I have so much to do I’m doing nothing. I don’t know where to start. I can’t even develop a system to write down what I have to do. Has that every happened to you?
Take all those things you feel you have to do and mentally put them on a big table in the corner. Now the space in front of you is clear. There is nothing there to do except be. Close your eyes and mentally sit in this totally empty space until you feel calm and peaceful inside.
Talk to your heart
Go back to “why” you are doing anything at all. Why are you on this earth? What gifts have you been given that only you can offer? Whom can you serve? Whom do you want to serve? If you could choose one place of service, what would it be? Take a moment to make those decisions. Then put your place of service on the heart table in front of you. There is nothing else there but your place of service. Sit with that awhile with your eyes closed and feel how your life unfolds when you have only one purpose on your plate – your place of service.
Become aware of your impact
Looking only at your place of service, what do you do that has impact? It could be the most impact or the easiest impact or the most meaningful to you impact. Perhaps you want to write these down. Stay at the heart level as you do. My place of service is the Deeper Song Community. I nurture them through insightful writing and encouraging interaction. What is your place of service? How do you nurture them? That’s all you have on the heart table in front of you. All the other stuff is over in the corner.
Take mindful action
When the artisan creates his art, a portion of his spirit is breathed into what he creates. When you do your work, with each action you breathe a portion of your spirit into it. Look at the pile of way-too-much in the corner and choose one thing that you want to breathe spirit into. Bring it to your heart table. That’s it. One step at a time. One project at a time. One focused and mindful step at a time. Begin to breathe into your work.
Work as a ritual of service
Being present in the moment is the key to overcoming overwhelm When I pick up one task from my heart table, give it my total attention, and take the next step my heart tells me to take, I move forward. I breathe my spirit into my work from a place of ongoing serenity. I immerse myself in the work. I focus all my skill and talent and passion into the work I do. When the time I have allotted is over, I put my work back on the heart table and choose another heart-centered project.
Let things go
Take a reality check. What can you honestly get done? Make some choices. It takes time to select a photo for a blog post. Is my time better spent finding the right photos for a course or a webinar? I may have to choose. What about substituting one form of outreach for another. For instance, instead of two blog posts a week I could produce one blog post and one podcast. That balances my time and still creates the connections I want to make. What do you want to do for you? What can someone else do? What can be released from your plans?
Let’s organize the pile of actions stacked on the table in the corner. Imagine you have six different colored boxes. Label them with the five days of the week with the sixth box marked for both days of the weekend. Decide what categories you can have for these. It may be project specific or task specific. Mine are Monday – Write, Tuesday – Courses/Video, Wednesday – Podcast, Thursday –Technical, Friday- Self Love/Outreach. Weekends are for Loose Ends and My Own Rhythm. Do you see where I’m going with this? Place the actions steps that are scattered all over the table into their appropriate boxes. Now, on the table in the corner you have only six beautifully colored boxes with one general task in each box. You can handle that. Now, as with any other sorting system, when an idea for a blog post comes up. I place it in the Monday box. When I have to figure out the back end of a new platform, it is scheduled into my Thursday Technical Day. I do not address it until the specified day. I have one general focus for each day and nothing else intrudes on my work in that area. Can you see how this helps your focus and eases your overwhelm?
I compose two new posts on Monday. I also compate and schedule two edited posts for the upcoming week. It is possible to schedule several weeks ahead. That would free up time for other tasks. Working in batches allows me to focus on the task, stay in the same mindset (writing, posting) and perhaps free up time in another area.
Be patient with learning
Part of my overwhelm comes from the need to master technical stuff. I’m learning a new webinar platform, getting better at editing my podcasts, learning to format my YouTube platform, oh yes, and posting my first video. There is a healthy amount of learning here and I need to be patient with myself as I master new steps. You get better as you practice the task and can complete it more rapidly. As you master the technical aspect, you free up time. Be patient with the time you need to learn and master a new skill. Know that your time crunch will ease once you know how to do the work.
Create the tracking systems you need to help capture an idea and not be pulled off what you are doing. At the end of your day, notice, write down or tell yourself outloud what you accomplished today. Then choose three things that are your priorities for tomorrow – based on the work-focus theme for the day. Schedule time to work on your business, not just in your business. And, don’t forget to schedule planning time – plain old thinking and mind mapping and making things up time.
Allow things to jump to the front
In the spirit of allowing life to unfold, it’s OK to let your priorities shift. This may be because you are in the mood to figure out something technical rather creating something new. Or you may want to move into a task that you feel is less demanding. Allow those moods to place your energy in its most enthusiastic place of service.
You are set!
Your work is in neat boxes that both separates and combines. You have a heart table where you bring your work, one step at a time. And you know you are breathing bits of yourself into everything you do.
How do you feel now?
To Sing a Deeper Song consider: