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

Are You Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

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Oct 052017
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Action without planning is the cause of every failure.” Alec Mackenzie, time management expert

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Last year, my husband and I hiked a mile-and-a-half down the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. We planned and trained for almost a year. When the day arrived, we had the right boots and equipment, and enough food and water to sustain us. Unfortunately, many people on the trail hadn’t had the same foresight.

There are warnings all over the park and at the trailhead about how much water a hiker needs. But sadly, many hikers we saw took only a fraction of the water they needed. We witnessed several people in distress due to dehydration: weak, tired or dizzy. A family fought over their child’s small bottle of water, because they’d already drunk their allotment. Two women hiked the dirt and rock trail, that was hundreds of feet above the canyon floor, in high heels. One turned ankle in the wrong place could have been disastrous.

These visitors let their enthusiasm overrun their common sense. Instead of thinking ahead, they impetuously jumped into an experience and suffered for it. Fortunately, most Grand Canyon visitors survive with just blisters, sore muscles and a headache from dehydration. But they could have avoided those consequences if they’d just heeded the warnings and considered what they’d need for a safe hike.

Unfortunately, many people act in a similar way when they get an idea. They leap into action before they even know what to do. In our Western culture, action is idolized. Supposedly, if you just take action, any action, you’ll be successful. Action is considered a panacea and always brings you results, so the thought goes. But how many people do you know who are so busy that they barely have a personal life, but they’re not achieving their goals?

Some people want to let the Universe guide their way. They don’t have any direction, and just react to whatever shows up in their path. In this case, the Universe is simply acting on their strongest desires. And those desires change from day to day. Even when you let the Universe guide you, have a vision of where you want to end up. You can always intend, “This or something better.” Then the Law of Attraction can draw what you need to manifest your greater good.

Have you ever seen a skyrocket firecracker flying through the air? It spirals all over the place because it has thrust, but no guidance system. Most of the time, it goes up to explode in a beautiful display, but there are occasions when it swirls down to the ground and sets something on fire. This is what it’s like when you jump into action before developing a plan. You’re probably going to go up, but you don’t have any control over your direction. And you also have a good chance of crashing and burning.

The same is true if you have a plan, but you don’t know where you want to end up. If you have no vision, it’s like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. You don’t know where your target is, so you waste your energy and ammunition. This happens if you have a marketing plan, before you settle on a niche. You spray the consumers with information, but because it’s not aimed properly, it’s ineffective. Instead, you need to find the right people for your product or service then spend your energy on connecting with them.

There are times when jumping into action, without a plan, can be helpful. But it has to be strategic. You want to build up some momentum, stir up some information, gain clarity or some other specific reason. Doing that is a plan in itself. You know the results you want from your actions.

Conversely, you need to keep from getting stuck in the planning process. Your plan isn’t going to ever be perfect. You’ll tweak it along the way. And there will be times when it will change completely, as you get feedback or knowledge. Making progress is better than perfecting your plan.

When you’ve decided to create something new in your life, be intentional about it. Don’t “Put the cart before the horse.” Keep your priorities straight and make sure you have some sort of plan. Life can be treacherous and catch you off guard. If you’re going for a trek in unfamiliar territory, isn’t it a good idea to heed the warnings, make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of resources to sustain you? This isn’t just good advice for the Grand Canyon, but also for every area of your life. Make sure your horse draws your cart, and you’ll make faster progress.

Affirmation:

I decide what direction I want to go in, and the Universe then lights my path. It ensures that I receive whatever I need for the fulfillment of my desire. I stay on track and take the steps I need towards my vision. Each step illumines the next one. And the Universe provides me with whatever is for my Highest Good.

Watch the complementary video Think Before You Leap.

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.

Stop Fighting Yourself

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Sep 202017
 

Do you have personality traits that you’re rejecting by trying to fit yourself into a mold that works for others, especially in your career? If so, you’re going to be wasting energy and not being as productive as you could be. Accepting yourself and working with your characteristics will make you much happier and more successful.




Transcript:
Do you have natural characteristics that involves your work life, that you’re fighting against?
I’m not talking about procrastination or perfectionism, which are learned traits. But what natural characteristics are you trying to repress them to fit into what everyone else expects from you? When you do, it’s a form of self-rejection. Not only does it erode your self-esteem, but it reduces your effectiveness.

For instance, years ago, I took a creative writing class that met at 9am every Thursday. I’m not at my peak at that time. I’m functional at best. A group of us from the class formed an organization to sponsor what became an international writing contest. I was secretary of the group and took notes at our meetings. One day, the president suggested we meet at 8am. I’m not a morning person. The person who sat next to me in class said, “Don’t do that to Linda-Ann. Haven’t you noticed that she doesn’t mentally join the class and start participating until 10am?” We all laughed, and because it was true, the president set the meeting at 10am.

How about you? Is there a personality trait you have that you’re fighting against? Are you trying to fit into someone else’s mold? I know that there are times it’s unavoidable. But if you are, you’re wasting your time and energy. They could be better used to accepting your idiosyncrasies and viewing them as your strengths. In other words, you know how to optimize your productivity.

For example, do you work best listening to music? How can you do that in a way that doesn’t affect others? Do you prefer to work in groups? What about teams? Maybe you can find a partner or partners to bounce ideas off of, so you can collaborate with them and have a sense of camaraderie.

When you’re able to honor your personality traits, you build a sense of self-trust and feel better about yourself. What are your idiosyncrasies? How can you accept and adjust them to fit into your work? When you’re able to do this, not only will you be more productive and successful, and be a whole lot happier.

Read the accompanying article Achieve Success through Self-Trust.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Sep 082017
 

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Aug 102017
 

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Aug 032017
 

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What To Do When You Feel Like You Haven’t Accomplished Enough
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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Jul 282017
 

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~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Jul 202017
 

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Trending Articles of the Month

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Jul 142017
 

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