Kill Overwhelm and Get It Done – Practical Strategy Tips to Making Sh*t Happen!
Happy Friday Lovers!
As promised here’s the 2nd part to Getting Things Done! Last time we talked about how to stay focussed and actually finish things and it was all about what’s going on internally….this week I’m giving you a combination of the psychology behind overwhelm and I’m also going to address how to practically get things done when your life is already jam packed with kids, a day job, study and so on. So this step is full of practical tips and time domination tips in killing overwhelm and getting things done.
As always, we need to touch on the inner game first, after all it’s what drives whether you can ignore your kids endless requests, your desire to go and fix another coffee or the temptation to click over to facebook, when you’ve set yourself a specific task to finish in the 1 precious hour that you have on hand to do what you set out to do. And You know what I’m talking about here…
We’ve briefly touched on aspects of this before, but if you’re already super busy and doing lots of new and unfamiliar things week in week out (such as growing your new new business or expanding in your established business while perhaps being a new mum too) then you need to have good rituals in place to give yourself a sense of comfort and familiarity outside of that realm. Because if you don’t, you’ll hit an upper limit of how much new, and hence challenging, things you’re actually able to handle.
And when you hit that upper limit, you’ll get into a bad emotional state, start loosing your confidence in whether you can actually make this happen i.e. become one of these women that you are inspired by…and all the drama will surface and you’ll end up procrastinating because you’re starting to feel that your future is somehow blocked. You’re starting to doubt.
And this is a downward spiral you don’t want to get to. This is why its so crucial to understand and have tools to manage your emotional state and your energy levels. This has a huge impact on your productivity. So make sure you take time for yourself, even if you can only fit in short moments of this, and in a way feed your inner child who’s had enough of the pressure and responsibility and the constant go, go,go and do,do,do. Because by doing this you’ll give your subconscious the ability and strength to push though even your most challenging tasks.
Next, if you’re someone who’s always flitting between jobs and get’s nothing completed, you’re basically stopping when you’re hitting your upper limit. For the next week I want you to do an internal check at the very moment when you make a decision to stop what you’ve said you would finish and are about to move onto the next thing. Check in with yourself and ask yourself: What is it that I’m telling myself in this moment? What is the story that I’m telling myself right now about why I’m not staying here to finish this, but think to move onto the next thing. What am I focussing on and what do I make that mean? What should I be focussing on? What would be a more empowered story and meaning, that would allow me to stay on course till the finish?
I bet in that moment you’re finding doubt about your skills and confidence. You’re loosing faith that you can actually do this, or your even afraid of what will happen if you actually get this thing finished and out into the world! It could be your fear of success as much as your fear of failure. You don’t keep on track if you’ve on some level decided that you don’t deserve the life that you want. It could also be that moving forward and finishing this thing would involve a risky, forward thinking decision that would take you way outside of your comfort zone and to a new stage in your life…that on some level you think you’re not ready for.
What do you think it’s for you?
Remember, that it’s via going thorugh these challenges, that’s the only way to move you further though your life stages and levels of success and income.
So many people stay stuck in this pattern because it means they don’t have to risk their greatest fears; fear of not being enough and, at the other end of the scale, fear of success. Playing a small game is safe as no one will notice, you don’t need to stand out and take risks. But if you push though, keep your cute butt on the chair and finish that damn thing, then its a bit risky as it will often bring new opportunities and new challenges your way. So you gotta be mentally prepared for that!
Okay…then it’s time to address the practical strategy for fast execution.
So let’s talk about structure and discipline.
The structure I talk about here is strict and disciplined around you work time. I don’t care if your house is a mess, your post remains unopened for days and you’ve got a list of voicemails to return to. What I care about is are you being disciplined with the short bursts of time that you get for finishing jobs.
Here’s the keys to getting things finished after your mindset is sorted:
1. Get clear on your money making activities, by priority
You need be really clear as to what your business priorities are. What are the key things that really make you money? If you’re not clear what these tasks are, then for sure you’ll be forever fleeting from one thing to the next trying to make sense of the chaos. So make sure you know your business. Make sure yo have a clear list of income generating tasks that you have ranked in the order of priority (and not how it feels to do the task). The income generating activities are often the ones that to begin with don’t feel good, but are good for you.
2. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real
You need to set your structure for your week latest on sunday night. And I mean by day and by hour, in your calendar. Not by ‘to do list’ that’s not specific and that hasn’t taken into considerate how long things take to complete. You need to schedule all your tasks (by priority) by blocking out the time for them in your calendar. And you need to be realistic but with a stretch. There’s no point scheduling things that are already impossible to finish before you start, because that’ll get you nothing but guaranteed overwhelm! I set mine on a friday night, whatever time I finish work. Then I can relax for the weekend (even if I’m working on some stuff over the weekend) knowing that I’m clear for my priorities and tasks for the following week. And I always review the week after as well, so I already have a good idea of what that week looks like as well. There’s no surprises and my calendar is my accountability; am I staying true to the things that I set out to do. It’s really easy to see if I’m not.
Then as your new working week starts, you’ll be following your calendar and doing the thing that you said you’d be doing. AND NOTHING ELSE. The time is sacred for that thing only. That means before you check in on emails, before you listen to the voicemails, before you get back to people. You need to focus your time to your income generating activity first, and then to admin, emails and the never ending to do list of small tasks that are not an absolute must. Literally close the door to your family, switch off the phone, close your mail program and focus on the one task that you’re completing, and nothing else.
I guarantee if you do this with discipline, week by week, your productivity will go through the roof. Don’t let your down days and external interruptions, that we all have from time to time, affect your routine. What matters is consistency. You need to keep moving towards your dreams with absolute certainty and until you get what you want. You work towards it daily until it becomes your reality. That’s how life works.
3. Be accountable
Make sure you’re accountable to someone else than just yourself. And it’s even more than that, its support and sisterhood with peers that get what you’re doing. Because family isn’t always the place for this, and if that indeed is your case and your friends don’t get your ‘thing’ either, then you must find a group of women who do. I belong to a couple of entrepreneurial women’s masterminds which give me a place to brainstorm ideas, get inspired and supported and share similar journeys with women who really get me. I also have my coach for real accountability and leverage and to stretch myself so that my business stays on track from week to week, month to month.
Till next time……
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