If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, chances are you’ve felt overwhelmed as you try to grow your business. When that oh-to-familiar feeling of mental spinning with way too many things on the to-do list kicks in, decision making gets harder and progress grinds to a halt. That’s how feeling overwhelmed becomes a goal derailer.

A while back I surveyed my community of thought leaders, visionary entrepreneurs and change-makers to find out what their biggest source of overwhelm was. Here’s what I discovered are the top five contributors to overwhelm:

Financial Stress (45%)

Clutter & Disorganization (39%)

Time Constraints (37%)

Lack of Team Support (32%)

Not Knowing What To Do Next (28%)

Do you recognize one of these triggers as a source of overwhelm for you too?

If you do, then you are in good company. Every small business owner and business leader I know finds themselves feeling overwhelmed as they push up against the edge of their current level of success. Doing more, wanting more, setting bigger goals often bring up overwhelm. The key is recognizing when that feeling is starting and having strategies to move back into a flow state.

Here’s three tips I’ve personally used when I start feeling overwhelmed:

  1. Recognize that feeling overwhelmed is a temporary mindset not a permanent condition. When that feeling kicks in I know that I’ve got too much on my plate and that I can take a break to clear my mind. Sometimes taking a 15 minute break to make a cup of tea (Jasmine Green of course) or a short walk around the block can give me a fresh perspective.
  2. Take a step back and re-prioritize my to-do listOverwhelm typically means for me that I have too many competing priorities. This is when I’ll review my projects and identify anything that can be delegated, deleted or paused until I have more mental bandwidth. Identify and focus on the MOST IMPORTANT next thing that needs to get done.
  3. Upgrade my resourcefulness. It’s not uncommon to forget what resources we have available. Or, as the survey showed, feel like you don’t know what to do next. That’s when turning to a coach, mastermind group or even tap into a checklist of ideas like my Top 10 Revenue Rush Strategies. If I’m ever caught short of cash flow I’ll use one of these techniques to create a fast cash injection into my business.

As an entrepreneur or business leader, it is easy to feel isolated when overwhelm kicks in. Remember that there are people out there who get what you are feeling. Reach out to a coach (like me), your inner circle (like the Own Your Bold Circle) or even a colleague to reset your thinking and come up with a new plan.

What’s your best strategy for taming overwhelm and staying “in flow?”

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