4 tips for small business owners to overcome overwhelm

September 22, 2014

Guest blogger Michelle Powell of Some Like IT Organized, shares tips on how to ensure you don’t become too overwhelmed.

Guest blogger Michelle Powell of Some Like IT Organized, shares tips on how to ensure you don’t become too overwhelmed.

As the founder of Some Like It Organized, one of the main reasons I am called to help folks get organized is because it is simply too overwhelming for them. They aren't familiar with the process and have no evidence of being successful at it, yet. It’s a piece of cake for me, and 99.9% of the time I am never overwhelmed with client projects. I had to learn a lot and gain experience first before I had this kind of confidence

On the small business side, however, almost everything is overwhelming to me. I don’t claim to be an expert business owner, nor do I want to be. The end result as a business owner will always be changing, so new challenges and protocols have to be controlled somehow.

To tame my own overwhelm, I follow this regime:

Perspective: My Coach always tells me that “overwhelm is the mistaken doubt that the resources are not available to fulfill our wants and needs.” This is such a great quote because it immediately reveals the secret illusion that overwhelm actually is! Of course we have the resources to take care of everything. Sometimes we just need to get creative. Switching up our perspective in this way allows us to re-structure our thought process and action plan.

Clarity: If you think about it, what you’re experiencing is some manifestation of a wish, dream or goal of yours. Apparently, it came about in a way that you didn't expect, so now it’s time to get clear. I recommend deep breathing or meditation to open up energy pathways and get more oxygen to your brain so that you are clear-headed. Next, remember the wish, dream or goal that this is actually pertaining to and focus on that. Remember why you want this, or some version of this. What benefit will this goal bring to you? Perhaps you realize now that you don’t want this, and that clarity is great, too! Let your underlying desire be the motivation to keep going (or stop this in its tracks so you don’t waste any more time).

Support: As humans, we strangely seem to forget how supported we are, especially considering it’s natural for us to want to help others. You and I both know that trying to do too much on our own isn’t the most efficient route. Remember that you are supported beyond measure. Have faith in yourself with a strong belief in your own worthiness. This holds so much weight to feeling at ease and taken care of. Have you asked for the specific support you need? People are more willing to help than you think.

System: Now that you know you are clear and capable of accomplishing the end result and have asked for the support you need, it’s time to take action. What I like to do for big projects or overwhelming matters is think about what a CEO would do. Would he or she sit around wondering how this is going to happen, procrastinate or complain about how they don’t know what to do? No. The busiest businessperson ever, “ain't got time for that.” They get things done by prioritizing, delegating and laser focus on a single task at hand.

More specifically:

  • Break up the project in manageable parts so that each step has an actionable direction. Think definitive verbs instead of broad nouns.
  • Set up a priority list so you know how to proceed throughout the process. This is especially important when “something comes up” and you need to see if you can step away or keep working.
  • Do the hardest part(s) first and at the best time of day for you. High priority and important tasks should be done while you are at your best and with the highest amount of energy.
  • Work backwards from the goal completion timeframe by setting mini deadlines along the way to keep you accountable.
  • Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not the most efficient strategy. For best results, focus all of your energy on one thing at a time.
  • Don’t work on tasks that you are simply not good at. You will spend too much time with a frustrating learning curve and end up more unmotivated than before. This is where you can ask for support or delegate.

If you are still feeling extra stuck, it really is time to move. Take any action, no matter how small. Whether that is simply thinking, planning or exercising, I promise you that you will be more motivated after you do this. Keep these four frames of reference in mind the next time you are feeling overwhelmed. You can do it! I believe in you.

Fore more insight on organization, read my previous guest post for the Hiscox small business insurance blog on how to “Achieve any goal with organization.” 

Michelle is passionate about helping people find serenity and flow in their life and space so they feel more fulfilled and balanced. A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Michelle is  also  Feng Shui certified. The dynamic nature of Michelle’s career experience has enabled her to understand the intricacy of time management, energy and how your space supports you. The trifecta of Holistic Organizing, Life Coaching and Feng Shui all come together seamlessly, customizing and complimenting each other for a truly comprehensive transformation. Learn more at www.somelikeitorganized.com.