Overwhelm it can be the killer of all things productive. In May 2017 I left my corporate job and decided to go travelling with big ideas and a whole lot of enthusiasm. Fast forward 18 months and in some respects I feel like I have ‘wasted’ a lot of time procrastinating because I felt a huge amount of overwhelm. Just by looking at the amount of things I thought I had to do in order to do the million and one ideas I had going through my head. Not only was the overwhelm intensifiying but self comparison also crept in ( I’ll save that for the next post). Whoever said being self-employed, an entrepreneur or digital nomad was easy, lied.
BUT and this is a big but please know that you are not alone, there are thousands (if not close to millions) of people in your shoes and do you know how the ones who did crack it cracked it? The took ACTION pure and simple. I can hear you now, what do you mean action I know I need to take action but where the f*&% do I start!? Well I thought you’d never ask! You know what there is always going to be a lot to do, there is always going to be an issue, a struggle, a strain and I’m not taking that away from you but I am here to tell you, you’ve got this and even if you don’t believe in you, I do. You owe it to yourself and the people who need to hear your message.
So here are some of the things I have done recently so I can start to take action and conquer my sense of overwhelm:
The biggest key to moving forward is retraining your mind and if your brain is anything like mine when you’re in a slump it can be oh so easily distracted. Mindset is so key when working on your own more so than anything else because if your mindset isn’t right it can hold you back from so many amazing opportunities. What I want you to try is listening to podcasts positive podcasts that inspire you. Not only when you’re feeling happy but even more so when you are feeling down. Our subconscious minds need more of a reminder of how awesome we are when we are down this means we need to hear inspirational thoughts even more so to try and reprogramme our minds.
Now this is a random one however it really helped me. Project Evo are currently in beta and are a planner designed to help tap into how your brain works. Now I don’t have the planner nor have I ordered it but I did take the test out of pure curiosity and it was so damn right! The test divides people’s brains into four areas: the Architect, the Alchemist, the Explorer and the Oracle. Read here for more on each one. I am an Alchemist with a secondary brain of the Architect. So that means I’m great at taking in loads of external information and brainstorming ideas and my brain loves step by step instructions, so when I come up with an idea I can see the big picture but I struggle to break it down. When I try to start on the idea without breaking it into steps I get overwhelmed I get frustrated, fed-up, throw my toys out of the cot and basically give up. Now that I have this new information, I broke each system down into step by step instructions, for example, when building my website I brainstormed all the tasks at are needed to come up with the final product, then I do a minimum of one task per day. Give it a go you never know you may dicover something new about yourself.
I learnt this from my favourite podcasts Manifestation Babe who talked about how she broke through procrastination. I now apply it each day. Each day write one task that moves your business forward and complete that task. Do it first before you check your phone in the morning and get distracted while you enjoy your cup of coffee, and if that isn’t possible set aside some down time where you can concentrate. I make sure I do one thing each day and I take the tasks that I have detailed in my brainstorm and complete one of those each day it might be as simple as write a blog post draft or edit five photos, whatever the task aim to complete one before you move on to the next. You may only get that one done and do you know what that’s totally ok.
Another tip also taken from Manifestation Babe, reward yourself. I love having dinner with friends or going to sunset at the beach or getting a massage so I now reward myself at the end of each day, IF I have completed my one task. If I haven’t completed my one task then I miss my reward and have to cancel my plans and face the consequences.
The hardest part is always starting but once you get started you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it is to breakthrough each small barrier. Even if it’s only a small thing. I set my timer for one hour and say to myself I only have to do my important task for the next hour. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done when you focus your mind, set yourself a deadline and get started!
If you are unable to hold yourself accountable speak to a friend. I have two great friends who hold me accountable because they know I struggle. I can promise you by holding yourself accountable and having integrity in what you say you will slowly start to feel more positive in yourself. It’s often when we don’t do what we say we are going to do or are not honest with ourselves or others when we dig our great big holes of disppear. I am in no way good at this at present BUT I am trying and I found when I do struggle with sticking to my word it is often when I struggle with everything.
Don’t beat yourself up
Give yourself a break. You don’t have to do 20 hour work days to prove yourself. Some of us just don’t work like that. It’s true what they say about life being the journey and not the destination. Enjoy each of the moments, you left your job or started this project for a reason so enjoy the process and trust that it is going to be ok.
Maybe it’s not for you
If you try the above and feel like you are still struggling have you ever thought that it might be that the project, circumstance or timing is not right for you at this time. And do you know what that’s totally ok, you don’t have to be amazing at everything. I am in no way saying give up but if it is making you feel sick, depressed or you are just sick and tired of being sick and tired then maybe it’s time to look at something else. I believe that when we are in alignment things will start to move in a positive direction and sometimes if it just isn’t clicking it can be because you are not in alignment with what you are here to do. Do some soul searching, visit a healer, speak to friend, more importantly go inwards. I find journaling helps me I aim to write three pages every morning to clear my mind.
These are things I have tried that have worked for me some may work for you and some may not, and that’s ok. The best thing you can do is a bit of a trial and error see what works best for you.
Just know that you’ve got this and I believe in you.