Being an Entrepreneur can be overwhelming at time. Heck being human can be overwhelming at times too! No matter who you are some weeks are just harder than others and in the last week, I have been feeling overwhelmed by everything. And this feeling has some pretty nasty side effects if you allow them to run you ragged.
You know you are feeling overwhelmed when life is like a constant trip on the never-ending hamster wheel. The diary is full of things you have to do and you have no idea where the energy is going to come from. The smallest tasks become insanely difficult. The more you try the more you just want to curl up under the duvet and do nothing until it all goes away. And I am sure you know from experience At these times it’s easy to allow the negative feelings to take over. To feel nonproductive, useless, not as good as everyone else. The guilt cycle gets triggered and alongside the hamster wheel, the negative thought spiral creates a hurricane in your brain. When you get there you are in the danger zone for a stress meltdown.
And the strange thing is that when we are in all of this mental and physical chaos the majority of us still carry on forging ahead in the storm. Why? Well, sometimes you have to. Students, for example, can’t get away from the exam deadlines. Brides can’t give up on the wedding plans when they have a month to go. And as an entrepaneur, you know the only way to succeed is to keep on going. So when we are totally overwhelmed how can we stop hitting the meltdown danger zone whilst still carrying on?
Can it be done?
I have found a way to do exactly that. It’s a 3 step process that will get you through these times and bring you out the other side with the minimum of damage. With a little conscious awareness and a few actions you can and will get through this and this weekend is the perfect time to start.
There are things we have to do, need to do and want to do. And we only have 24 hours in the day. So in order to get stuff done, we have to minimise our expectations to get things to fit into the time we have. Minimising seems hard but it isn’t I promise you try this process
Hit the calendar – work out how long your busy period will be. Now in that period remove everything that is unessential. This does not mean just getting rid of the things you want to do. Delegate tasks that you have to do or postpone the non-immediate ones. Now look for some spaces where you can do self-care and block those in.
Use your spoons – if you are feeling overwhelmed you will have low energy. Spoons theory was created for patients with mental health challenges. However, I find that it is applicable to all of us. Especially when we are overwhelmed. The basic principle is that you have 10 spoons of energy in a day. You take 10 minutes to work out which are 1 spoon, 2 spoon, 3 spoon and 4 spoon tasks. So doing the washing might be a 3 spoon task, food shopping or work a 4 spoon task. Now the idea is that you have 10 spoons in one day. When you make your to-do list make do a quick analysis and allocate the spoons accordingly to your tasks.
So my day today looks like this:
- Pædagogisk meeting – 2 spoons
- Work – 4 spoons
- Quick clean – 1 spoon
- Washing 1 – spoon
- Bbq with friends – 2 spoons
That’s all I can do. Anything else has to be either delegated or left for another day. It keeps my energy use in check. I also do the same process for work tasks and allow my self 10 work spoons for each work day. Using spoon theory minmises your day and will give you time to relax.
Routine routine routine- Follow a fixed routine for the weekly chores. Make a food plan for the week and shop once. Do your washing on the same day. Dedicate x amount of time to the children before bed. Force yourself into a routine and the chores will become habits. Then the habits take less of your energy and become easier to do.
When you are overwhelmed you need more than ever to recharge. So energising yourself where ever possible is really important. Eat well. Get your 7 – 8 hours sleep. Help your focus by using focus music. Do 10 minutes exercise or walkievery dayday. Give yourself blocks of time dedicated to self-care. That can be anything from a facemask, to a netflix binge. Anything that will give you a good amount of downtime. Make recharging a priority in these days and grab every opportunity for relaxation you can get. I know you might want to go out and party, or socialise every evening however if your body doesn’t work nothing will. Make taking care of you a priority when you are overwhelmed and you will have the energy to come out the otherside
Self-care and success
I love personal development and in a perfect world, I would have my hour a day dedicated to this. However, in the next 2 months, it’s just not an option. Yet without this, I don’t feel as though I am succeeding and growing in my life and my motivation and self-confidence goes downwards. The last thing I need in a period of overwhelmedness. A simple tool has really helped me to get over this problem. Everyday I ask myself:
- How am I going to challenge myself today?
- How am I going to take care of myself today?
I only dedicate one task as a challenge one task as self-care. Some days it can be as simple as go to work and read a book for 15 minutes, other days the actions are bigger. The success of achieving these two actions makes me feel as though I have climbed a gigantic mountain. Which is exactly the dopamine hit my tired and overwhelmed brain needs! Success is one of the best motivators. For me, this has been the best tool I have ever found to survive the feeling of being overwhelmed. Try this tool every day for a week and you will feel on top of the world!
When using this 3 step process you take charge. By taking charge you are in control. And that in itself stops the feeling of being overwhelmed. I recommend if you like me have a busy 6-8 week period coming up then please please book yourself a few days r and r at the end of it. Recoup and recharge and you will avoid the meltdown danger zone. Above all take care of yourself and be conscious of how you are treating you at this time.
Have a great weekend <3