Every day you react to interruptions, distractions, and demands on your attention – and you’re so overwhelmed by everything you have to do that you never get to some of your most important projects. So the ideas you have about how to grow your business and make more profit go to waste.
We think we experience overwhelm when we have too much to do.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and I ask you how you’re doing, you’re going to say “Ah, I just have too much to do! I feel overwhelmed”.
But that doesn’t actually make sense.
The Myth of Overwhelm
How much you think you have to do is always a matter of time frame. If you zoom out and think about everything you have to do in the next week, well, that might be a lot. But zoom out further and think about everything you have to do in the next ten weeks. Or 100 weeks. Or 1000 weeks (which is about 20 years.)
If think about everything you have to do in the next 20 years, and add it all up, it should be 1000 times more overwhelming than what you have to do next week.
But it’s not.
Imagining what you have to do in the next 20 years doesn’t produce the feeling of overwhelm. In fact, when I think about it, I start to feel a sense of accomplishment when I consider everything I have to get done in the next 2 decades.
What Overwhelm Really Is
So, overwhelm isn’t really about the AMOUNT we have to do — since we can really only do one thing at a time. Given that you can only do one thing at a time and you have an unimaginably large list of things that you plan to do in the next 20 years, you soon realize that “overwhelm” doesn’t come from having too much to do.
Overwhelm comes from feeling that you have to do something and at the same time you can’t. You feel like you ‘must’ and you feel like you ‘can’t’.
Let me just pause right there, because if you read my post on How To Stop Procrastination last week, you’ll notice that procrastination and overwhelm (and they do go together) both have at their root the experience that you “have to do something.”
Procrastination is “I have to do something,” paired with “I don’t know where to start.”
Overwhelm is “I have to do something,” paired with “I can’t.”
And once you realize this is what overwhelm actually is you start to get that it’s not that you have too much to do or there is something wrong with you or you don’t have any will power.
To learn more check out the free resources at Mind Money Meaning (the most advanced entrepreneurial education system available). Jennifer and I are about to start working with a whole new cohort of entrepreneurs – helping them rapidly scale their businesses and gaining freedom in their lives.