I want to chat briefly about how to overcome the feeling of being totally and completely overwhelmed by all the shit you have to do. When you have a to-do list longer than your arm, and deadlines looming, it’s so easy to succumb to overwhelm and become paralysed by the never-ending “to do’s”. Surely you’ve been there at one point or another. 

How to beat overwhelm when deadlines are looming

What I like to do at this point (or ideally a week or so BEFORE you get to this point), is this:

Brain Dump

Do a brain dump of everything that you can think of for your business onto one sheet of paper (this might actually be your current to-do list, if you write everything down, or it could be all the shit floating around in your head that you’re trying to remember)

Another Brain Dump

Do the same again for house/family/life stuff if you need to – the idea is to get everything out of your head and onto paper to clear some space for the things that are urgent.

Categorise

Take some different coloured highlighters and highlight all the tasks that fall into the same projects (ie “launch winter collection” / “grow customer base” etc)

Prioritise

Take another piece of paper and divide it into 4 squares/rectangles (you can draw them or just fold it in half and half again).

Then look at your highlighted “projects” and decide which is the very most important of all of them (it’s most likely the one that is going to bring in the cash flow, or the one with the first deadline!), and write those tasks in the first box

Find the next most important group, and put them in the next box.

Do the same for the third most important group of tasks, put them in box 3.

Then, look at the LEAST important group (it might be a “miscellaneous” category of all little annoying things you need to get done), and put that in the box 4.

Schedule

Now, set a few days aside in the next couple of weeks to either get all the stuff in box 4 done (clear your plate), or outsource those tasks, however you can.

Implement

Now GET TO WORK. Steadily work on all the tasks in box 1 until they are ALL DONE and you can mark that project as complete.

Then do the same for box 2, and then box 3.

My biggest tip here is not to set hard deadlines for these tasks. Just do each box until it’s done. 

That’s how long it will take. 

The beauty of working like this (not all the time, but when things start piling up), is that it eliminates you spending any time on tasks that should really be in box 5 or 6 or 7, under the pretence of “saving time” by batching tasks (which is normally a really good practice to get into!). 

It allows you to focus all your attention on the most urgent tasks only, and when you work through this system just one little step at a time, you’ll not only feel less overwhelmed but also quite productive!

If you need help putting together a time management plan or weekly schedule to help you in your business, you can book a free 20 minute consultation with me to see how I can help you. 

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