Stop feeling overwhelmed in business
With everything going on in our business and lives, it feels like we are constantly riding the ups and downs, over and under on the proverbial roller coaster. So now is the time to stop feeling overwhelmed in business!
If you’re anything like I was, you feel overwhelmed, over-scheduled, over-committed, and overstimulated, which also lends to being under-inspired, under-organized, and under-planned. You can’t or even don’t know how you’ll get “all the things” done.
Over and Under
God has called you into business, but sometimes you don’t know how to get everything done. Let alone make the impact you want to make with your business.
Let’s look at some ways to stop the roller coaster ride you are on, smooth out the path, and get you clarity for your day so you stop feeling overwhelmed in business. Now’s the time to make a more significant impact for God.
Through my own experience and clients’ experiences, I have found two areas in which we are out of balance. I call this our OVER and UNDER roller coaster.
In Over Our Heads
Is this your day? Kids, carpools, laundry, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, marketing, phone calls, meetings, networking, and clients. Not to mention your self-care that includes exercise, eating well, and spiritual renewal (aka, time with God).
How many things do you think you can get done in a day? How much do you PLAN to get done, and it just doesn’t happen?
You can get down on yourself when you try to cram in too many things and then don’t accomplish them. When you are over-scheduled, it does not allow for one thing to go wrong (and it will).
There needs to be space in your daily calendar for the ‘God moments.’ The opportunity to help someone, listen to someone, be there for someone.
?Thought: Do you have that time?
Look through your projects, responsibilities, volunteer activities, sign-ups, etc. I’ll bet your week, your month, is pretty full. But, of course, as a business owner, you have that commitment. Still, then you may also have family commitments, sports activities, church volunteering, bible study, community events, ministry opportunities, small group . . . Phew, I’m exhausted already!
When all the things you do have equal priority, you feel overwhelmed. You feel the pressure of having to do it all, all the time. So we want to say YES to great opportunities to serve. But as I like to say, when you are in so many things, you are only making tiny little splashes in a big lake that is one inch deep. So it is not very satisfying.
Besides all the other things you are doing or trying to do, there is also the constant ding, ping, and alert that vies for your attention.
The need to be entertained by music, videos, games while doing something else has your brain playing ping-pong all the time.
You do know that we cannot multi-task, right? You may think you can but what is happening inside your brain is like watching ping-pong. It is pinging back and forth, trying to keep up with all the things you are throwing at it.
Your brain will shut down. Just think of those days when you end your day with a heavy head that feels like you can no longer think straight. Your brain is trying to tell you something.
We’ve all gotten lost down the hole of social media, Netflix, YouTube, or something else that sucks our time away and creates a pattern of distraction that the enemy loves. Because when you are not doing what God wants you to do, you will feel like you are losing your mind.
Stress-free Solution – SIMPLIFY
To begin to stop feeling overwhelmed in business you need to remove the extra activities, responsibilities, distractions, and thoughts that keep you in a constant state of overwhelm and exhaustion. To do this we need to know a few things about ourselves first.
Know your values
Your values are the things that are important to you in the way you live and work. Your values are not different for your personal life than your professional life. Values are stable for all areas of your life.
Values also determine your priorities. When you work within your values, you feel satisfied and content. When you are outside of your values, it feels wrong.
Have you ever had a feeling of dread come over you when you are going to ‘that’ meeting or event? Think about your calendar now. That feeling of dread indicates that you are not working within your values.
Once you realize that God is asking you to serve Him through your business and that you don’t have to do all the other things, you’ll have more impact on those you serve and you’ll stop feeling overwhelmed in business.
Plan To Extract Yourself
Imagine having the confidence to extract yourself from one of those many commitments that are not serving your bottom line, your business. OR, imagine being able to say NO to yet another commitment because you know you are full and doing precisely what God is calling you to do.
You have to start with a plan, though.
