You Can Choose to Move out of Overwhelm!

Overwhelm2Let me introduce you to my amazing guest blogger, Susan Tollefson. She is a time management and productivity specialist. She helps business owners who are living in crisis mode, are frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount of energy it takes to operate their business, and are frequently encountering obstacles that prevent them from following through with their intended actions. Sound familiar? Please read Susan’s article and be sure to sign up for her FREE e-book, “5 Keys to Reduce Overwhelm”!

In this fast-paced world, there are many commitments to keep, an endless list of things to do and always decisions to make—all day, every day. It’s a wonder we get half of it done! Most people have felt overwhelmed at one time or another, but when it takes up permanent residence in your life, it can be paralyzing and counterproductive. If you’ve become too familiar with overwhelm, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at things that are within your control to change.

Yes, we all have things we must do, but there are instances where you may not realize that you have a choice. It is an option to say “no” to helping out at the neighborhood garage sale, for example, or “not right now” to that new project that sounds great but just might send you over the edge.

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you look for opportunities to reduce overwhelm in your life.

Know what really matters to you.

When you get clear about your priorities it becomes easier to choose to do those things that add value to your life and start questioning those things that no longer resonate with you. When faced with an opportunity, ask yourself whether it enhances the quality of your life. Step back and take a look at your choices in the situation. Do you have to do this yourself? Perhaps you could delegate it to someone? Consider these questions before committing your time and energy to another project. When you question whether something holds value for you and realize you have a choice, other options and new opportunities open up—ones you may not have considered previously.

It’s okay to say no.

Sometimes we say yes to things without fully realizing how the decision will impact our day-to-day lives. The next time you are asked to do something that requires a time commitment, pause before saying yes. Even if you think you have the time, consider responding with “Let me think about it.” This will give you the opportunity to evaluate whether it aligns with your priorities. Also, take a close look at your calendar to know that you aren’t over-extending yourself. (Be sure your calendar includes things like travel time, as well as your regular tasks and activities, so it gives you the full picture of your existing commitments). Once you have a visual reference you can check, you are less likely to over-commit and can realistically say yes or no, knowing that you won’t regret it later.

Have a go-to plan.

When you notice you are feeling grouchy or short tempered, chances are good that you’ve reached overwhelm. Not only do you feel lousy when you’re overwhelmed but you’re also less focused, efficient and productive. That’s why it’s helpful to have a go-to plan or routine to fall back on. You might take a break or a short walk to clear your head. Some people write in their journal or do some yoga stretches, while others make a list to get all the things that are swirling in their heads down on paper (my favorite plan). The important thing is to notice when overwhelm starts to take over and create a new habit—a go-to plan—that helps you manage it. When you practice your plan consistently, you will reduce your level of overwhelm over time.

Overwhelm happens to all of us, but remember you always have a choice! If you want to learn some more strategies to manage overwhelm, I invite you to download a copy of my free e-book, 5 Keys to Reduce Overwhelm. It contains some easy, practical tools and exercises you can use to feel better, be more productive and enjoy your workday.

Here’s the link

Susan Tollefson Inside Out Business Systems 707-486-2195