So many things to do, so little time! When you really think about it, is time really the biggest hurdle you face? I wonder if you feel so overwhelmed by the amount of things piling up on your to-do list that you freeze. You have a hard time getting started on projects and you feel like you’re not making any headway on anything at all. Amiright?
Let’s talk about how to bust overwhelm and get into forward motion today by digging into these questions: What’s one thing I can do today that will move me forward? What’s one thing I can do that will change multiple other things? What am I secretly afraid of? What is the most important thing I can do first?
What’s One Thing I Can Do Today That Will Move Me Forward?
Someone once asked me to think about one thing I could do today to move myself forward in life, work, relationships, or health. This is such a powerful question! Sometimes we get caught up in that master to-do list and feel overwhelmed by it. If you are able to complete even one thing from that list, rest easy knowing that you moved forward in some area of your life.
Consider the one percent rule: If you’re in an airplane and it’s changing course one percent every hour, you’re not going to feel the difference in the air, but your destination becomes another city quite quickly. One simple percent will compound. Don’t feel discouraged if all you can do is just one little thing in a day.
If you close the day knowing you may not have completed everything, but moved forward even slightly, be proud of that! Continue to gradually chip away at your list and make forward momentum. It’s like a snowball. At first, little changes might not feel like a lot, but as you start to get more and more off your plate, it’s going to compound and you are going to feel a much greater positive difference.
What’s One Thing I Can Do That Will Change Multiple Other Things?
One of my mentors asked me what was the one thing I could fix that would fix the most other things? For example, I recently participated in a dry month as a great way to help me sleep better, feel healthier, and be more in alignment with all the other healthy things I do every day. Rather than going out and getting dinner and wine with friends, I worked on projects or focused on true rest and relaxation. There are so many areas that can make a positive impact by that experiment, and for me, it was one decision I made that would impact a ton of other decisions in my life for the better.
Your turn! What is the one thing you could do today that’s going to impact the most other things? What’s the one domino you can push that’s going to naturally push over all the other dominoes?
In business, perhaps it’s hiring an assistant so you’re not having to move yourself forward. Have them take over roles such as posting on social media, responding to emails, engaging with your audience, accounting, or one of the million other things that a business requires. You now have support to offload five or six of those smaller things, so you free up all that time, energy and mental space, just from that one action.
What Am I Secretly Afraid Of?
Remember that oftentimes, procrastination is really just fear dressed up as procrastination. If you find yourself refraining from doing something, even if it’s not that big or time consuming, ask yourself what you are afraid of.
For example, I have been trying to get more comfortable posting about my business in Facebook groups to promote my offerings. It’s been on my list for a long time, and in practice it would only take me five minutes. I knew there had to be some fear there because I was holding off on this small item on my checklist.
My solution was to either rework whatever I was going to promote or post so that I felt good about it or look at what’s going on and see if that’s a fear story taking up space in my life. The fear around being judged or something not going well causes uncomfortable feelings and I started acknowledging that. I continually choose to let that go and not let it run my life.
It may help to have affirmations or to talk to others in a similar position and see how they got around it. Another option is to journal and see if you can rework the situation to either feel less fear or choose to let the fear go.
What is the Most Important Thing I Can Do First?
One of the other things that a mentor once told me about preventing feelings of overwhelm is to do the most important thing in the day first. It’s easy to have a list of things to do and to want to save the big behemoth that you’re dreading for the end of the day after you’ve finished all the little things. However, if you start with that big task when your energy is highest, all of a sudden all those other little things are way easier to do.
Picture it this way: you have a bucket that gets filled each day by your tasks, or rocks. If you fill the bucket with all the tiny pebbles and try to top it with the big boulders, there’s no way they’ll fit because they’re sitting on top of all the other little rocks and there’s nowhere for them to go. If you reverse that and instead put the big boulders in first, it’s very easy to pour all the little pebbles in and everything fits because they slide right in between the cracks. Do the most important things first and the rest of your day will be a breeze.
What’s one thing I can do today that will move me forward? What’s one thing I can do that will change multiple other things? What am I secretly afraid of? What is the most important thing I can do first? When you find your list of to-do’s isn’t working for you anymore, try asking yourself one of the questions that speaks to you in your situation. Bust the overwhelm and start feeling more balanced and present in life once you get into forward motion today!
Did this resonate with you? Listen to the full episode on The Bright Life Podcast—Episode 034: How to Bust Overwhelm.
+ Leave a comment