How often do you find yourself in this scenario?
It’s Monday morning and you’re all geared up for a productive week ahead. You’ve got your to-do list (massive as it is) at the ready and you sit down at your desk to start checking things off.
As you begin to read down your list, you start to feel something in your gut. It’s not a physical pain necessarily, just a feeling of something heavy starting to grow. You ignore it and continue reading your list, making stars next to the things that seem to be the most important to get done that day.
But the more you do this, the heavier that feeling gets, until it starts creeping up to your shoulders and finally settles in your head. All that enthusiasm you had when you first sat down is gone and the only thing you feel now is utter and complete overwhelm.
Sound familiar? I’ve been there, too, so I understand.
And it’s not that all the tasks on your list aren’t wonderful and/or doable. There are simply too many of them – and they all seem important right now – to expect that you can accomplish them all in the hours you have to work in any single day.
So what happens? You do a little of this, a little of that, and you really never complete a single project!
But you don’t have to let another week pass without really accomplishing anything. Simply create a Priority Card.
A Priority Card will help you organize all your tasks in a way that will SHOW you every day what you should focus on.
There are a lot of details that will threaten to take your mind off your priorities (this is where a virtual assistant can be of immense value), but those details are not necessarily what will move you forward in your business. To do that, you need to consistently focus on completing the projects that will move your business ahead big-time.
You can create a system for helping you focus on your priorities in a number of ways, but I’m going to give you mine. I only work about 15 hours a week on my business, so adjust your own plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each week, I choose 3 projects with looming deadlines (self-imposed as they may be) from my master task list (which really is so massive that it has its own notebook).
For example, at the moment, I am working on a sales page, content for a program, and a new offer.
On a colored index card, I write down those projects and prop the card in a standing clip holder, right in front of my computer screen. When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, or when I find myself getting distracted by new ideas or other tasks (all of which seem important), I remind myself to look at my Priority Card and focus only on what’s written there.
Once I started using my Priority Card, my own business growth leapt forward ten times faster than when I was doing a little of this and a little of that, working on a dozen things, but taking much too long to actually complete just one project.
Know you won’t be able to stick to this process 100% of the time, but even 80% will help you make dramatic strides in your business growth. You’ll actually finish the projects you set out to do, and you’ll not only feel great about doing so, you’ll be inspired to do it again, and again, and again. Once you make this shift, you’ve learned the secret to wiping out overwhelm for yourself and your business!
Want to know more of my best tips for beating overwhelm and simplifying everything in your business so it’s less stressful and much more fun?
Be sure to check out my Lively Biz Business Club – get on the wait list here.
(click play to listen)
Mo chara (my friend),
Have you ever taken the time to notice the plot twists of your life?
Those defining moments that change everything – either a lot or a little.
We all have them – some of those moments for me were when my mom surmounted a childhood belief that she wasn’t wanted and chose instead to value her own existence, even in the face of danger; when a treasured mentor disappeared unexpectedly from my life only to return 7 years later at a place neither expected the other to be; the letting in of someone who was destined to break my heart, but being able to recognize the soul connection anyway; a breakdown on a street corner in Helsinki when I finally realized I was the only one responsible for my life; finding out my father had cancer the first time – and all the other times since; being fired from my last job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship; the saddest moment of ending my first marriage even though it was right for both of us; saying yes to another man with the absolute knowing it was for a lifetime; deciding to have a child and the heartbreak and stress of it taking so damn long to conceive, then having another and it NOT taking any time at all, all while learning how to be a parent…
Every single moment happened because I needed to grow – and the Universe was going to either push me out of the situation or pull me forward into something else to make sure it happened one way or another.
And every single time, it was scary as hell.
If your current situation feels something like this, it’s probably time for a new level of growth for you too.
Maybe this is not a new feeling for you. It’s likely this has been nudging you – or eating at you – for awhile.
And maybe you’re scared. That’s normal. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’… as cliche as that sounds – it’s also true.
And whenever these pivotal moments happen – whether they are put upon us or we make a conscious choice that changes things, it’s also normal to worry that things are going to get worse instead of better, that it won’t be positive growth, but a downward spiral to something else you don’t want in your life.
And sometimes that does happen – it does get worse before it gets better.
That afternoon in Helsinki when I realized I was truly on my own, I had to go dark for about a year. I barely connected with my family or my friends. I had to go inward, to see if I had it in me to stand on my own two feet, to face ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ so that I knew, in the depths of my being, that I would be ok, no matter what.
And all of that was necessary in order for me to grow into the woman who could, in fact, stand on her own (and then had to learn how to let someone else help her again – thank goodness for a patient and secure husband), who could make choices that were her own, not someone else’s, to be a successful entrepreneur, to be a significantly better wife the second time, a reconnected and loving daughter again, and a pretty good mom most of the time.
But how do you know when it’s time for this kind of a shift?
