4 Cures for Overwhelm
In the era of “I’m so busy,” overwhelm has also become colloquial.
While infinite possibilities can be exhilarating, it can easily feel like you’re buried under a mass of tasks. Too often, the result is procrastination or giving up, with a generous sprinkling of self-hate.
Recently, I’ve been coaching women on incredible, world-shaking projects, including leaving jobs, self-love, and discovering their purpose, as well as giant community endeavors. By the time these lovely ladies seek me out they are so scared and stuck with their visions that they’ve stopped looking for answers.
But you don’t have to feel defeated. You don’t have to feel like you’re drowning in to-do lists.
Here are four cures for common overwhelm:
1. Transform your giant vision into measurable results.
This is the how-to of execution: get clear on what you want to create whether it’s confidence or reforming the public school system, then brake it down into measurable results.
Measurable results means something tangible that can be identified by others. For example, if you want success, will you measure that in dollars, numbers of thank you’s, or daily smiles for no reason?
Though measurable results sounds pretty obvious, it’s the easiest thing to forget, especially for us dreamers.
2. Work backwards.
So you have your giant vision broken down into a tangible result, now work backwards to set intermediary milestones for completion.
The Glow Exchange, TGE’s project for empowering professional women in both developed and developing communities, is both massive and vague. My first step was creating a measurable result of 10 registrants by the end of April.
Second, I ask, if I want to achieve that goal by April, what has to occur? I worked backwards: create leadership training content, know precisely what professional women in both communities need for empowerment, set the logistics of budgets and itineraries for the trip, and so on. These are my intermediary milestones that I assigned to each month leading to April.
Finally I went by week: if I want to create leadership training content by the end of January, then I need to break that down in parts. What will happen in week one, two, and three of the training and how many of those elements can I create per week?
Be a reasonable with your weekly expectations, otherwise tasks will get backed up.
The easiest way to feel overwhelmed is to haphazardly accomplish tasks that relate to your end goal. Be clear about your process and your timeline, then stick to it.
3. Get three things done.
The day-to-day can easily feel overwhelming when you factor in your project, dogs, family, self-care, a full-time job, and the list goes on.
Instead of trying to take on everything and the kitchen sink, choose three (just three!) tasks on your to-do list that MUST get done. Three tasks are tolerable and approachable.
If you get those done, then choose one or two more. The point is that prioritizing can save you a lot of the overwhelm drain.
4. Consider that you can do it.
Consider that you can create anything you want. I’m not asking you to fully believe that, I just want you to consider the possibility that you can accomplish it.
Possibilities tend to be blindspots for us. We get hyper focused on one way of being or on past experiences repeating themselves. The truth is that we have no idea of what the truth is.
One client, for instance, said that when her ex-boyfriend broke up with her, she thought it was impossible to find another or even better guy. She was almost positive that that was true. Then she found her new boyfriend and her concept of possibilities cracked open. In her words, “If that was possible, what else is possible?”
You may have considered the possibilities that you’re not enough or your dreams are too big. Perhaps you’re almost positive that that is true. Please consider, just consider, that there is another possibility.
Consider that anything is possible for you and that you’re more than enough. Try it on. How does that feel?
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