As a business owner, you’re constantly involved with all sorts of tasks. These pile-up day-in and day-out, and, when you feel like you’ve finally made a dent, more comes your way. Papers go across your desk like a manufacturing mill, the phone rings off-the-hook, your email inbox is reaching its limit, and, you still have to get to all those ancillary to-dos. With so much going-on, it’s quite easy (and natural) to feel overwhelmed. When this feeling comes over you, it seems there’s little to nothing you can do; aside from dropping everything and sneaking off to a scantily populated tropical island. While that option is certainly tempting, it’s not realistic because when you return, so will the feeling.
How to Prevent being Overwhelmed
Being overwhelmed means you’re subjected to anxiety and that can be a very bad thing. It slows your quick wit and clouds your judgment, and, the frustration can drive you to make rash decisions. Of course, if you are in this mindset, you’ll definitely want to quell the feeling and do so in a constructive way. The key to staying calm and prevent being overwhelmed starts with you; don’t look at others as the cause, because as the conventional wisdom states, you can’t control other people.
For so many people these days, our life is like a house of cards. We teeter along shakily, just barely managing to hold up our sky-high pile of commitments and stressors. Sometimes it feels (accurately) that if you try to put just one more card on top, the whole mess will come crashing down. It’s not a good feeling. It’s not a fun way to live. Yet it’s normal for most of us. And we’re exhausted. —Psychology Today
Every successful entrepreneur knows that managing their personal and professional lives is not only about striking a balance between the two, but also, understanding what robs them of their time and ambition. When you determine what these are, you have a better understanding of just what initiates stress and causes you to feel overwhelmed. The good news is, you can prevent being overwhelmed by doing a few simple things:
- Reassess your routine. Look at your daily routine and ask yourself what’s really necessary. Chances are excellent you’ve gotten so accustomed to its groove, you no longer consciously think about what’s included. You just go about it but don’t take the time to consider what’s truly important and what isn’t. As your business grows, the dynamics shift and that means what was necessary at one time is no longer essential now. If you can’t find anything to change, try delegating needed tasks, but, only if they are worthwhile.
- Create a prioritize list to follow. Once you’ve identified what is necessary and important, create a prioritized list. Put the most important and time-sensitive items at the top of your list and work your way down through your tasks. You’ll probably find more time in your schedule as a result and that will go a long ways in helping you to avoid being overwhelmed.
- Identify your distractions and rid yourself of them. Good time managers are people who know what’s worth their time and what’s a waste of time. Okay, that sounds overly simple, but, it’s nonetheless true. In today’s technology driven world, it’s very easy to get distracted and that time is better spent being productive. This isn’t to say you should never indulge in distractions, because that’s another way of getting away from feeling overwhelmed. It does mean distractions take-up time and when you’re crunched for time, you’re under pressure.
- Set boundaries for yourself, employees, and customers. Nobody can truly go, go, go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but, you probably make yourself available for more hours than you should. Get on a set schedule, one that includes times where you don’t take phone calls, do not reply to email, et cetera, and then, let your employees and customers know.
You can also share these suggestions with your employees to give them tools to cope with stress. It will show you care and demonstrate your leadership qualities.
I personally do this every week to stay focused, on task with my goals and to
minimize unhealthy stress. How do you manage being overwhelmed in business?