You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously ~ Sophia Bush
Feeling swamped by the number of items on your to-do list? Afraid you may have finally bitten off more than you can chew?
Your schedule can get out of control when you’re trying to tackle a change of job or career. Being reminded that you have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce isn’t always that helpful (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner after a hard day at the studios).
When you’re overwhelmed it can be paralysing. Everything feels waaay too hard. You’ll be relieved to know there are ways to deal with that crushing feeling of overwhelm, without retreating to the safety of the couch and Netflix. I know because I went looking for ideas when I faced the same issues in my business.
I have asked the advice of coaches, scoured Facebook masterminds and listened to podcasts with my ears pricked for ideas. What I discovered is that although there’s no one easy answer, there are practical strategies that can empower you and ease the stress so that you can finally take action on those goals (and feel a whole lot better too).
The Magic Number
It seems that three is the magic number. Whether it’s the number of agenda items in your presentation, the points you include in an email or the amount of major projects on your to-do list, aim for no more than three. You can use this rule of thumb in your daily work life – three major tasks a day is more than enough in my experience. You can also use this when it comes to your career planning. Which three things are going to fast track your goals? You need to be ruthless about your priorities. What needs to come off your plate so that you can do what’s most important right now?
The Power of 15 Minutes
I may not be the first to discover the power of 15 minutes, but it has helped me to make major shifts. When I’m short on time and I need to make headway I give myself 15 minutes to complete a certain task. Sometimes I take a little longer but that’s okay, the point is I have tricked my mind into action. I’ve also found that I can get a lot done in 15 minutes, especially when I let go of the need to make everything perfect:
In 15 minutes you can:
- Invite a contact out for coffee and croissants to ask their advice about your next move
- Research your dream company – what are their biggest challenges right now?
- Write an attention grabbing LinkedIn bio
- Search for your dream job on LinkedIn. Tip: lots of folks post openings in their update feed these days
- Research job ads to see what skills and attributes employers are listing
- Do the VIA character assessment to see what your top strengths are
- Complete two exercises from my 10 Step Career Discovery System to find your ideal career
- Call someone who has the job you want and ask about their experience
- Write a blog post about a key event in your industry and post it on LinkedIn
- Tap on it and clear those feelings of overwhelm
My point is that we have a tendency to make things much harder in our minds than they are in reality. If we think about what we need to accomplish as one long uphill battle then it will be hard to do even one thing, when doing that one thing could make all the difference.
Like the one phone call that landed my ideal job
The newsletter that resulted in 2 new clients signing up for my services
The LinkedIn profile update that led to a speaking opportunity
Approaching my to-do list in this way has helped me to achieve more consistency with my newsletter, (kinda) get control of my inbox, become more active on social media, do more marketing, in short, it’s helped me to get shit done.
As you and I know, everything takes twice as long as you think it will, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time (like say creating an online course, running a workshop or doing your first Facebook Live – it’s happening this Friday!!!).
But you’d be surprised by what you can achieve in just 15 minutes a day.
Try it and let me know how you go?