How many times have you tried to get one thing done, and then find yourself down the rabbit hole, 2 hours later, surrounded by receipts and post-it notes and signed up for a course on how to use convertkit?
How many times have you tried to solve a quick problem only to find out that it’s actually caused by a bigger problem and then you are up all night trying to solve it?
How many times have you thrown your hands up in the air with so many things to do in frustration and just want to give up?
Dealing with overwhelm
I hear you sister …. Loud and clear.
Overwhelm is a feeling I am extremely familiar with, as many women who are driven in many aspects of their life can relate to. We often feel like we are pulled in multiple directions, whether it’s in our business our families, or just keeping the house in order. It sometimes feels like a never-ending battle with no real solution.
It’s then when you need to slow it down, give yourself a minute to breath, and ask yourself “What do I need right now to get to the place or the mindset I need to be?”.
This week I have been extremely busy with work when my son came down with a cold. He is currently attending in-person school, but where we live, if a child has a runny nose, they consider it a Covid-symptom. This means he must stay home for the quarantine period (not ideal) or get the Covid-test and be able to go back to school once we got the paperwork. (also not ideal).
I don’t know how many of you have ever worked with a 4 year old running around who is curious about everything, but you can only put them in front of PBS kids so long until either they get bored or you feel like the worst parents ever that you are essentially ignoring your own child. So we decided to get him the Covid test.
This was his second Covid test, so you know he was not too happy about it.
Let’s just say that even with all of the positive reinforcement, hand-holding and promises of chocolate it took two nurses and myself to hold him still enough to get the test done. As a mom who believes in vaccines and have been there for the majority of her childrens shots, this was extremely overwhelming for me, for so many reasons. My brain flooded with the sadness and fear that my child felt, the fact that we have felt so isolated for so long other than trips to grocery store and runs/walks outside. How almost 1/4th of my son’s life has been during Covid and this is the childhood he will remember. Everything you could think of came flooding to my head and I had to hide my tears from my little guy so I wouldn’t scare him.
Once we got back home, and he was happy with his MM’s, I went to my office and just breathed for a few minutes allowing myself to feel the overwhelm of the situation we were in and ask myself what I needed in that moment. I had to cut through all of the thoughts and emotions and focus on what needed to be done at that time in order to get through this and onto the next step.
Much of the time we deal with similar situations in our businesses. There are a million ways to do the million things that are on our list. One of the great and wonderful things about entrepreneurs is all of the amazing ideas that they have all the time.
I have many conversations with my clients about what is the most important thing to do and what they should be focused on in order to move their business forward the quickest. In essence, Keep It Simple Sister. (Yes, I know the saying is “Keep it Simple Stupid”, but I’d rather use the feminine power in this blogpost) 😉
Through trial and error, I have learned to clear the clutter from my brain and my life by making sure I focus on the right things, and keeping my goals and my paths simple and clear, not only for me, but for those around me. Keeping my goals and priorities clear, makes the paths to achieve them almost magically appear before my eyes in a simple and clear way.
Much like Marie Kondo asks us to only keep the physical objects that bring us joy, I ask you to only focus your time and energy on the people, relationships, and activities that bring you joy or actually need to be done to move you forward to your goals.
”Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”Steve Jobs
Now I warn you, making things simple isn’t necessarily easy. Sometimes a lot of mental and emotional effort goes into letting something go that you have been use to thinking about, worrying about or doing… but once that thing is gone, it doesn’t take up your mental space anymore, allowing you to deep dive into the parts that make your soul sing.
Top 5 ways to keep things simple in your life:
1. Your space – Throw-away, give-away or donate the items in your house/life that are just taking up space and not adding value
2. Create a list of family values and goals so you are all aligned on what is important and what you stand for
3. Write down your thoughts/plans for your business at least once a week and put it in the same place so you can focus in on the ones that matter the most to you.
4. Create a system around how you work, when you work, so it doesn’t need to be explained to your family or your clients and you know what you are doing every day of the week without thought
5. Make everything that isn’t something that needs your emotional or deep-thought a repeatable system, from when you grocery shop every week, to making coffee in the morning to exercise. Humans are creatures of habit, use that tendency to your advantage with enough flexibility that you can drop everything and care for sick child, have a meaningful talk with your husband, or go for a massage.
Life is short, Keep it Simple.