Here we are looking at the end of yet another year. I’m not sure where 2017 went, it flew by so fast. Still, it’s not over yet, November has settled in and with a little over a month before the end of year wind down, there is much to be done. The workload can be overwhelming if we let it get to us.
This time last year I took my first ever solo trip away. As a wife, mother of six and a business owner, for many years it was not something that had ever entered the equation. To take a trip just before the end of the year chaos seemed a little crazy, I had so many misgivings, but I did it anyway. I loved it so much and found it so beneficial to my business, I have done it again this year.
I am actually writing this piece as I look at the spectacular autumn colours sprinkled all over upstate New York. It’s bliss!
It’s also a wonderful way to get my head into a clear space before the end of year wind down. Rather than drag myself to the finish line a week before Christmas, I finished last year strong with goals and plans for the New Year already set. I can safely say that those plans that were laid out have been successfully implemented and our business and marketing has gone from strength to strength this year.
When I return to Australia, I will immediately fly off to Sydney for the HerBusiness Marketing Mastermind intensive, which begins with a solid day of planning for next year. Going there with a clear headspace rather than a feeling of overwhelm gives me great fuel to look at the upcoming year and what I want to achieve. It is so good to finish the year on a positive note and to plan for next year with clarity.
Following a restful break with a deep dive into focus and planning is a wonderful way to put the big picture of your business firmly in front of mind.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, the following tips may help:
Make time to take time out
I do appreciate that we are not always able to take off to the other side of the world for a break. However, you don’t always need to travel to disconnect. Be sure to incorporate time for mediation, mindful walks, listening to music, or whatever else you enjoy enough to completely disconnect from your business.
When you are chasing your tail and trying to remember what needs to be done when, you are going to be overwhelmed. You are also going to make mistakes, miss appointments and encounter other problems. Keep your diary handy and make sure you write down your to-do list every morning and review it every evening.
Chunk down your tasks
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the large tasks in front of you, chunk them down to smaller items that you can get done and tick off the list. Even small steps in the right direction will take you closer to your goals and help you to feel as though you are getting on top of things. The actual act of marking things done is motivational in itself.
Limit your distraction time
Having studied neuroscience, I learned that the brain works best in increments of twenty minutes, I tend to use that as a yardstick. I focus completely on what I am doing and I don’t let distractions get in the way. For me, that’s usually email and social media so for at least twenty minutes I don’t even glance at my phone or the internet. Sometimes I’m so focused and caught up in the task at hand that I have completed the item before I’ve thought to look at the cyber world or anything else.
Acknowledge that you’re overwhelmed
There are no medals handed out for martyring ourselves in business. If you are feeling overwhelmed, look at ways you can get some help and support to ease the workload. Delegate a few items off your plate.
We are in the eleventh month of the year; the finish line is on the horizon and it’s taken a great deal of hard work to get to this point. It’s not surprising that we may feel a little worn out and overwhelmed, I know I was.
To take a break from my business in November, I’ve had to delegate tasks and call on others for support. Without question, they have all stepped up. I still have my to-do list that I glance at each morning, and with technology, I’m never more than a keystroke away.
But my to-do list is changing and so is my feeling of being worn out and overwhelmed. I’m finding that the daily to-do list is shrinking and instead a few big ideas and items for next year are showing up.
I think excitement is beginning to replace the overwhelm.