Take away the distractions. Get the pings, dings, and alerts off your devices. Give yourself time limits for social media by setting alarms. Do one thing at a time until it is completed or until it’s time to move on to something else (again, I love alarms).
Then attack those commitments. Find a person to take your place or give the organizers a fair warning that you will be quitting the activity, responsibility, organization on a specific date.
Streamline your day by prioritizing activities and tasks. Think through what is required of me today (including things for your business), what will give me the best return of my investment (time, money, relationship) and what will reward me (contentment in my life).
Download my form to brainstorm through your day: How to Prioritize & Simplify your Day.
Submerged Under It All
On top of all the overwhelm, there is another side you may find yourself – under. You are barely touching the surface of what God called you to do.
You have felt a call to be in business—a call to own the company of your dreams. Be your own boss! Even though we all felt strongly called into business or entrepreneurship, there comes a time when we begin to doubt what we’re doing. You may be wondering and asking God if you are on the right path.
Overwhelm will make you feel like you are drowning in all the things you “have to do” in business and help you forget the core reason of WHY you are doing it. Unfortunately, many of us lose our motivation and inspiration to keep going when this happens.
When God calls us, He also equips us to show up in our businesses authentically and uniquely. However, we often do what we see everyone else doing and don’t take the time to explore the WHYs God designed for us. Only when you know yourself better and understand your design will you stand out in your business and industry.
?Thought: How are you holding your true self back in your business?
Being under-organized goes back to the start of this post and being over-committed and over-scheduled. So many of us think we can get soooo much done in one day, and when we don’t, we get down on ourselves.
Sometimes people think being under-organized means being rigid and having no time for spontaneity. But, on the other hand, it may mean being overwhelmed.
Here are some things that will make you under-organized:
- Not getting up at the same time every day
- Never having a routine for your morning and your day
- Hardly ever writing in a planner
- Ignoring the need for having gap time and wiggle room in your day
- Not doing activities in batches
We can discuss many more NOTs, but think of it this way: being overwhelmed most days, is likely because you are under-organized for your day, week, month, and life.
The last part of this ride is the dip in being under-planned.
Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said, “failure to plan is a plan to fail”? And, in Proverbs 16:9, we read, A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
When God called you into business, He did not plan for you to do it alone or by the seat of your pants. It is hard work to be an entrepreneur. However, there are basic things you need to do each day to move your business forward.
God is with you, and He will help you with the right ideas, the right direction, and the right action to take. But, you have the responsibility to do it with excellence. Having a plan, one that you can follow consistently is the key.
God does not promise you that it will just come to you, that you will have wild success ‘just because.’ Instead, he is using your business to grow you, grow your character, and grow you into more of the image of His Son.
Under Water Solution
Living life with laser-like focus is the only way to get out from being under-inspired, under-organized, and under-planned. Knowing your path, the direction God wants you to take gives you motivation and purpose and inspires you to keep going.
Stress-free Solution – FOCUS
First, you must have a single focus on what God is calling you to do. To do this, start by asking yourself these three questions.
- What am I really good at doing?
- What do I LOVE doing? And,
- What problem do I want to solve or fix?
Once you take the time to sit down and look through all the things you are doing, get many of them off your plate, then you can organize the day and the life that you want. One that energizes you not drains you. One that gives you a sense of accomplishment, not one that just happens to you.
When you organize your day, a week, a month around what He calls you to do and prioritize those activities, you will find more space in your schedule.
THEN, and I want to stress this, you must plan. When I say “plan,” I mean you must write it down. Write your plan down on paper or electronically so that you can see it, adjust it, and make it something doable in a consistent way.
I know you can do this. No matter what personality you have or what problems you may have, everyone can create a system and a plan that works for them.
You CAN make a more significant impact, the impact you want to make through your business. You can do more for God and get more done in your day for Him by Simplifying and Focusing.
I would love to hear your thoughts about the roller coaster ride you feel you may be on. So let me know down in the comments.