Ever have a day, week, month like this? Busy Busy Busy, go go go. Each day feeling like an onslaught of more and more coming at you. Are you getting a ton of things done? Of course you are! Check, check, checking off our to-do list, running around frantically all day to keep our plates spinning. At the end of our long crazy busy days or weeks, we sit down to do some work on our business. It’s time to regroup and try to go from chaos to clarity.
“Time for creativity” we tell ourselves. Got your favorite hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, and ready to go, and …….. nothing. Zippo, zilch, nada. Zero creative juices flowing. It’s like running smack dab into a brick wall. Sometimes you try to think and nothing happens. Your mind wanders off things of the forty things that need to be done.
It is the land of overload. Running back and forth from one activity to another can short circuit our brains. It happens to everyone from time to time. Recovering from it to get yourself back on track is the challenging part. It’s easier to check the news, social media, or clean my house than it is to get myself back in the groove. Anything but face that overloaded state, because I can’t figure out where to start.
Okay, so how do I go from chaos to clarity?
How do you shake yourself out of it when you get stuck here? Next time this happens to you, try these five steps to bring yourself out of it so you can go from chaos to clarity:
- Take a few deep breathes to calm your mind. If you like to do short meditation exercises, now is the time. The point is to quell the fight or flight feelings that come when you have been processing too much for a prolonged period of time.
2. Get a blank sheet of paper out and your favorite writing utensil. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and start brain dumping. List it all on a sheet of paper. Don’t organize it, don’t structure it, just get it out of your head. The point here is not to make your lists pretty. The point is to get it down on paper to calm your mind down.
3. Get a second fresh sheet of paper. Re-work this list. Ruthlessly cut or shift those nice to haves to the bottom. It’s easy to put pressure on ourselves that we have to do it all. Give yourself permission to skip some of the items on your list. Now you are getting a better idea for where to start.
4. Decide which one to tackle first. There are two different ways to do this depending on how your work. You can take that most important item and do that first. Or you can take the simplest small items that have to be done and tackle those first. Cross those items off when you do them. That tactile feeling of writing a line through something may be all you need to jump-start yourself.
5. Notice one your brain starts to feel calm again. This may be after one or many items on that list. When your mind is calm again, now you can start to go back to your normal systems. Time to move whatever is left on this list into whatever to do list or calendaring system you are using. Only do this when you are feeling calm again, as seeing a whole other list stored somewhere might send you right back to fight or flight mode!
Next time you end up in the land of overwhelm, try this process to bring you back to a calm focused state so you can continue working on what you need to do to bring the best version of you to your business.