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.

Reemma Dalal from Mix and Mingle

Reema Dalal, Founder of Mix and Mingle
Reemma Dalal, Founder of Mix and Mingle

Name of your business:

Mix and Mingle (Website: www.mixandmingle.in)

Tell us about your business…

Mix and Mingle was created to fulfill Mumbai’s need for a fresh outlook on its social scene, particularly for the discerning singles crowd. It provides an opportunity for singles to meet new people and expand their social network in a safe environment-something that can be challenging for those who have a demanding job, are new to the city, or just simply reserved.

What motivated you to start your own business?

My business partner Jemma and I, were in between jobs when we thought of the idea of Mix and Mingle. We were friends even before we started the company, and used to go out a lot to various events, lounges, bars and clubs. We noticed that the average age group of people who were on a night out were quite young. We thought of organizing an event that specifically catered to singles 30 years and up. It is generally harder to make connections at this age when many of your friends have either gotten married, have kids or moved away. Also we knew quite a few single people in their 30’s and wanted to bring them together in a fun and relaxed environment.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Although the mindset of single people is changing over the years, many are still intimidated by the idea of attending a singles event. They still feel that it’s safer and more comfortable to meet someone either through their friends, family or parents. Some singles feel that attending a singles event means putting yourself out there and possibly looking desperate.

How did you overcome these challenges?

We have been trying to change the mindset over the years by providing a comfortable, safe space for like-minded people to meet. We make it a point to screen everyone who attends our events to avoid having people who do not belong in such an event. In our monthly newsletter, we try to address issues that single men and women face and suggest tips on how to tackle these issues. We have also started organizing workshops on different topics related to singles. We realize that it can be difficult for singles in Mumbai since we constantly face criticism or judgement from family or friends if you are not married at a certain age. We wanted to create a space where they feel safe, they are not judged and they can actually be themselves and meet like minded people.

How did you find your first customers?

We find our customers through Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, Instagram and also word of mouth. Many of our clients like attending our events and recommend their single friends to do the same.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Social media. We are present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Meetup.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

1) I can be my own boss and I am not answerable to anyone. 2) I can find my own work and life balance. 3) l can choose people I want to work with. 4) I can challenge myself. 5) l can connect with my clients. 6) I can follow my passion

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

My least favorite part of business is routine back end work, updating database, following up with payments, following up with clients before the events to make sure they are going to attend our events.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

By keeping my head up high. The toughest challenge can help us grow the most. Appreciate and be grateful and if you want something you can make it happen.

Who inspires you?

My mother –she is a reiki master and spiritual healer. She helps me to stay positive at all times.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Follow your heart. Your heart will lead you to the place you are supposed to be and if you really truly believe in something, you will make it happen. But you have to believe in it, because you live it and breathe it each day. If you are not passionate about it and you don’t love it, it’s going to present a lot of challenges especially when you get to the hard stuff.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Reema!

You can check out more  details here and please share some social media love with the team of Mix and Mingle via Facebook and Twitter.


3 Events our Team will attend this weekend

What are you doing this weekend? The team of Entrepreneuress.in will not only participate in the 10km charity run on Sunday organized by Footsteps 4 Good… We will also spend the Saturday getting inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, artists, photographers, surgeons, and many more.

Yellow Talks 06 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai

We L-O-V-E all things startups and are super excited to hear the stories of speakers from various fields like Art, Finance, Science, Healthcare, Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, Technology, Photographer, Sports etc.

Sounds interesting? Come and join us for these events. Check out the details below.

Yellow Talks on Saturday 06 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai

Startup Grind: Jitendra Gupta (Founder Citrus Payments) on Saturday 06 Feb 2016 in Lower Parel, Mumbai

Footsteps 4 Good Charity Run / Walk on Sunday 07 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai.

Take A Step. Change A Life.

Are you looking for co-working space in Lower Parel (Mumbai)?

Co-working space 1

A Fashion Tech Startup based in Lower Parel (Mumbai) has 6-8 extra desks available in their  brand new creative office space as they postponed their hiring efforts. Lucky you 🙂

Conference RoomCo-working space 4

The office was designed by a renowned architect and it’s a ready to use, plug and play set up – all you need is your laptop & charger. There is also a conference room for meetings, a restroom and pantry.

Co-working space 2 Co-working space 3

PRICE: 8500 INR per desk/month (preferable min. 3 months commitment)

For more details, please get in touch with Nina via email: 468nina (at) gmail (dot) com. Only serious enquiries (Spammers are super uncool!)

Co-working space 5 Restroom