Getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting up and moving forward is a choice. - Zig Ziglar
I’ll get that to you in the next couple of days, you tell the customer asking for a quote for the third time that day, your brain secretly whirling at the sheer volume of work that must be ploughed through to get to that number of quotes in your pipeline. You’ve put the phone down when it rings again, and you see the number of your top client, and know exactly what it is that they will want of you – and you push back a desire to ignore the call as you reach to answer it.
Overwhelm is a very real condition in the business world. As with all conditions, prevention is easier than cure, but the world we live in doesn’t usually throw its curveballs in regular, anticipated and manageably spaced intervals. Quite often, they come half a dozen at a time and you’re scrabbling to keep your head above water. Here are some practical things you can do to tackle overwhelm.
· Collate. List out all the things you have to do. Every single one of them. Even the unimportant important ones. Get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper, or tablet or however you best do your recording.
· Break it up. Anything huge on the list, break down into single tasks. For example, reach my sales goal, happens only one sale at a time, one call or visit. If the task can be broken down, break it down into manageable pieces. Book x amount of appointments. Make the call.
· Delegate. Look at your list. What can you delegate? What can you combine? What can you cross off or shift to another list because it’s not really an issue at that moment?
· Prioritise. From the tasks that remain, what are the 5 most important things that must be done, in order of most important down to next most important.
· Process. Create, refine, and practice a process which completes the task. Wherever possible, automate, increase efficiency.
· Collaborate. Talk to the person you report to about your workload and how you can bring it into manageable state. Get feedback on the roadblocks they see, share your forward plan and invite them to encourage and keep you accountable.
· Focus. Get the number one thing done. Completely, until it’s finished. Celebrate your success with a moment of satisfaction (I love crossing off the list!)
· Move on. Check your list to make sure the priorities are still the same and change if need be. Get started on the next thing.
The very process of removing the most important thing on the list by completing it creates an energy to move to the next task. It’s the sheer volume of “stuff to be done” that creates overwhelm and causes us to become frozen in a whirl of mismanagement. The momentum of achieving the important and moving on to the next task will help you shift from overwhelm into overcoming. Don’t stay stuck. Find a way forward.
Here’s to your success!