I am an idea maker. A dreamer. My husband has teased me with saying instead of trying to implement all these ideas I have, I should sell my ideas because I always come up with new ones. I don’t know how that would work, but I’ll put it on my list. ;) Thanks, honey. :)
I like to come up with new ideas. Its not stressful for me to come up with a business name, domain name, who I would market to, what products I would sell, etc. Its fun! But having all these ideas, some I will be running with and some just for fun, bouncing around in my head alongside the true every day responsibilities and tasks…it can get overwhelming. And I get overwhelmed easily. And when I have real life things in my head bouncing around with the dreams, I get scared that I am going to forget to do the things I have to do or have planned. Grocery list along side genius business idea. It just doesn’t work. Because I usually end up forgetting the ice because I am dreaming about selling at farmers markets and using my new Square card reader. [True story.]
However, even though I tend to get overwhelmed, I have learned this about myself and have a few tricks up my sleeve for those mind racing moments. When the to-do list is too long, and yet writing the to-do list is one of the list items itself. Oi. So I thought I would share with you 5 Tips to Kicking Overwhelm in the Hiney. Because, guys, that overwhelm has got to go. And it needs to be replaced with peace. Because you aren’t going to get anything done if you’re feeling stressed.
1. Make a List
This is a big one for me. Something about getting everything out of my head and onto a piece of paper shrinks the enormous mountain of to-dos down to its true size: bits that can be accomplished one at a time. Each task may be large itself, but at least you can see them all on one page, written down so you can’t forget them, ready to be checked off. When you make a list, don’t just put certain genre’s of to-dos on the page, write it all down. Grocery shopping on the same list as the sponsored blog post you need to write. Getting the oil changed and designing a new Facebook Cover. It all needs to be done, so why not get it out of that brain of yours so you can have space to think?? Another great benefit to making a list is that you can then prioritize the tasks. One you have everything written down, number the tasks. Then re-write the list in the order of your priority. Work from top to bottom and only commit to completing one or two tasks per work session.
Its also good to make a list of your ideas. That way, if there are some great discoveries that you don’t have time for right now, you have them written down for later when you have the time to rock your business and take over the world! ;)
2. Make Your Time Intentional
Its important to have the time to actually get your to-do list done, so you have to be intentional about it. Your list isn’t going to get itself done! But also, if you have periods that you are more productive, you need to be intentional about harnessing that time and making it work for you. For me, getting up early before the kids are up is the time that I can get the most done before the day begins. Once the littles are up, its very difficult to get any work done. And then I have to get stuff done after bedtime. And that is usually fine, except if I am doing that every night, my husband doesn’t like it so much. ;) So its very important that I get up when that alarm sounds so I can make sure to take advantage of that peaceful time to get things done.
3. Pre-Determine What Your Time Slot Needs to Accomplish
If you have many things you need to do, its a good idea to make yourself a schedule. There is a productivity method that says to work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. So make a schedule. If you have an hour and a half to work, write a quick checklist for those three time slots. First time slot, email. Second time slot, social media. Third time slot, blogging. Make sure you have purpose to your productivity time because if you just sit down to work in general, your to-do list is going to seem overwhelming again and you may just fart that time away doing tasks that aren’t as important. I find myself setting time aside in the morning, getting up and getting my coffee, and then whoops! Its 8:00 and the kids are waking up, and I’ve gotten nothing done. I set aside that time, but did I make a plan for what that time was for? Don’t just set aside time to work; make a plan for that time and set yourself up for success! [Tweet that!]
4. Shut Off Social Media
This is extremely important. Ever sit down at the computer to do something important and then end up on Pinterest for an hour and a half? Or sit down to answer an email and Twitter sucks you in? I understand that social media is part of business. It should be. BUT, shut it off if you sit down to do something that doesn’t involve any of your social networks. Put your phone on silent and shut down Tweet Deck on your computer when you sit down to complete a task. Remember how we are pre-determining our intentional work time? Set aside time for social media and then don’t touch it!
5. Prayer Works
I know this may sound cheesy, but pray about it. I am always asking the Lord to give me wisdom and strategy to use my time well. My kids tend to lose their crap when I am on my computer while they’re awake. Time outs multiply and tears abound. They want my attention. So I need to be intentional about what I do – mothering and being an entrepreneur. I am always asking the Lord for guidance, time, and wisdom in all areas of my life. I believe He wants me to be successful in all I do, so I just cling to Him and His Word – who He says I am and how He wants me to be. When I am going crazy trying to make all things work, returning my focus to the Lord always helps to calm the storm in my heart and mind and refocus on what He wants for me and my family.