Recently, a lot of my clients are feeling completely overwhelmed because of the many directions they’re being pulled. From the double-digit to-do lists to the strategic business and life building they feel they “should” be doing, to the simple pleasures they’d like to enjoy, they feel the inverse relationship between time and the overload of tasks to complete.
As a person who prides myself on knowing what to do in some of life’s greatest dilemmas, you can imagine my disillusionment when not too long ago I, too, felt overwhelmed. In the past, I’d sit and stew in my overwhelmed state, allowing it to confiscate my happiness and productivity. The difference today is that I don’t stay there like I did a decade ago–now I use the following tips to kick overwhelm in the proverbial fanny…
- Come back to this moment. By the time we feel overwhelmed, we are far from being present in the moment. Overwhelm usually pushes us to reside in either the past or the future, feeling guilty about something we didn’t do, say, or get OR worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. The present is the only place we can be happy.How to come back to the moment? Take a breath and say, “I’m back.” Your focus will return to the ‘now.’
- Do your best in the moment you are in. This tool is a life changer. When brushing your teeth, give it your best job. When with your kids, give your attention to them not your iPhone. When in a company meeting, give your best to your colleagues not your grocery list. Do your best. Give your A-game. Besides the positive results of being present in your relationships, you will also stop second guessing the “what-ifs” and “I should’ves” because you’ll know that you gave your best! Try this all day today and notice how you return to your peak state.
- Love your life NOW. Yes, I mean now. Not when you double your business revenue, successfully launch your product, lose the weight, eradicate your debt, or hear your spouse say, “I love you.” See the greatness and wealth in your life today. It is there…that moment you are in. Your happiness and well-being always precede your other successes.
- Take bold action–begin it now. You cannot feel overwhelmed and act boldly at the same time. The two cannot occupy the same space. Act boldly, even if you are afraid. From CEO’s to successful entrepreneurs, home-based moms to editors-in-chief of national publications, each one experiences fear. Heck–even uber-talented Michael Jordan admitted feeling nervous before every game. The key difference? Successful, high-achievers don’t let overwhelm and fear paralyze them. They simply take the next step and keep moving.
- The one thing. A word about our unrelenting To Do Lists: in one moment, you cannot focus on 27 urgent To Dos. Isn’t possible. But with the gift of one moment, you CAN focus on one thing. Author Michael Neill recommends you take your To Do list and stick a Post-it note on top. On that Post-it note write, “The only thing I have to do today is…” , then complete the sentence by picking the one thing that is of highest priority. Do it. Once it’s completed, cross it off and fill in the blank again. This tool provides clarity, focus and boldness to take the one action. (I like it because you don’t get overwhelmed again looking at the long list!)
Face it: your business and career results are intertwined in your personal life whether you like it or not. Make your well-being a high priority. Send overwhelm packing and start living right now.
Here’s to an exceptional week!