To create overwhelm is pretty simple, it doesn't matter whether we are decluttering our houses, planning the next quarter in our lives or businesses, or just deciding what to eat for dinner. Overwhelm is the result of seeing too many things at once coupled with decision fatigue and an attachment to "I don't know" or "maybe".
We all have a threshold of how many "Incomplete" decisions we can have on the go at any time, for some it's a really low number, tipping into overwhelm is only a decision or two away, for some, it's really high, and tipping into overwhelm is completely weird and foreign. I personally sit somewhere in the middle. I can see if I let decisions pile up, through procrastinating, deferring, or deliberating then I can create overwhelm for myself.
Three steps to create overwhelm.
1. Defer decisions.
Let yourself say maybe or I don't know to Everything. What do you want for dinner? I don't know. What goals matter to you? I don't know. Would you like to grow a business? Maybe. Would you like to have a healthy eating plan? Maybe. Would you like to take control of your life and fill it with fulfillment and Productivity? Hmm, maybe, I don't know.
In short, don't say Yes or No to anything. Leave your options open. All possibilities must be made available. Some people may call this seeking freedom, I call this hell on earth and it will almost always result in overwhelm.
2. Look at ALL the unmade decisions at the same time while holding onto the deferring decisions pattern. Have no clear priorities, no plan, no strategy, just look at everything at once. Pull out every item in your entire house and wonder if you should keep any of it. List out every possible project, potential product, and people you could connect with about your business, notice the anxiety build-up, and add more to the list with no intentions of taking any action.
3. Don't ask for help. Ever. Know that you've somehow maybe'd or little yes'd your way into a million things on your plate. Know that you are now seeing too much to be able to get your thinking straight, you are so caught in the pattern of not seeing the forest for the tree's, but instead of talking to someone, internalist it all, use it as a way to beat up on yourself, knowing you'll never be able to get it all done, tell yourself you are pathetic and worthless, and now you are probably tipping beyond overwhelmed to a point of needing to hide. So dive into your protection strategy, hide, fight, blame, take your pick.
Of course, none of us want to set out to create overwhelm for ourselves. And we can break the cycle at any point.
1. Make clean decisions quickly.
If it's not a Hard Yes, it's a hard No. Don't give yourself permission to say Maybe and defer the decision. Give yourself permission to rest, to reset, to recharge, to walk away when decisions get too hard. But two maybe's and you are done for the day of decluttering.
Decisions are made when we commit to Actions. It could be something you do now. Or it could be something you schedule. I'll do it later is not scheduling.
If you don't know your next action step, then it's always asking for help. Which can be done instantly or scheduled.
2. When you make decisions quickly including setting an action step, it's going to be rare that you can list out incomplete choices. You may however find yourself wanting to set goals or expand your business or any number of things where you need to look at multiple pieces at once. Always, always, always (except when you don't remember) have a way to PLAN your thoughts. I use acronyms. For pretty much everything. Planning my day - DailyF.R.O.G. Creating a H.O.M.E.-based Business. Doing the HouseW.O.R.K. I GRAPPLE with my Budget. If I don't have an acronym to sort my thoughts and ideas into, my first step is to find or create one. This leads us to
3. Ask for help. If you are doing something new seek guidance from someone who has done it before or is able to help you think strategically. No-one needs to Create a Life they Love in isolation or alone. We all need a team of champions to support us. We all need guides, coaches, mentors, and champions on our side.
A great place to connect with someone who can help you think strategically is the DailyFROG community. You'll find me there every day. Sharing insights, answering questions, and demonstrating what it means to live a life on purpose by setting daily intentions. DailyFROG is the center point of how I take care of TODAY so I can build a better tomorrow, one step at a time.
Come share what you learned and loved about this blog post. We'd love to see you.