Do you find yourself scrambling and running up against deadlines? Or maybe you have tons of ideas but no idea where to start. Either of these scenarios can leave even the most seasoned entrepreneur  feeling super overwhelmed. Here's what I do to prevent burnout and take back control!

Do you find yourself scrambling and running up against deadlines?

Or maybe you have tons of ideas but can't figure out where to start.

Either of these scenarios can leave even the most seasoned entrepreneur feeling super overwhelmed.

What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed?

I wish I could say that I always handle overwhelm with grace and confidence - that I'm totally practical, and that I just put together a to-do list and make it happen.

But the reality is, when I'm feeling overwhelmed I usually do one of two things: I either stay up all night trying to get everything done, or I completely shut down. 

Either way, I end up feeling burnt out.

So how do I prevent burnout? And what can we do to prevent overwhelm before it happens?

Assess the situation

As soon as I start feeling overwhelmed, I make a list of what’s working and what’s not working.

Writing everything down allows me to step back and assess the situation. I begin to gain clarity, and it becomes much easier for me to find solutions to each of the problems that are contributing to my overwhelm.

Maybe my issue is that I’m super-stressed because I’m not getting enough sleep. {Listen, if this is your issue, I know what you're thinking: "But I can't sleep more - I have too much work to do!"}

But the issue at hand isn't the work, it's the sleep. {We'll get to the work, I promise!} And when we separate these issues we can deal with each accordingly.

I think we all know that the solution to the sleep situation is to get more sleep! So my action item for this problem might look like setting a warning alarm at 10:00 PM each night that says, "It's time to stop, make a list, and get ready for bed." 

Maybe another issue is that I keep pressing up against a deadline. Maybe my blog posts are all going out at the 11th hour. As I start to analyze the problem, I realize that I haven't put together a content calendar for my blog, and I haven't scheduled blogging into my day. Again, I write down the problem and begin brainstorming solutions and action steps I can take to resolve the problem.

Make your morning routine non-negotiable

Another way I prevent burnout is making my morning routine non-negotiable. 

If go to bed before 10:30, I know I can wake up at 5:30 with ease.

My morning routine looks like this: I start by waking up and drinking a big glass of water to re-hydrate.

I pick up a pen and write down three things I'm grateful for and three things that must get done during the day to move my business forward. {These might relate to customer service, following up with prospects, marketing, content creation, etc. and will often change based on my priorities and goals for the week and month.}

I spend 20-30 minutes working out and 20-30 minutes reading a devotional. The remaining time I spend implementing the three priority tasks. 

Before 7:00 AM I'm already feeling super-productive. I've "filled my cup" and now have plenty of energy and time to "pour out" throughout the day. 

I know that I've moved the needle forward in my life and in my business, and everything else that happens during the day feels like icing on the cake or the cherry on top.

Track Your Time

Maybe you're reading this and you're thinking "but I've done those things!"

You've brainstormed your problems and potential solutions, and you've implemented a strong routine, but you're still feeling overwhelmed. You feel like you just don't have enough time in the day to get it all done, and it all feels important.

I've been there! And when I did this next step, it was so eye opening to me!

When I'm feeling like there just aren't enough hours in the day, I check myself my tracking my time.

I have a printable that I take with me throughout the day and every 30 minutes, I sit down and write down exactly where I spent my time.

I'll be honest, it is SO eye opening!

I can immediately begin to pinpoint areas where I've been procrastinating on the activities that need to get done and spending lots of time on activities that just don't matter.

When I know that I'm tracking my time, I'm much more focused and productive {because no one actually wants to have to write down, "Well, I didn't follow up with prospects today because I spent time watching Fuller House on Netflix"}.

I recommend we all perform this self-check once a month to not just prevent burnout, but as a monthly check-up to make sure that we are staying focused on our priorities!

SHIFT THE FOCUS

Sometimes, burnout and overwhelm can happen when we're spending too much time focused on the wrong things. When we focus on what others have or what they are doing, we can start to think that maybe we should be doing those activities too.

When I shift the focus from what others are doing to the people I am trying to help, to the clients I’m trying to serve, to the difference I want to make in my community, in my church, and in the world, it makes a huge difference.

Let's shift our focus to the priorities that really matter.

Be uniquely you

Your routine may not be the exact same as mine. The activities that I’m doing may look different than the activities that that you’re doing because my priorities are probably different than your priorities.

We’re all different. {And that's a really good thing!}

So please hear me when I say that while this is what works for me, we'll need to tweak and adjust it to find exactly what works for you!

Take Action

If you've been feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I want you to take action now - before you reach burnout.

(1) Sit down today and make that list. Ask yourself "what is stressing me out?" and write down the solutions.

(2) Create that non-negotiable routine for yourself. Mine is in the morning, but maybe yours will be in the afternoon or evening. The "when" doesn't matter nearly as much as the activity itself does.

(3) Review where you've been spending your time, and shift your focus and perspective to the priorities that matter.

When I take these action steps in my own life, I find that I’m a lot less stressed. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have 8,000 things to do. But the thing is, I’m ok with the fact that not every single one of those things is going to get done.

I’m ok because I know that I took steps to move my business forward today. I know that I spent quality time taking care of myself and my family.

What's important will always get done, and if it doesn't get done today, it will shift to the top of the list tomorrow!

@@What's important will always get done. Where are you spending your time?@@

Do you tend to stay up all night or shut down when you're feeling overwhelmed? What steps do you take to get back on track when you're feeling burnt out? 

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