include a date for which you would like it finished & deadlines for smaller pieces of the project to be accomplished.
4. Break it down.
Break your projects down into smaller manageable tasks and never expect yourself to do more than one task in a day. If you take nothing from this blog, take this. Release yourself of the burden that it all needs to happen right now. Instead, pull out your calendar and go ahead and write out the steps it takes to accomplish what you're doing on the days that you will do those specific tasks. I encourage you to leave days between tasks too. I'd rather you be waiting eagerly and practicing patience then burning yourself out.
5. Just start.
When you break down your tasks, I encourage you to make the first step the teeniest tiniest little baby step. Starting is often the hardest part of any task that overwhelms us. We see how large the project is and we find ourselves sticking our fingers in our ears and yelling, "la la la" at the thought of the journey ahead. Instead, just take that first tiny step! Momentum is easier to maintain once you've started moving, but, the longer you dig your feet into the ground the harder it will be to move.
If you are interested in getting your project off the ground or you're looking for a bit of support as you work through your overwhelm, let's chat! I'd love to sit down with you and make a plan together.