Conquer the Distress of Overwhelm

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Nov 022017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I used to create a long to-do list that would have been impossible to finish in three times the allotted period. Not only did I constantly overestimate my capacity to complete my list, I would underestimate the time the tasks would take. In addition, I’d have several creative projects under development at once. I’d dart between them, working on one then the other. None of them got any quality or quantity of my attention. As a result, I always felt like I was falling behind. And I was. I felt stressed and my to-do list consumed my thoughts.

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Do you have this problem? In today’s world, most people take on too much. People try to compensate by multitasking in an attempt to get more done. But multitasking for increased productivity is an illusion. In actuality, less gets done. Research shows it’s an inefficient use of time and mental resources. It failed massively when I tried to work on several projects at once. But because we’re overwhelmed with everything we have to do, we grasp at straws. And those straws won’t keep us afloat.

Being overwhelmed means that you’re stressed all the time. When you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly and your productivity drops. Because you’re distracted by what’s stressing you, your decision making ability is diminished. All your resources are being used to deal with what’s going on right now. You’re in a fight or flight mode, just trying to survive. Haven’t you felt like this? It means you’re reacting to circumstances, rather than being proactive, innovative and creative about how to get things done. Overall, you have less emotional resources to deal with life’s issues. You’re just trying to tread water and progress floats away.

Overwhelm, and the stress it causes, impairs spiritual progress. Think of your mind as a glass that filled to the brim and overflowing. It doesn’t have room to add anything more. Your subconscious is simply handling too much and you can’t address anything else. You can’t focus, because your attention is split into so many different directions. And without focus, the Law of Attraction can’t work effectively. Stress and overwhelm means you’re out of alignment with inner peace.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll have to concentrate on implementing these strategies, because it’s all too easy to get dragged back into the old pattern.

1. Distinguish between what’s immediate and what’s important. The immediate would be a coworker calling you for advice. They have your attention right now, but you could actually call them back later. Something important would be working on the report that’s under a tight deadline. Put off the immediate until after you deal with what’s important.

2. Eliminate what’s not working. What chores or tasks aren’t actually necessary? What’s keeping you from working on what’s truly important? Certain chores may have become a habit, but aren’t helping you anymore. For instance, we all need to check our email periodically. But if you have it open all day, it’ll lure you away from your important projects and to check it frequently. Instead, check it only three times a day.

3. Create a strategy to make sure you don’t get overloaded.
This could be cutting back on your to-do list (like I did). Or you could set a timer to deal with email, easy tasks or a project. Delegate what you can. Don’t micromanage others. These all mean that you have to let go of some control.

4. Focus on one thing at a time.
This is the opposite of multitasking. When I began to focus on one project at a time, I was able to complete it much faster. It doesn’t mean that you have to focus on one project or task and do it to completion. It means that when you’re working on it, you eliminate all distractions and it’s all you pay attention to.

5. Schedule things. For an ongoing project, set aside 60-90 minutes at a time to focus on it. Keep that appointment with yourself. With all other tasks, put them in your calendar and expect them to take twice as long as you expect. That way you have plenty of time to work on them, and if you finish early, you may actually have time to fit in others.

6. Take time for self-care and self-development. When I was overwhelmed, meditation and self-development were the first things I abandoned. Referring back to #1, this item would be something classified as important. Not only will self-care reduce your stress, but it will give you mental and emotional resources to handle your tasks better. Meditation, reading, exercise, taking bubble baths all contribute to your spiritual progress and peace of mind.

Over time, I learned to reduce my to-do list to a few items. I would include a few extra each week, in case I actually had time to work on them. But if I didn’t, I moved them to the following week. I never got everything done. No one ever does. We’re all human beings, not human doings. Reduce your load so you can cultivate more ease, peace and happiness.

Affirmation:

I am Divinely guided to make wise decisions in taking care of myself and my life. I release what doesn’t contribute to my life’s purpose and peace. And I accept things that contribute to my purpose and peace. That means that I take care of what’s important, including myself. When I do, I open the way for more abundance and joy to come into my life.

