(Verb) To cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche; submerge.
When I am overwhelmed and stressed, that’s exactly how I feel. Not to mention suffocated, crushed, heavy, tight, restricted and like I am treading water. But I have realised something… overwhelm and stress only occur when you are caught up in your head, or you have too much information and too many ideas running round your mind.
Now, ideas and information are great, and we definitely want to explore and dance with them. But overwhelm and stress? Not so much. We all know by now that stress wreaks havoc on your body, mind and spirit. It releases cortisol in your body, mucks up your hormones, messes with your digestion, and pretty much sends everything into chaos. So we definitely want to minimise its presence in our lives as much as possible.
But when you’re a lionhearted goddess with giant dreams, you ALSO want to get a lot done. Heck, you’ve got goals and plans and a vision board to bring to life, right? So how on earth can you still get s#^t done, without becoming a slave to your stress hormones?!
Today, I want to show you how. I’m revealing all my secrets, so that you can *finally* combat overwhelm and supercharge your productivity while experiencing epic happiness. It’s win-win, sista — for you, your dreams, AND your adrenals!
Here’s how I do it...
Brain Dump, Baby!
If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, the best thing you can do is a brain dump. Pull out a pen and paper or (if you’re a digital gal like me) open a blank document on your computer and literally dump down everything that’s on your mind.
Then — uncensored — I want you to write down anything that you can think of that’s on your mind or stressing you out. Things like...
- Call and book in the cleaner
- Email contract to designer
- Book in 6am yoga class for Wednesday morning
- Pick up avocados and cucumbers
- Pay electricity bill
- Do final edits for my ebook to send off to editor
- Tell Monica to clean out google drive
- Tell husband he is amazing
- Pick up Matt’s soccer boots
- Send Katie a birthday text today
I mean, the list is endless, right?! But the point is having all this running around your head is taking up space, sista! Space that could be used for creativity, time with loved ones, meditation or just to be and enjoy the present moment. But instead, we leave all that swirling around our minds like mumbo jumbo, making us feel like a crazy person. So brain dump it like nobody’s business and get it out of your head and onto paper. You will feel a million times better once you have done this first step.
Sort It, Sista!
Once you have done your brain dump, it’s time to sort it out and prioritise. This is where you divide your list into 3 categories: ‘URGENT’, ‘IMPORTANT’ and ‘CAN WAIT’.
If you’re using pen and paper, grab 3 different coloured highlighters for this process. And if you're on your computer or phone, you can create folders or categories and simply rearrange the tasks ‘til they’re in the right spot.
Then, once things are categorised, it’s time to put them in order. If you’re doing it by hand, you can put a number next to each item in order of importance. For my digital peeps, move them around so the most important task under each category is at the top and the least important is at the bottom.
Now go through and write down next to each item when you are going to do it. Usually the things under the URGENT category may have to be done that day, but sometimes the items under IMPORTANT and CAN WAIT could be moved to another day. If so, put the date you are going to do it next to the task. This is where Things comes in handy and why it’s so freaking awesome! For example, I have all my URGENT tasks sitting in my inbox in Things, tagged for completion today. And this morning, I moved anything that doesn’t need to be done today to other dates. That way, it’s out of my head and I can forget about it and know that it will pop back up when it needs to be done. This alleviates my brain and creates space in my mind for creativity, presence and time with loved ones.
Just Do It
I always start my day with my top 3 URGENT tasks. Usually they are the chunkiest items, things like...
- Write this week’s blog post
- Finish book proposal
- Create content for the Mastering Your Mean Girl 10 Week Activation Program
- Map out talk for speaking gig
- Write article for X publication
And let it be said that these URGENT items are usually the things I am most resistant to do. But I have realised that procrastinating, starting at my computer and hoping the article or book will write itself, or convincing myself that the bathroom cupboard needs a clean out right this second will NOT get my work done for me. I have to stare my Mean Girl in the face and say, ‘I see you, I hear you, but I am not willing to let you win’. That, my friend, is mastering your Mean Girl. And then I get on with it.
I always get asked how I get so much done, and this is my trick: I am super organised and I follow this system. Give it a go and let me know how you like it. And if you have any other tips to combat overwhelm and supercharge your productivity, please share them with our epic tribe in the comments below. And remember, your comment might be the one thing someone needs to read in order to spark massive internal shifts in their life. So open that big beautiful heart of yours and share from there.
I am beyond grateful and super proud of you for showing up every single day. I love supporting, guiding and helping you. So please keep commenting and sharing from your heart. I read every single comment that comes in, and I can’t wait to read yours.