I have spent most of this month completely overwhelmed and it’s completely my fault.
I came into 2018 with a plan.
I know that I am at my best when I am laser focused on a goal. So this year I planned to set just 4 major writing, blogging, and business goals (in addition to a few personal goals) and I would work on one per quarter.
But the excitement of the New Year went coursing through my veins and settled into my bones and I LOST MY MIND. I decided I would do ALL THE THINGS all at once.
I decided that this month I wouldn’t just focus on finishing my book as I had originally planned, but I would also publish a new blog post 5 days a week, pitch story ideas to publications every week, and run a special to increase See Jane Write membership. And this is on top of teaching full-time, freelancing part-time, meeting with coaching clients, creating content and events for See Jane Write members, training for a marathon, preparing for my TED Talk, and trying to be a decent wife.
Needless to say, this plan failed. After a couple of nervous breakdowns and a chat with my therapist I came to my senses and returned to Plan A. I will work on one major goal per quarter. I will not worry about moving too slowly or being left behind by other writers and bloggers. This is not a competition. This is my life.
As much as I love Wonder Woman, I am not superhuman like she is.
I can do it all, but not all at once.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps focusing on one goal at a time would be a good approach for you, too.
I have to be honest. Even after returning to Plan A I am still stressed because I still have A LOT to do. But I have taken some steps to stave off more panic attacks.
Adjust self-imposed deadlines. I had set a deadline for myself for completing my book and I realized that every time I thought about all I had to do in such a short period of time I would just start crying. So I simply changed the deadline.
Break big projects into small steps. Next, I wrote down everything that needed to be done for me to get my book sent off to the publisher. Now, these steps are no longer throwing temper tantrums in my head, but are on paper and thus feel a lot more manageable. I did the same thing with everything else I have going on — my freelance writing assignments, my TED Talk, etc.
Give yourself a break. A couple years ago I started making sure I took at least one day off each week. I would have at least one day in which I would do no work for my teaching job, my blog, or my business. But I haven’t given myself a day off this entire month. This means I haven’t had a day off since 2017. My hope is to change that this weekend.
What do you do when you’re overwhelmed?