what to do when you feel overwhelmed with work

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Running your own gig can be a really amazing experience…and it can also really suck. There are a lot of things that end up falling into your lap as the highest on the food chain, and it never really seems to dissipate, no matter how far along the business goes.

I’m always suspicious of entrepreneurs that claim to have a totally passive business (meaning they have something totally automated where they just sit on the beach, drinking margaritas and posting pics of the Porsche on Instagram), as you’re still held accountable to the trajectory of your business, so these folks that do 0 things with their business every day just sound…foolish.

But that’s not to say you need to be down in the trenches all day, every day. There’s a happy medium to being totally passive and totally active. So how do you get to that happy medium when you feel like you’re collapsing under the weight of ALL the things you need to do in order to make your business sustainable?

And, let’s be honest here. A sustainable business also means a focused life. If you’ve got a day job AND your business, or a family AND your business, or even student loans AND a business, then you need to remember that your business comes last until it sustains all of those things.

These steps I’m going to give you work in all of those scenarios. If you’re dealing with a financial crisis, or a priority crisis, or even just a general feeling of being overwhelmed, then this will work for all of those situations. I originally broke these down for a friend that was going through some money issues with her business, but I really think these work no matter the crisis.

These things are going to sound like I’m an asshole, but you’ve got to have tough love with yourself if you want things to change, and if you want to stop feeling overwhelmed with all of the things on your plate, so Im going to tell you how to do it. Ready?

  1. Group things together and then prioritize from there. Go through the whole list once with different highlighters, and highlight ones that are highest priority first…the ones that don’t even need thought about. “Electric is about to be shut off? Priority.”
  2. Don’t romanticise something if you’re at crisis level. Working on your business is not a high priority if you’ve got a day job and you need to make rent. Spend your time focusing on making rent, not creating challenges when you don’t have a fanbase to sell it to.
  3. If you have to think whether it’s high priority, it’s not. It goes into a lower priority level, like the terrorist colors we used to have. Once you have the highest ones, prioritize those from easiest to hardest, then knock them out “Snowball finances” style. Get the small wins done to help you stay motivated, and keep tackling the bigger ones.
  4. Once you get through that, move to the next priority level. Do only one level at a time so that you maintain focus and don’t feel as overwhelmed. Nothing is final, nothing can’t be fixed later.

So me having tough love with you is about you having tough love with yourself. Having feelings of overwhelm stems from having jumbled up priorities. If you allow yourself to be honest, and chunk things out into priority levels, then I promise you’ll feel less all over the place and more like a (wo)man with a plan.
Hop to it!

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