Stay Sane During Insanity
There seems to be a black cloud hanging over you. Ever since _____ (fill in the blank with a pivotal event), there is just too much emotion in everything. Life seems more overwhelming than in the past. Somehow it used to be easier to bounce back from bad news. Somehow you are getting more distracted and it seems harder to focus. Your phone, your email inbox, your employees, your kids — everyone and everything is screaming for your attention. It’s hard to discern what’s important from all the emergencies every day. And even if you get a chunk of time to work on something, the output still seems chaotic. Welcome to emotional overwhelm.
Can you relate?
You are not alone.
Every day a client describes a similar scenario to me. Where is the exit? How can you make it stop? Whatever ‘it’ is.
It’s as if there is only an on/off switch. Either you are fully immersed in the chaos and overwhelm. Or you exit the chaos by going on vacation, taking a sabbatical or quitting. Why does it seem as if it’s either/or?
Let’s say you get to distance yourself and are able to detox. You are good for a while until you are right back where you started.
Let me share a few observations, tools and tricks of the trade that will improve your sense of well-being and fulfillment:
1) Know that you are in control. It might just not seem that way. Knowing that you are in control will help you overcome emotional overwhelm.
2) Create a process goal instead of an outcome goal. For example do ‘x’ every day for a month or do ‘y’ once a week for the next six months.
3) Block of time
3) Carve out blocks of time for what matters most and dedicate that time in your calendar. At the scheduled time, engage in something to clear your mind: journal, meditate, walk.
4) Create a routine that signals attention time. I have a certain playlist on Spotify which is my signal to get my important work done. Once you hear that signal or are in the space where you get your most important work done, don’t waste your time answering email.
5) Minimal outcome
5) Create the minimal outcome, then solicit feedback from others. And don’t impart judgment on the feedback, either of others or yourself. Incorporate feedback and improve. By minimal outcome I mean setting smaller, more achievable goals. Big lofty goals tend to overwhelm you. It’s amazing what you can get done in 25 minutes, if you set your mind to it. Alternatively, write one card rather than 10 in one sitting.
Do it again. And again. And again.
One last thing: Don’t waste this process on just getting your job done. You are here to contribute something that you are uniquely qualified and gifted to contribute. It’s you unique body of work.
If you would like some company in pulling yourself out of overwhelm and diving into focus, you might want to check out my co-working sessions. We do 3 hour sessions, with 6×25 minute work sprints. Sign up for my newsletter to stay in the loop for the next one.
Whatever you do, focus on what work you are uniquely qualified to contribute. By continually working on that you are creating a body of work, one step at a time. If you do that there will come a time when you can look back and say: “I did that.”
It will keep you sane. And how cool would it be to contribute meaningfully along the way?
Email me if you are searching for what that gift is that you are uniquely qualified to bring forward.