Once upon time, there was this talented, fierce and amazing girl. She felt like it was time to act on those aspirations she had to start her own business.
She knew she was awesome and figured if she did her homework, hustled hard and put herself out there, other people would be able to see how awesome she was, too. Soon enough, she too would be posing in front of the Eiffel Tower with all the other 6- and 7-figure success stories carrying Louis Vuitton luggage sets.

And yet, the only bags this princess had were under her eyes and a serious case of “WTF am I doing here?”.

Here’s the good news, boss :: every success story has a chapter (or four!) on feeling overwhelmed.

The bad news :: overwhelm is a symptom that something you have too much going on in some area of your biz and/or life. You need to identify what that is and what the necessary changes are to implement before moving forward.

But here’s more good news :: I happen to have a black-belt in kicking overwhelm to the curb. This post is dedicated to sharing some of that with you. #haYAH

WERK-WERK-WERK

You’re an amazing boss lady so Imma start this conversation like I do with all amazing boss ladies I work with… “So what’s the plan here?”
Now it’s your turn to rhyme off your top 3 to 5 priorities and the strategy you have in place to see those through.
Wait, what was that? You don’t have a plan? Sooooo, that’s a problem!

Going about your day-to-day operations without a plan is the equivalent of running a marathon without a map or a route. You’re expending a whole lot of energy, exhausting yourself in the hopes that you’ll reach your finish line. Meanwhile, it’s unlikely that you’ll even reach your destination if you didn’t at least have some sense of established direction.

Newsflash :: Hustle isn’t enough. You need to get your shit together.

I use Airtable to help me plan and prioritize like a boss. Check out the preview of how I {AIRTABLE LIKE A BOSS} like ::

 

YOU ARE NOT A CHARCUTERIE PLATE

What’s not to love about charcuteries plates? They have a lot going on with the pickled things and the exotic cheeses and the cured meats and those creamy patés with all the fancy crostinis and crackers and breads.
Not to mention how well they go with 1 or 2 glasses of wine (or maybe 3 or 4! because I don’t judge and unless you’re Jesus, neither should you)  A charcuterie plate gives you all of the perfect things to choose from on a Thursday night catching up with your BFFs.

Meanwhile, this “choose your own adventure” approach does exactly the opposite to catch up on all your biz-related stuff Friday morning. Having a selection of things To-Do is bad because it means your focus is, well,  not at all focused.

Your To Do list shouldn’t look like a diner menu. It’s called “prioritizing”.

When you have well-defined focus, your To Do list to follow. Every day, you should be doing work that aligns directly with your focus. Automate, outsource or re-prioritize everything else. (We’ll talk more about the latter options two later.)

How – exactly! – does this happen? Simple! Establish your 90-day plan and create your To Do list to line up side-by-side to the things you said were important to you.
Then ask yourself ::

  • Are the things I have To Do today fall directly in line with my goals?
  • Will I be able to say “I’ve made progress towards my goals!” after I’ve completed each of these action items?
  • Am I dedicating time and energy to new ideas and passions that my future self should be responsible for seeing through?
  • Can I look at my To Do list and easily identify which key areas these contribute to for me and my business?
  • Do all of these tasks have to be done by me? Is any of this repetitive work that could be automated or outsourced?

The point of your To Do list is not to fill all of the hours in your day. It also isn’t about spreading yourself thin trying to get “all the things” done.
Your To Do list should be created from the point of view that 1) you see where you’re going and 2) you’re taking the steps to get you there. Anything that doesn’t bring you from point A to point B shouldn’t make the list.

ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK

“But Lanie!”, you’re saying. “There’s a bunch of maintenance stuff I have to do. These emails won’t reply themselves.” True dat, boss!
Fashion-conscious “Plastics” know that Wednesdays are dedicated exclusively to pink attire – it takes the guesswork out of making a decision!
And you, my success-conscious boss, can dedicate your Wednesdays to maintenance mode for your business. Activities like catching up on emails or scheduling next week’s social content or whatever other things you have to do to sustain “business as usual”.

This is commonly referred to as “batching” or “time blocking”. The idea is that you’re putting all the gotta-do-it stuff into one time slot. Not only do you create better, more focused work, but you also pump the brakes on replying to that email on Tuesday to instead work on something else. You know that it’ll get handled on Wednesday and you can put it out of your brain for now.

I’m going to sound like a broken record when I say this (get used to it!) :: the PLAN you establish needs to account for not only the things that will move you forward but also the status quo/maintenance work. PLAN YOUR WORKLOAD ACCORDINGLY!

*INSERT SCRATCHED RECORD NOISE*

Ummm… hold up, boss. Before you start dedicating your limited time to this work, are you sure that work needs to be done BY YOU?

To figure this out, start by mapping out all of the things you have to do in your business to maintain the status quo.
If you’re at a loss, that outsourcing checklist I mentioned earlier is a great starting point to assess the areas that could be done by someone else.
Likewise, you may want to consider setting up your workload to be done on auto-pilot, like automating your client onboarding process.
Remember that just because it has to be done, doesn’t mean YOU have to be the one who does it. Chances are that if these are tasks that maintain your status quo, it is very likely that you can automate or outsource it. Dedicate your time to doing work that matters to your bottom line!

GET REAL

So what happens when, like, awwlllllllll your time is dedicated to just maintaining your operations.
As in :: after you’ve done the emails and the follow-ups and the quality control and “all the things” that keep your business running smoooooth as melty peanut butter… there’s no time to tackle the To Do list that moves you towards making progress on your goals.
Guess what time that is, boss? It’s time to get real!

Your most valuable resource isn’t money, it isn’t energy and it’s not even the 1st page of Google (as sweet as all those things are).
TIME is your most valuable resource, girl!
While you can make and create all those other things, your time will always be limited. As your workload grows, it is mega-important to have the RIGHT SYSTEMS and PROCESSES to be your holy-mother-savior on the daily.

“Systems” don’t sound sexy… til they strip away all the overwhelm keeping you busy AF! (And they do!)

For instance, you use Airtable to create a system to onboard new clients and a process around how you deliver their projects. Not only do I show you how in this video but I make it mega-easy for you to copy my test paper by giving you the exact bases used in these videos below.

Because the feeling of overwhelm is a symptom, just like a case of the sniffles or putting on weight. It is an omen that something else is going on and you need to pay attention to get it under control.

Whether you automate, outsource or prioritize, the Kryptonite to that overwhelm you’re feeling is 100% strategic!