It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. You constantly need to adapt and shift your business as it grows and expands. Each day, a new set of issues, challenges, and obstacles pop up. Your job is to address them all, while still staying focused on the needs of your business.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and suddenly find yourself paralyzed. You could walk away, watch television, go on social media, or meet friends to distract you for awhile. But you know that those would only increase your workload and feelings of despair tomorrow.
Never fear! Feeling unmotivated is a normal, and a natural part of your growth as an entrepreneur. It’s okay to have days where you’re feeling less than thrilled about your business. But what can you do on those days to stay productive?
Here are five tips to get back on track. Even better, use these strategies before you get overwhelmed to help you reach your goals faster.
How to Stay Motivated When You’re Overwhelmed
1.) Stop and breathe.
Take a deep breath. And another. Relax. Get connected to yourself for a few minutes. Remember that everything you’re feeling is normal and you can handle everything on your plate. When you start to feel overwhelmed, the quickest and easiest way to stay motivated is simply to breathe in and out deeply, focusing on your breath.
This simple technique is often forgotten, but it’s incredibly important. According to a study by Dr. Pierre Philippot, emotions have specific breathing patterns associated with them, and the different breathing techniques can shift how you feel. Try this breathing exercise by Dr. Robin Berzin or search the Web for more inspiration.
2.) Practice self-compassion.
Okay, I know this sounds challenging when you’re in the middle of freaking out about all the things you have to get done, but it’s critical to your success.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – and the same is true for building your empire. Whether you’re just starting out, or have been in business for a few years, practicing self-compassion can help you build healthier practices and stay motivated for the future.
According to Dr. Kristin Neff:
“…having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness… You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us.”
Accepting your humanity and being compassionate with yourself is an important piece to recovering from your overwhelm cycle and moving forward.
3.) Prioritize your tasks.
Once you’ve calmed your mind and chose to be compassionate with yourself, the next step is to prioritize your tasks. Projects and to-do’s can feel daunting when they’re swirling around in your head. Start by making a list of all the things you need to get done, and then sort them into the Eisenhower Matrix.
You’ve got urgent things that need to be addressed today, so start there. Next, make a list of the important but not so urgent things that can be scheduled for later. After that, you can choose the things that can be delegated and other things that you don’t need to do.
Creating these lists and prioritizing can be extremely helpful to de-clutter and calm your mind. Once you have everything out of your head and on paper, you can start to tackle each item on the list one by one. Soon, you’ll see that things are not as insurmountable as they seemed a short time ago.
4.) Finish one project at a time.
Most people like to think that they get more done when they multi-task – but neuroscience tells a different story. Multitasking decreases productivity by as much as 40 percent because the human brain is NOT designed to multitask.
In fact, according to researchers at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of London, multitasking can actually lower IQs and shrink our brains. So rather than risk your IQ and productivity, choose the most urgent items on your to-do list and complete each task before moving on.
For each task you can cross off your list, you’ll start to feel more accomplished, confident, and focused as the feeling of overwhelm subsides.
5.) Get support.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you’re feeling overwhelmed. That’s why having someone who will help you stay motivated, focused, and on track is so important.
Working with a life or business coach can help you increase your profit margin by 46 percent. You’ll also see dramatic results in your productivity, time-management, communication skills, and overall feeling of fulfillment.
A good coach can help you get clear on what you really want, the steps you need to take to get there, and keep you accountable for the things you need to do. Consider investing in yourself and your business by hiring a coach who can help you achieve your goals.
You don’t have to do it alone!
How about YOU, how do you stay motivated when you feel overwhelmed in life or in business?