Have you been feeling overwhelmed recently? One of the women in my Dynamic Women Global Community asked, “What are some ways to prioritize during overwhelm?” So that is what I’m going to cover today.
What overwhelm could feel like
Overwhelm can feel like there's so much on your plate. You don't even know where to focus, where to start, like what's even the point. All you want to do is scroll on your phone or go to sleep.
I’ve felt like that at different points in my life, maybe you’ve been feeling:
The issue in these overwhelming times is you can't focus. You’re not going to be able to be at your best to utilize your skills properly.
What I'm going to do is share three different ways you can prioritize during overwhelm so that:
First Way: Brain dump
You've maybe heard this expression before. I encourage you, if you're feeling overwhelmed right now, do this process.
Take a piece of paper, a notepad, or whatever you’ve got, and a pen and write down all the things that you have on your mind. Now, these can be two categories, so make a ‘T’ shape and on the top of the left column, you're going to write “things to do”. On the right side, you're going to write “things on my mind”.
The things to do can be obvious that are in your life like:
And some other things to do in your business would be:
There might be really specific goals or they might be more obscure, and you're not sure how to do them like lose weight, or gain confidence. It’s ok, just write them down.
You're not going to judge anything. You can start with two minutes on the clock and just dump everything down that's on your mind around things to do and a whole bunch of things that are on your mind. Maybe they're worrying you, and you have to deal with them or focus on them at some point.
You can pause reading this blog and take those 2 minutes (or five minutes, however long it takes) and brain dump. As you're writing these things down, you're not thinking about, “How am I going to do it? When am I going to do it?” The only job you have right now is to write them down.
Once that is done, we're going to put that aside because we just wanted to clear our minds. It's like closing all the open tabs when you have a browser open, or quitting all the applications you have running.
Second way: Get a bird’s eye view of your life
I encourage you to get a bird's eye view, which is a higher view of your life. You're going to do that by using a tool I call the ‘Wheel of Life’. It is a professional coaching tool that I use with my clients. If you want me to help you take you through this, then I can. If you want to have a copy of three simple steps to get ahead or get what you want, just shoot me an email at email@example.com.
We do the bird's eye view of your whole life to see your level of satisfaction in each area because when you intuitively answer what your satisfaction is in each area, you’re going to start to see where the problems are, where the dissatisfaction is and then where the lack of alignment is.
A lot of times this is really eye-opening for my clients because they don’t realize those areas are high, but other those areas are low. It really helps them to see where the issue really is. You may have lots of stuff to do, but that's not the issue. The issue might come from a lack of satisfaction in your relationship or could be with your health. It could be something else that's causing you to not be able to handle life's tasks or business activities that you normally would do.
By the end of doing the wheel of life, you're going to be able to see where the changes need to happen, and then you'll use that awareness to decide, “Okay, if the number is here, where do I want it to be in 6 to 12 months?”
That'll help you to know where the difference is between where you are and where you want to be. We're not going to focus on what made it low, but instead focusing on where you want to be, and then see about helping you to get there.
Third Way: Going into maintenance mode
In order to be able to kind of move forward at this point, we move into the third way, which is going into maintenance mode. I talked about this with clients who have something that's been sprung upon them, like:
In those moments of something coming up surprisingly or it's a busy time in the business, there are lots of things happening, or you're traveling a lot and there are a lot of responsibilities on you. So I encourage you to go into maintenance mode, as a way of just maintaining the basics of where you need to be.
You can think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It's not just taking care of the basic needs like food, water and shelter, but it's taking care of so many other priorities. You may be like, “What are those?” Well, when you have the Wheel of Life, you can see where the priority is like your Health, family and finances.
Then, when you go into maintenance mode, you're also going to go back to your brain dump, and you ask yourself,
For the other pieces, you could delegate, or pass the work off to someone else. I know that when I get super busy and overwhelmed, I look to my two main virtual assistants, Kristine and Karissa. They are just such a blessing for me in my business. I know when I'm overwhelmed, I can pass things off and have them figure it out because a lot of times when I'm overwhelmed, my ability for my brain to compute high-level things is just not there.
Delegating is great. Deleting is great. Everything else left that you're not going to reschedule, do later, or put on hold for now, you need to be focusing on just those pieces. Maybe if we look at the Wheel of Life, the most important areas could be your health, your children, your clients, and your business.
We want to think of it as if you were juggling balls, and the balls are the priorities in your life. If you have too many things going on, you're eventually going to drop the balls. The trouble with that is you end up dropping the glass balls, the priorities, the things that really matter.
You start burning the candle at both ends. You're not sleeping as much. Furthermore, you're eating poorly, and your health declines. You get sick, or maybe you have an illness that's been triggered. Maybe you drop a glass ball, which is your clients, and they are angry at you, and then they stop working with you, which means you have an increased stress now trying to bring in more clients.
Or another glass ball might be your children, and you know you have to care for them, and you have no one else to support you and you throw them in front of the TV and your relationships are broken or things don't go well for a longer period of time.
You have to think, “What are my glass balls?” What are those areas in your Wheel of Life that are super important? Go back to your brain dump. “Which are the things you need to be doing?” Those are the glass balls you want to keep juggling and at the same time letting the rubber balls (the ones that don't matter as much right now, like maybe the clean house, preparing your own meals, you being the one creating social media graphics), pass off, delete, delegate, postpone, push all those aside, or just don't worry about it as much.
Those balls can drop and bounce and when you're ready, you can scoop them back up later, but for now, in maintenance mode they’re not as important.
Try the steps I suggest, but if you prefer to go through it with me and/or you want to go deeper that’s when having a conversation would make sense.
If you want to do the Wheel of Life to see where your satisfaction is where I can support you and reduce your overwhelm, let's have a discussion. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This question did come from the Dynamic Women Online Facebook community. If you're not a part of it, I invite you to be. I like to jump in there with really great questions that are thought-provoking. Also, some tips and tricks, as well as me doing some live training, plus there are a lot of cool women. I invite you to join that group. It is a free online group for you!
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