Watch the accompanying video, Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.
Oct 172017
 

Do you sometimes leap into a situation before you look at it? Does it ever turn out as you hoped? If you think about the action you’re going to take before you commit to it, you’ll get better results. Discover what you can do to improve your results and some questions to ask that can lead you in that direction.



Transcript:

Do you sometimes jump into a situation before you’ve had time to assess it? How often does that turn out the way you hoped? And how can you get better results?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, vision strategist, hypnotherapist and speaker. I help women entrepreneurs to focus, gain control, and accelerate to the next level of their business. Today, I’d like to talk to you about how you can get better outcomes by planning before you step into a situation. Many people will leap before they look, and it rarely brings them the results they expected.

Maybe a friend made a suggestion that sounded good to you at the time. For instance, years ago, I took a friend’s advice and joined a gym for 6 months. I hated it, and after the first few visits, the membership went unused. Has anything like that ever happened to you?

Or maybe you made a commitment before you’d thought it through. Such as volunteering for a charity before you knew much about it. Once you found out more, you realized it wasn’t right for you. Have you ever done that?

Or, as entrepreneurs, we often spring into different types of marketing without any idea of whether they work for our business. For example, you decide to network because someone said it was the best thing since sliced bread. But, when you attend an event, you stand in the corner of the room, never meet anyone, and never follow up with those you do meet. Have you known of anyone who did this?

It’s a truism, that, as Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” It feels good to spring into action. You feel like you’re doing something, making progress, building momentum. But all too often, you’re just wasting time and energy because it doesn’t fit into a whole picture. It’s just pieces that don’t fit together.

Don’t get me wrong. Action is important, because without it nothing happens. It also anchors a commitment to change and to move forward. But action needs to be targeted, with a specific reason for doing it. That’s where the plan comes in. Think before you leap.

Some questions to ask yourself: What is your plan for your action? Why are you doing it? What do you expect from it? Will there be any consequences? After you leap, what’s next? What steps are you going to take, and how will you know when you’re getting results?

I’ll post the questions I just mentioned with the video (see above). And for a free ebook of tips on how to take charge of your day, and get more done more easily, click on the link for it that accompanies this video (see below).

Think through what you plan to do. When you’re deliberate and intentional about your actions, you’ll be much more successful. They’ll be more integrated with who you are and what you want. So how can you create a thoughtful plan that supports your next steps?

Free Guide: Take Control of Your Day, with specific tips and instructions on how you can get more done more easily. Increase your efficiency, confidence and clarity, while reducing your sense of struggle and overwhelm. http://www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide.html

Read the complementary article, Are You Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Oct 062017
 

Step Through WoodsCan You Have More Willpower?
Most people think that you don’t have any control over how much willpower you have. You’re either born with it or you’re not. But recent research debunks that myth. Instead, studies find that it’s more like a muscle that gets better with exercise. Willpower helps you be able to fulfill more of your goals and potential. Learn 3 approaches to learn how to do increase your use of this valuable trait.

5 Reasonable Ways To Be Optimistic
Optimists aren’t born that way, they learn this perspective over time. Research shows that optimists are healthier, more successful and more resourceful. You always have a choice of what to think, and this impacts how you feel. Learn some simple ways to practice being more optimistic and reap the benefits that brings.

The Power of Mind Map: Get More Things Done & Make Creativity Easy
The concept behind this idea has been around for decades. It’s one that allows you to access more of your creativity and innovation. You can identify more of what needs to be done and in what order. This article gives some step by step directions on how to utilize this valuable technique.

Sep 012017
 

New Age Hypnosis
by Bruce Goldberg

Although this book doesn’t go into great depth explaining hypnosis, it does give some great information and principles about the process that most books on this subject don’t cover. It’s a very clear examination of hypnosis and this state of mind.

Dispelling misconceptions, it explains how it’s a natural process. It also addresses topics that other mainstream books on hypnosis don’t even mention, such as karma, the Superconscious mind, self-sabotage, masters and guides, akashic records, angels and much more.

