Today, I want to talk about that feeling we get when we’re totally, utterly OVERWHELMED.
Maybe you’re feeling it right now. That unbearable feeling like, “Holy crap, I’ve got 80 billion things that NEED to be done (like yesterday!!!)… people are depending on me and I’m bound to drop a ball (or twenty!) right now.”
In those moments, life feels relentless, totally intense, and if the weather is murky outside, you just want to hide inside your duvet rather than face what’s ahead.
Girl, I feel ya.
But I also know something else about you. You’re persistent. You are capable of so much. People DO rely on you, because you are incredibly reliable. You’re the one they ask first to join a committee. You’re the one they approach for advice and answers when they’re stuck. You’re the one that everyone thinks, “Man, she’s totally got it ALL figured out in life… out of all of us, SHE’S the one I’m betting on who’s got her ISH together!”
And some days, you certainly do.
But dear friend, I want you to hear me… you don’t always need to have it all together. You don’t need to carry the load. The worry, the anxiety, that overwhelming feeling in the pit of your stomach… that’s not yours to carry.
So, do you want to know my one simple way that I overcome the overwhelm?
How I overcome the overwhelm
- Set a 7-minute timer
- Close all the tabs on your browser and turn all electronic devices (your phone, your laptop, your tablet, your everything!) to “Do Not Disturb”
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen
- Go somewhere you won’t be disturbed
- Close all the tabs—in your brain—which are open
- Write this at the top of your sheet of paper: “What Needs to Get Done”
- Press “Start” on your timer
- Now, brain dump it all on to paper. Right here, right now. Don’t stop to edit. Just get it all out
- If you run out of things to write about before the timer ends
- Think about your home life, what’s in your fridge, what about your partner, kids, friends, family or anyone close to you?
- What’s lurking in the deep recesses of your brain that’s been bugging you as a ‘to-do’ that never gets done?
- Write it all down… you aren’t committing to do it by writing it down, you’re just simply releasing this nagging thought from your brain and giving it permission to get out of your head and on to paper
How did that feel?
For me, the second I can get all of my spiraling thoughts out of my head and onto paper, I feel a big sigh of relief that naturally comes out of my body.
I can breathe again.
None of the tasks have (technically) gotten done yet, but this is the first step in overcoming the overwhelm. You now understand what’s swirling around, and the next step is to figure out what’s YOURS to carry – and what isn’t.
Mark Y for ‘Yours’
So, now you’ve got the list, all you simply do is put a Y for ‘Yours’ next to the tasks that are undeniably YOURS to carry… and an N for “Not Yours” next to the stuff you could delegate or say no to.
And before you put a Y next to everything, I want you to ask yourself…
- Do I enjoy this task?
- Is there someone who could do it better, faster, cheaper than me?
- Would it feel oh so GOOD to let it go?
That’ll give you instant clarity, right there.
And clarity, friends, is how you overcome the overwhelm.
Simplify your workload, get clear on what’s yours to carry and then, take action.
This practice will only take you 7 simple minutes.
Are you up for the challenge?
And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.
“Don’t busy-shame me.
Sometimes people really do have a bazillion balls in the air.
It’s not a cool factor.
It’s not a status symbol.
It’s not a lack of delegating.
It’s just how it is sometimes.
I’m using all my #blackgirlmagic to get it done. So either lend a hand or cheer me on or bring me water & snacks… or get out the way.”
Sharon, I love you. Thank you for reminding us all of this truth. I’m cheering you on. You and I both know that owning a business can be downright exhausting when you take a peek behind the curtain.
Remember there are people out there who can help. You don’t have to carry it all. Less hustle and grind. More ease and simplicity. And girl, if we lived in the same city still, I’d be sending you some Tiff’s Treats right about now.
You’re doing great… keep going!
You can do this, I believe in you.
It’s time to SIMPLIFY.
If this thought of the day inspired you…
Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.
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As always friends, keep things simple.
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