A dead simple strategy to overcome overwhelm

by | F2B Podcast

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve no doubt experienced overwhelmed.

I am about half a week into one of the most difficult weeks of my life… And just today, I just discovered a super helpful strategy, by accident, to overcome the overwhelm.

I hope you’ll listen along with me, I really think it will help you.

Full Transcript:

What’s up guys, Steve Schramm here with Faith-Full Business. Hope you guys are doing awesome. I want to talk about something that is a bit of a battle scar that I got just today. I’m recording this at 11:00 at night. It’s been a long day, but I’ve been here the last hour or so laying on the couch here with my little boy, the other two little boys are asleep and my wife and my little girl are visiting family. They’ll be back tonight, but they’re still out visiting family. And so it is just me here. I’ll just be honest, in this lifestyle of self-employment of entrepreneurship, there are good days and there are bad days and I won’t go into all the details.

But these past few days have actually been pretty rough. I’ve worked some really, really long days because of an issue that I have with my hosting company. So of course I am a website designer and our business is we host websites for people. So I have two hosting companies. Technically right now I have three because of what I’m getting ready to tell you. So, I have two hosting companies that I use and one of them has been honestly just terrible for the past few years. And finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back, you know, happened in this last weekend. Things started to go down for seemingly no reason, and I couldn’t get any help from their support team. So I said, all right, I made an executive decision at like 9:00 the other night to switch hosting companies. I started moving things that night and worked the entire next day to move things.

I still was dealing with that a little bit this morning. In just those couple of days where that was my primary focus I had so many other things that were piling up. It just so happens that it’s just one of those weeks. I have one client that I had a pretty good bit of work to do for, but I was waiting on them to get me stuff. They got me the stuff. And so it was time to get that work done. Then I have two other websites that are supposed to launch this week, and then I’ve got like six other active builds right now. I think more than that actually, I’m losing track. So anyway, there’s a lot going on and it was just one of those days.

It’s been one of those weeks so far. And today was the first day that I was going to kind of get back to really trying to get my head straight with what I have to do. I was actually up until 3:00 this morning working on some of the hosting stuff, and so I slept in a couple hours. I got up at 9:30 this morning instead of the usual 7:30. I did two things today that made a big difference and I wanted to share them with you because I think they could help you. I learned something very valuable today in doing these two things and let me just frame it this way. Given the day that I had had the past few days, I was in the shower this morning and I was just all of these different things were going on running through my head.

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Just before I got into the shower, I got a message from a client that I do a lot of white label work for. So he has a hosting company and I build the websites that come into him for his hosting company. He reached out to me about a client that needed to be reached out to schedule some time with. And I was like, oh man. That was the thought I had just before I got into the shower. And so, I’m in the shower and just this huge to-do list is just running through my mind, and so I get through my shower, and I get my Atkins bar ready for breakfast. I sit down at my desk and I just bury my head in my hands and pray.

I’m just like, Lord, you know, I don’t know what to do. Help me make wise decisions, help me do the right thing, and help me get through this day. And my wife came up next to me and I was like, do we have a couple pieces of paper? She’s like yeah. Could you go get them for me? So she goes and gets me a couple of pieces of paper. I used to be really big on using a physical planner and then it kind of stopped because it was actually a lot to keep up with. When you include the digital planners and things that I have to use to, to keep things straight in the business between multiple people and all that. But today I was like, I just need to get all these thoughts down on paper.

So I wrote down all those thoughts that have been going through my mind, things that needed to be done, whether they were client work or they were personal business work or just whatever it was, if it came to mind, I wrote it down. And then I numbered the list in the order of things that needed to be done. I numbered the list in order of importance. And I started tackling my to-do list. Now, already that helped a lot. Just to get it on paper and to look at it and then to number it and give it a priority, that helped tremendously. Now, I was still stressed. I was still overwhelmed because there was still a lot to do, but I now had a plan for tackling it. So I think that’s the first thing I would say.

If you’re overwhelmed, make that list of everything that needs to be done that you can possibly think of and number it, and then start crossing things off the list. I would encourage you to write it down. Don’t make this a digital list. Don’t. Just don’t do it. It doesn’t feel real. Don’t do it. Find a piece of paper and a pen or a pencil and write it down and then write down the numbers next to it for the priority. And then start tackling this new list. So that was strategy number one. So I’ll give you the second part here. I don’t know if these are two different strategies or if it’s one strategy with two parts. I don’t know, but here’s part two.

The first thing happened kind of accidentally. I had got to number four on my list. Number four on my list was to work on a sales funnel. Mind you, these past few days had been full of the kind of tedious kind of work that I don’t like doing, but I couldn’t really justify paying somebody else to do it, at least not at this juncture. So I did it myself and it was getting me really discouraged. Because this is my business. This is my baby here. I’m supposed to love what I do. Maybe you can hear my voice. I’m actually really, really sick. It’s like the ultimate just stew of awful.

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There’s no boss to call in and say, hey, I’m not coming to work today. These are things that need to be done and somebody’s got to do them. I’m starting to work on this sales funnel for this client of mine, and I just realized as I’m working on it, I’m falling in love again with it because this is what I love to do. I love to actually create and I love to apply the marketing know-how that the Lord has blessed me with, and the experience that I have gained and apply that to the website design and actually building out those processes. I ended up working about 3 and a half to 4 hours on that.

About 30 minutes in I was having so much fun again. And it just reminded me of just how much I really do love what I do, even though it comes with its hardships. It comes with its rough days. It really is a blessing to be able to do it. And so if strategy number one is write it down and prioritize, then maybe strategy number two, or part two of this strategy to overcome overwhelm is to do something fun. To do something that you know you enjoy. And again, I did this accidentally, it just happened to be number four on the list, but it was the kind of work that I love doing that I needed to do. I needed to do it and I love doing it.

And about 30 minutes in, I was jazzed. I was like, yeah, this is it. I have so much fun doing this. We got to be really creative working with a graphic designer that works for my client and he was making some of the graphics for it and I was writing some copy and just styling it. It was a lot of fun. So if you’re overwhelmed, write down what you have to do and prioritize it and then find somewhere in that list, maybe it’s even the first thing that you do. Maybe you do have something that’s like a looming deadline that needs to get out, but maybe the priority for you right there is to do the fun thing first.

So maybe even make the fun thing the first priority and get excited about the business again. Get excited about that kind of work, about that level of work. Just a thought, I don’t know if this will help you or not, but, it really, really helped me today. And so I hope that you find some solace in this. I was really overwhelmed to the point of tears, today especially, and this strategy is really, really simple. And now that I know about it and I’ve consciously thought about it and shared it with you, I hope to be able to employ it a lot quicker next time. Just remember, write it down, prioritize it and do something fun. And I think that will help you. I hope it helps you, just like it helped me. Thank you for being a listener to the Faith-Full business podcast. I appreciate you walking through the journey with me, highs and lows, ups and downs, warts and all. I just aim to be really transparent with you here and just share what I’m learning and what I’m doing. So thanks for coming along on the ride with me. God bless you.

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