You know. You know right now reading this if it’s time for you. Don’t you? 😉
But if you’re unsure, check in with how you feel. Think of the current situation where you feel it might be time to move things in some way. How does its current state make you feel?
For example, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant in your business, is it because you need to just take some time away to regroup and refresh so you can come back with renewed energy?
Or is it more than that? Has the feeling of being stuck and stagnant, fairly unmotivated, less creative, all-around less jazzed about your business been poking at you for some time now?
Does your brain say ‘keep the status quo’ but your heart says ‘dear one, it’s time to move on’?
If this is resonating at all, you already have one foot on the train to the next stop on your soul journey.
And if other people are noticing that something seems different, whether they can put their finger on it or not, that can be an indicator that it’s time to get your train ticket to your next destination. And, it needs to be said that even if they don’t like it, remember that it’s not theirs to be bothered about – it’s yours. Your life, your heart, your spirit, your business, your body, your everything.
If this is landing, it’s probably time to take a gentle jump forward. By gentle, I mean, be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. By jump, I mean into some thing or some way of ‘new’.
The first thing that came to mind to you just now is what what you need to do.
Yeah, you say, sounds great, Alicia, but what about the FEAR?
Well, you know what I’m going to say, right?Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Because that’s the only way.
The fear is always going to be there, it’s always going to try to keep us safe and in status quo, in our comfortable minimum.
But the only way we’ll ever live the extraordinary lives we’re meant to is to recognize it for what it is – fear – and move forward regardless.I remember when I left my last job, making $43k a year with benefits, and going out on my own, with no safety net. I was also deeply in debt, cut off from my family by choice, and living with the constant stress of not enough of anything.
But I also knew if I held onto that little spark of hope, I could do anything. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would be fine. If I just kept at it, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving through the fear, all would be well – eventually.
And through it all, I rose. And I’m on the cusp of the next rising. And so are you.
You’ll need to take a deep breath, give your fear a nod, and step forward towards the next place in your journey.
Have faith. Trust. Watch as mountains move for you. Watch as the light illuminates your path.
I’ll be watching too.
PS: Looking for some support and guidance for your business (and life) growth? I’m here -> Simplify & Amplify
I have a friend who wants to be a musician, but he doesn’t believe it’s possible. He believes that he’s too old, too ingrained with his current work, too many responsibilities, too short on time, etc.
I listened as he lamented that his dream was dead and refrained from responding for a bit. I knew he wasn’t open to hearing me in that moment.
But a little while later, as the energy cleared around him, I suggested that he had to have faith first. Then he had to do something – anything – towards his dream.
I reminded him of this joke:
A Jewish man goes into the synagogue and prays. “O Lord, you know the mess I’m in, please let me win the lottery.”
The next week, he’s back again, and this time he’s complaining. “O Lord, didn’t you hear my prayer last week? I’ll lose everything I hold dear unless I win the lottery.”
The third week, he comes back to the synagogue, and this time he’s desperate. “O Lord, this is the third time I’ve prayed to you to let me win the lottery! I ask and I plead and still you don’t help me!”
Suddenly a booming voice sounds from heaven. “Benny, Benny, be reasonable. Meet me half way. Buy a lottery ticket!”
There are many versions of this joke, but I like this one because of God telling the man to ‘Meet me half way”.
That’s what we have to do, right? Just take one step forward and the Universe will take one step towards us. Take the first step and the next step will be shown to us. Do one thing in the direction of our dream and the allow God/Universe/Source/Higher Self/Whatever to guide us on the right path.
My friend doesn’t know HOW to make his dream become his reality. I don’t know his HOW either, but I do know that it won’t be shown to him if he doesn’t ‘buy a lottery ticket’.
I told him, “If you want to be a musician, then play music.”
(To be fair, I likewise told myself, “If you want to be an author, then write.” 😉 )
What’s yours? What do you REALLY want to do/be/have?
What’s one thing you can do – just one thing, one step – to move you in that direction?
What’s your lottery ticket?
Greetings from the Lake! The sun is just rising here… there’s so much beauty and peace at this time of day…
Even so, I’m only compelled to get up with the birds when we’re at the lake. 😉
But I do treasure these early mornings at the water, with my journal, sometimes a book, oftentimes just my thoughts – and my coffee. 😉
It usually takes me a couple of weeks to fully decompress and relax into the summer’s ease… but I’m already starting to feel things loosening.
People often tell us how lucky we are to spend the whole summer at the lake – but I always tell them, it’s not luck. It was a decision to do so a long time ago and then taking action to make it happen.
The first summer we were here for 2 weeks, and last summer we were here for 13. We just kept adding weeks every year until we were staying from Father’s Day to Labor Day.
But it all started with a decision. I knew what I wanted and I decided to make it happen. And this is our 12th summer doing so.
What decision could you make in your life or your business that would bring you more peace, joy, ease, freedom, happiness, laughter, wisdom, abundance?
I’d love to know – please share with me in the comments.
Until next time…