This book is a goldmine of scripts for making your own recordings. You can simply read from the book and make a recording to explore a past life, future life, contact your Superconscious mind and more. If you are interested in tapping into the power of your mind, this book is a must for your library.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Aug 102017
 

Sunset at Hopi Point at Grand Canyon12 Habits of Genuine People
Genuine people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. People who are genuine walk their talk and inspire trust. These 12 characteristics can help you determine whether someone is actually genuine and authentic.

Why We Should Be Having More Meaningful Conversations
Introverts hate small talk. They prefer to dive into deep conversations. Research is now verifying that deep discussions are good for you, making you happier. If you have trouble having meaningful discussions, this article gives you some direction on how to initiate them.

Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life
Journaling gives you powerful access to your creativity and being able to find solutions. Research shows that it can improve your health and well being. This article focuses on how to use it to organize and streamline your day for maximum efficiency. But the writer also goes into many of the other benefits that keeping a journal brings.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Aug 032017
 

Road to SuccessProductivity 101: A Primer to The Pomodoro Technique
This is a technique to improve your productivity, creativity, concentration and reduce distractions. It’s one I recommend to my coaching clients. This particular version of it uses a specific timer to time your task. This article’s instructions are clear and fun.

What To Do When You Feel Like You Haven’t Accomplished Enough
It’s easy to feel like you haven’t done enough when you compare yourself to someone else. You know you’ve made a lot of progress in your life, but still feel like you’re lacking. This article gives you some specific tips on how to overcome that feeling and recognize your success.

This Weird Tip Can Help You Clear Your Mind
Everyone gets bogged down when they’re working on a project or focus for too long. It’s hard to continue to be creative and innovative when you feel that way. One of the things I do is walk away from it for a few minutes. But this article gives a quicker way for you to get refocused and back on track.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Jul 202017
 

Sunset Crater, Flagstaff AZIf You Have These 6 Struggles, You’re Highly Intelligent
Highly intelligent people aren’t super beings, who have magic powers to figure out everything. They struggle with problems and like everyone does. It’s just that their challenges may be a bit different from the average person. This article examines the specific issues that these folk experience.

Stop Sabotaging Yourself And Achieve Success
Unfortunately, we tend to be our own worst enemies. We tend to travel in familiar paths, even when they undermine our goals. Success is affected more by our mental attitudes than than our actions. This article includes 3 tips on how to defeat self-sabotage.

Happiness research shows the biggest obstacle to creativity is being too busy
Our lives are getting busier by the day. And that busyness blocks our creativity. Creativity blooms when our minds are idle, wandering or daydreaming. This article explains how to maximize your ability to learn complex tasks and be more creative. Learn how to give your brain a break.

Still not believing my affirmations

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Jul 192017
 

Question about affirmationsQuestion: Is this normal to be listening to and repeating affirmations for a year and still not completely believe them?

Answer: It’s fairly normal for it to take some time to turn things around. It’s different with everybody. Some get involved with a group of people of like mind, or a great teacher, and are able to make a significant change quickly. That’s not very common, though.

Remember, you’ve been heading in one direction for most, if not all, your life, with a pattern of thinking. I liken it to sailing in a sailboat. You’re headed in one direction, and now want to go in the opposite direction. You can’t just flip the sails around or you’ll capsize. You have to move them incrementally. It takes time.

And your subconscious acts on the overall quality of your thoughts. If you’ve been thinking negatively for a long period, it takes a while, and a lot of belief, to change that. You can use affirmations to increase your belief, which might be the best thing to focus on for a while. That there is good in the world, you deserve it, and work on a smaller goal at first. As you succeed at that, you can proceed to larger goals.

Your emotional belief and trust in the Universe and your subconscious mind is what powers your affirmations. You/we all receive what we expect, in our deepest being, that we’re going to get. If we truly believe that nothing will change, no matter what affirmations we say, guess what? It doesn’t. The subconscious manifests the average of what we think about.

