If you are a blogger and if you are so calm and not overwhelmed, I’ll be surprised. You don’t have to read this post!
But if you are currently feeling overwhelmed I strongly suggest you to read on.
Especially for those who start out, there are so many things to worry about, to take care of and to track.
Multiple projects, life getting in the way, stressed about metrics, lack of steady income, negative mind chatter – all keep you busy – while, in fact you have to be busy with your business.
Overwhelm actually keeps you from working on your business and makes it really challenging or impossible to succeed with your business.
If you are in this situation I’ve got 8 tips to help you eradicate overwhelm from your business life. Read on…
#1 Set priorities
When you have set yourself priorities, it is pretty much hard to get overwhelmed!
That might sound like an overrated statement to you – but it is a simple truth.
With priorities you know what is important and what is not.
This kind of ability to differentiate the important tasks from the unimportant ones is highly crucial to keep yourself focused and as well as eliminate unwanted junk.
Most times you will find yourself drowning in dealing with stuff that are not actually important – stuff that actually do not help move a needle in your business.
This happens because you failed to prioritise. And this is serious.
Such kind of working will keep you busy. It will make you feel overwhelmed. For no reason.
And that kind of busyness is absolutely of no use to you or to your business because your business will not be moving forward with all the efforts you take.
In the end you will feel frustrated and overwhelmed because you are keeping yourself busy on things that are not really helping you to progress with your business!
For prioritising, I highly believe and follow the four quadrants of time management.
You have to be able to put every task you get in front in any one of these four quadrants. And that should be enough!
#2 Define “work” to avoid feeling overwhelmed
Now this is another pitfall bloggers fall into. They don’t know what “work” is actually.
Sitting in front of your computer from morning until midnight is not work – at least not all of it is work.
You might get some work done here and there, but if you closely watch your progress, you would be highly disappointed.
Let’s take the example of social media – for bloggers, social media is something that is integrated in their blogging schedule.
You need to have a social presence for various sorts of things – helping people, engaging with your followers, promoting your own stuff, promoting others’ stuff and hence providing your followers with valuable content and so on.
But you have to be aware of what you actually do in the time you spend on social media platforms.
Do you just do the “work” or do you get sidetracked? I mean a LOT?
I know many bloggers who openly agree that they land on social media sites to do something related to work and end up spending hours scrolling the feeds and watching useless videos.
This applies to anything you do online – even outside social media.
How many times have you ended up wasting hours on mindless browsing after you started to do research for a blog post that you wanted to write?
Before you start your day, preferably the night before (that’s how I do it) – have a list of very specific things that you want to complete in a day.
That’s your work. Don’t give yourself permission to do anything else before you cross off the things in that list.
#3 Set aside enough time for “planning”
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Alan Lakein”]Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now [/pullquote]
I SO love this quote because it connects planning with future. We all have dreams about future, right?
As a blogger, you have your “why” – I am sure (if not, you should fix that bit).
What do you want to achieve with your blogging business? How do you see the successful yourself and the successful business of yours in 5 years from now?
That’s your future.
But simply dreaming about it, or reading about it won’t make any difference. You have to do something about it.
How can you do “something” about it? You cannot randomly do anything – that’s won’t guarantee your success.
You should have a plan. And a plan so specific to your (long term and short term) goals.
A plan only will guarantee that you will get to your future – in a realistic manner – that you have been dreaming about all these days!
#4 Differentiate between planning mode and worker mode
I got this (very crucial) tip from Chase Reeves in the Productivity Essentials course at Fizzle!
Personally, I love planning a lot. I usually think a lot about anything that I want to launch or start fresh.
I plan everything extensively and create strategies.
But when it comes to actually doing those things that I planned out, I do hesitate a little bit. I resist.
And I’m sure I’m not alone!
Many people I’ve talked to have experienced the same kind of reaction – they love planning, but when it comes to actually doing things, there comes a resistance.
Without entering the worker mode, all the plan we did is nothing but waste, right?
A plan is just a plan – although quite important – but the more important bit is doing the work that will help bring that plan to reality and help us achieve things.
According to Chase, we must wear different hats or switch between different modes (and be able to differentiate between the two modes) – the planner mode and worker bee mode.
#5 Say “No” ruthlessly when you have to
We get bombarded every day with lots of requests – be it work or personal life.
If you are being SO polite you will be tempted to say YES to everything you face.
But the plain reality is that you don’t have to take everything upon you. You can as well say No, if you have to.
If you have an important launch coming up and if you receive another request from a friend just around the same time – you certainly cannot take up both.
Saying yes to both will actually ruin both the tasks. You might even ruin your reputation or spoil your long term relationship with your friend because you may not be able to perfectly finish both of them at the same time.
So, realistically speaking, you have to say NO to any one – you know to prioritise your tasks.
You know which one is more important than the other. Pick accordingly and say No to everything else, no matter what.
Sure you might not please everyone using this tactic. But it is much better to keep it this way!
#6 Work with a strategy and track your progress
Working randomly on tasks that come to you everyday will keep you busy and overwhelmed – there’s no doubt.
And such kind of a working pattern will keep you blind – you won’t know what works, and what doesn’t work.
You won’t know which of you efforts are bringing you REAL results and which of your efforts are wasted.
Hence, you need a strategy – so you only work on aspects that really matter – and while working on that you know what works and what doesn’t.
This way you can do more of what works and stop working on those tasks that don’t bring you results.
You cut off a lot of unnecessary work this way hence escaping the unnecessary overwhelm!
#7 Do not bite more than you can chew
Enthusiasm can be a blogger’s enemy. Don’t get me wrong here.
I totally want all bloggers to be passionate about their work and be enthusiastic while they are working on their projects.
But too much enthusiasm kills. Many bloggers end up engaging themselves in way too many projects, saying yes to a lot of things and end up overwhelmed.
The downside with being over-enthusiastic is not only overwhelm, but most of those projects will stay incomplete for a very very long time.
This adds to stress and guilt (I’ve been there).
So please – no matter how enthusiastic and determined you are, don’t bite more than you can chew.
Don’t start multiple projects all at the same time. You need some kind of a balance.
May be take up one big project and one small project and work on them at the same time.
Once you are done with them (a product, a launch, a campaign etc.) you can move on to take the next one.
#8 Treat business like business
Will you believe me if I say that you are most probably feeling overwhelmed because you don’t treat your business like business?
In fact, most bloggers think that they are busy and overwhelmed because they take business too seriously. But I’d say that it could just be the opposite.
Okay that’s a bold claim; but I’ll justify that.
If you treat your business like business, you will only work on your business – taking it seriously.
If you do everything else along with your business, no doubt you will be overwhelmed and your business is just like a hobby to you.
Distractions are one thing. Being available to anyone anytime is another thing.
Especially for those who work full time on their business – you have a lot of “other” things that demand your attention.
Right from household chores to unwanted professional collaborations – everything counts.
Which is why you need to put on the blinds, and take your business seriously. This way, you work on your business on a schedule, and then deal with life and distractions once you are done with your “work”.
What to do when you’re overwhelmed as a blogger?
There is no need to be overwhelmed as a blogger!
That’s what I would like to convey in this blog post. Being a blogger, especially when starting out, you have a lot of things to deal with naturally.
On top of that if you attract unwanted things into your mix, you will certainly be feeling overwhelmed.
Overwhelm is not only bad for your business but is also very bad for your health since it leads to stress.
It can badly affect the progress of your business – leaving you frustrated, unhappy and stressed!
You did not start a business to end up unsuccessful and frustrated.
I strongly suggest you to apply these tips and eliminate overwhelm from your blogging life!