Two Forms of Overwhelm and What To Do About Them

This month’s teleclass topic was about “Ending Entrepreneurial Overwhelm.” And as I outlined the topic, I thought about was what causes it. How does it show up for me, how does it show up for my clients and other entrepreneurs I talk with?

It comes in many forms and the two I hear (or recognize) the most are:

  1. Information overload – “they” say I need to be doing this and this and that. And I’ve heard about this other thing I should be doing – Oh and then there’s this – and I can’t forget about that. But how do I find or make time for all of that?
  2. Everything’s started, nothing is finished – last month I started doing this, but then last week I decided I should really be doing this instead. And two days ago I decided I should do this too. So, I have a lot of things I’m working on right now! For some reason I just can’t get anything finished, I just run out of time.

Both of these have the same root cause –you’re focusing on too many things at once, specifically new things. I get it; new things have a bit of a new car look and smell to them. Then you get started on it and the “newness” melts away. You notice that maybe your new car isn’t as perfect as you thought. You’re not getting anywhere any faster than you were in the old car. And now you’re even more frustrated.

So, why are you focusing on so many things at once? Why is it when you pick out one thing to focus on you stick to it for a bit and then find yourself picking something else to focus on before finishing the first one (don’t worry, you’re not alone)? The reason is you don’t have clarity. Yes, you probably have a goal, make this much money or have this many clients or sell this much product, but you aren’t clear about which strategy to use to get there.

As a result, you jump from one strategy to the next. And none of them are really given enough time to determine if they work for you or not. So, pick one strategy and see it through. Purposefully work on each step and tweak as necessary.

The next question is: How do you get clarity? One of the simplest ways is to clearly define what you want and the strategy you’ll use to get there. Think of it like a taking a trip. If you’re going to Chicago, there are lots of different roads and methods you can take to get there. You pick out the way that makes the most sense to you and set out. Halfway through the trip it probably doesn’t make sense to decide to take the train. However, you could make a note that next time you’d like to take the train.

The strategies we use to reach our goals are similar. Once you plot out your strategy, stick to it. And if you come across another strategy on the way, make a note that you thought it was interesting and maybe next time you can use that strategy.

I’d love to know one of your goals and the strategy you’re committing to using to achieve it. Leave a comment and let me know!

2 thoughts on “Two Forms of Overwhelm and What To Do About Them

  1. At a meeting today, in a totally different context, a thought was expressed. I have updated it for inclusion here….
    It may not even be a lack of focus (ok, it always is, but we justify it differently)… It’s the kid in the candy store syndrome. We see these wonderful, shiny new objects and want to have one. We start it, don’t see immediate results (or, even if we do…) and then grab for the next shiny object, leaving the partially touched, seconds-old one on the floor.
    Get the value from each new shiny object. Then, see if the next one is useful to replace this one…

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