You’re learning a new skill, and like all new abilities, it takes time, perseverance and practice to get better at it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Don’t Push the River

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Jul 132017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

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One day, my father and a neighbor left for work at exactly the same time. They entered the freeway with the neighbor’s car directly behind my father’s. My father went with the flow of traffic, not changing lanes in a vain attempt to seek a faster route. The neighbor, however, wove in, out and through the traffic, trying to get ahead.

When my father finally left the freeway about 10 miles later, the neighbor was only one car ahead him. All that effort, stress, and extra gas had resulted in the gain of only two car lengths. Trying to maneuver to get ahead, she’d made very little progress, was frustrated in her attempts and irritated her nerves. She allowed her impatience to make a bad commute into a worse one.

Many times, when you try to compel a situation to move faster than it was designed to, you sabotage your efforts. It can even cause the circumstance to resist and push back. For instance, you can’t convince someone to love, accept or approve of you. The more you try to persuade them, the more you drive them away.

The same is true of not being able to force someone to hire you. You have to let them make the decision to do so. A salesperson that pressures a potential customer to buy their product will alienate that customer. When you try to shove your will onto a situation, you get the opposite of what you want.

By trying to control conditions, you’re tying up your inner resources. You’re stressed by your efforts and it interferes with your innovation, creativity, the ability to listen and to make plans. It also blocks your subconscious from seeking and finding other solutions.

When I was growing up, my mother used to repeat the proverb, “Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.” She explained that, no matter what you did, you couldn’t force the river to flow any faster. I realized she meant to not try to force events to unfold, because all you’ll is to waste energy. For example, have you ever tried to will yourself to fall asleep? The more you try, the more awake you become. You have to let go and allow it to happen.

But, at the same time, you also can’t just hope the river will take you where you want to go. You have to provide the right conditions to maximize your results. For example, to get to sleep more easily, you have to create a calm environment. There’s a fine line between going with the flow and swimming with the current.

If you just drift, the water could crash you onto rocks, or divert you into another tributary. However, if you swim with the current, you’re cooperating with the river and using its energy to propel you downstream. You’re also in better control of where you go. If it tries to tangle you in brush at the bank, you’re able to move away from the trees and back into the flow.

When it seems that no matter what you do, you get swept into eddies at the edge of the river or slammed onto rocks, assess your direction. Somehow, you’re not working with the current and the results are telegraphing that something is amiss. You need to address some aspect of your vision, mindset or plan.

Check your vision. Is it clear enough? Does it reflect what you really want? If it’s your business, do you have a product or service the public wants and needs? Have you communicated it in a way they realize its value? If you have a clear vision, then keep it in front of you every day.

Check your mindset. Do you believe your dream is attainable? Are you inspired to work towards your vision? Do you feel like you deserve what you’re seeking? If your mindset supports your vision, stay focused on where you want to go.

Check your plan. Do you have a step by step plan? Is it right for you? Is it taking you in the direction of your vision? Are you working it every day? If your plan is on track, make sure you’re taking consistent actions to keep you moving forward.

If you’re constantly frustrated with your progress, take a step back and consider. Are you trying to push the river to make it go faster? If so, you’re just wasting energy. Other elements may need to develop before you can get into the center of the channel. Be patient and persistent. When these three key items are aligned, you’ll be in the flow and swimming with the current.

Affirmation:
The Universe isn’t holding my good back from me. It wants me to have all the good I can accept. I now allow things to unfold in Divine Time for my Highest Good. I let go of trying to force events and let the Universe guide the situation. I take the actions I know to take, and align myself with the flow.

Watch this month’s Mindset Coaching Tip video, Stay the Course, which accompanies this article.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Sparks of Insight

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Jun 232017
 

Sparks of InsightNegative thinking is defensive or reactive. When you’re reacting from past experiences, you’re expecting the same as you got before. If you’re defensive, you’re using that as a way to protect yourself from disappointment or hurt. If you can’t be positive, at least find a way to turn the thoughts around to at least be neutral. Open up to different possibilities.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart