What to do when you are overwhelmed by too much work

 

Did that ever happen to you? You have a long list of to-do’s, a couple of deadlines coming up in a few hours and you have no clue how to get it all done in time? You feel so overwhelmed by everything that you can’t even concentrate on getting your work done…

Well, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I spent a wonderful Sunday with my husband and zero work (I didn’t even check my emails). I had a few things planned for the day that I needed to get done before the week starts but my husband surprised me with lazy Sunday brunch (remember it was Valentine’s Day) and I just loved spending the whole day with him and not turning on my laptop to get to the work items that were pending…

Fast forward to Monday morning: I didn’t wake up on time (I was suppose to sit at my desk by 6.30am to work on the things I ignored the previous day) and as soon as I woke up, I had a call with one of my suppliers who couldn’t deliver an item on time. Are you kidding me, Monday morning? Before I even turned on my laptop, my mood was already ruined and again I saw my to-do-list with way to many tasks to complete in a single day.

Being overwhelmed by too much work and too little time, I started multi-tasking (the worst thing ever!)… With 20 windows open in my internet browser, a couple of excel sheets and a Skype call, my laptop too was overwhelmed and crashed. Oh no! I didn’t know whether I should shout or cry…

And that is when I realized that I had to calm down and re-focus on what really had to get done today before I could attempt any of my work.

Sounds familiar? Well, here are 3 things that I did yesterday that helped me to overcome my stress and helped me to focus on my work again:

  1. I de-cluttered and organized my work space –including my laptop desktop. Chaos on my desk symbolizes the chaos in my mind and when I clear the physical clutter my mind can focus better. (But make sure you don’t waste too much time doing a physical clean-up: I suggest max. 10 minutes)
  2. I went to the gym. I suggest you do 30 minutes of cardio exercise. I love to sweat out my stress. As a warm-up, I suggest you listen to your favorite songs and dance.
  3. I cleared my email inbox: one email at a time. Often we have so many unread emails in our inbox and many of them can be answered/worked upon within less than a minute. Ignore the emails that overwhelm you or need more time to act upon and instead focus on the quick ones like paying your phone bill, confirming a meeting, etc. Imagine you can reduce the clutter in your email inbox by 20 emails in 20 minutes.

And suddenly, I felt back in control. I then took my to-do-list and marked the items that could not wait for tomorrow and wrote them on to a new piece of paper. Prioritizing is very important –especially when you run your own business and you have to play multiple roles. Know exactly what MUST BE DONE and what are add-on items on your list that can wait or be done by someone else.

Writing the ABSOLUTE MUST DO’s on an extra list (and keeping the other list away) helped me to realize what I need to focus on.

Please let me know in the comments below if these tips help you as well and also if you have some more advice for everyone who feels overwhelmed by too much work.

How to Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever (Less Than 180 Days Left)

Can you believe it? It’s already July. Half the year is gone. Already?!?! Well, New Year’s Eve seems just a couple of weeks back but now we are in the second half of 2015 and time is running…

If you are like most people, you set yourself goals for this year. Sometime in December last year, you would have been thinking of what you want to change or improve. And then came up with a few (or a many) resolutions for 2015.

I still remember how I went for a morning run with my husband at Juhu beach on 01 January. Oh yeah –you read it right: I woke up at 5am and was exercising on the beach while watching the stunning sunrise.

 

Achieve your goals in 2015
My husband and I on the First Day of 2015 creating new positive habits.

Two of my goals for 2015 were to wake up early and to exercise daily.

But of course, I had a ton of other intentions and resolutions for this year:

  • Building and growing my email list
  • Publishing the Entrepreneuress.in e-magazine (starting in the 1st quarter of 2015)
  • Interviewing some of the most inspiring and famous female entrepreneurs in India
  • Travelling the world and discovering more of India’s beauty
  • Spend more quality time with my friends and family
  • Invite my business network to regular dinner parties to my home
  • Meditating daily
  • Creating a powerful morning routine
  • Writing a journal

You see, my list of goals is long. My list of achievements –well, I still half a year to go, right? 🙂

To make sure that you and I stay on track with our goals to make 2015 our best year ever, I want to share some of the greatest advice on goal setting and achieving that my mentor shared with me recently.

Think S.M.A.R.T.

It is so important to create the right kind of goals. So make sure you take time to think of what you really want to achieve. The best way to achieve your goals is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals!

Specific: What specifically do you want to do? (Think: What, when, where, how?)

Measurable: How will you know when you have reached your goal? (Think: Numbers!)

Achievable: What steps are you taking to achieve your goal? (Think: Milestones)

Relevant: What makes this goal important to you? (Think: Why?)

Timely: When exactly do you want to accomplish this goal? (Think: Due Dates)

 

Visualize it

Write it down. Create a vision board and keep it somewhere you can see it every day! This way you’ll get reminded of it whenever you slip off track. If your goal is to become profitable with your business –keep a picture of what you will do with that hard earned money: a dress, a car, travel, etc.

Break it down

One big goal can be overwhelming. Break it down into small little pieces that you can achieve on a daily or weekly basis. This way, it will be much easier for you to get started. And once you see the first results, you will gain confidence to achieve the big goal!

Make it public

Whether you tell your husband, mother, a close friend or the whole Facebook community: Research shows that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you share them. Telling a friend or your partner about your goals makes you accountable. Next time you meet your friend, she will ask you about the progress or your husband reminds you of your goal when you are weak and wanting to give up.

Schedule your goals

Even if it is a goal as small as exercising daily –put it in your calendar! I cannot stress this point enough –you are a busy business woman with meetings and deadlines every day. You need to make time to achieve your goals –and the best way is to schedule the time for it as you would an important meeting.

Celebrate your success

It is very important to celebrate the small and big achievements in your life! Make sure you recognize even small steps in the right direction and remember to reward yourself for your achievements. Succeed and celebrate!

Try and fail. And try again.

And last but not least: Don’t give up because you couldn’t achieve your goal. Maybe time was too little, maybe your goal was too huge. Whatever it is: try again!