When It’s All Too Much

I am most frustrated when I’m overwhelmed. I doubt anyone enjoys that feeling. It’s probably not what The Black Eyed peas were referring to with their hit “I’ve Got a Feelin’…” (That’s my guess, anyway.)

So how should you handle it? Throw shyte? Yell at your spouse? Emmit every curse word imaginable when that case of beads pours all over the goddamnmothereffingshytesucking floor?

Okay, so those are probably just a few of the things I you SHOULDN’T do. Something else you should avoid is giving up altogether. It’s the procrastinator’s crutch: there’s too much to do, so why do any of it? As tempting as this can be sometimes: don’t fall into this trap.

Instead, identify exactly WHY you are feeling overwhelmed, and consider what on your “to do list” actually lines up with your priorities. In other words, figure out what you really NEED to do, what you WANT to do, and what it’s okay to omit altogether.

When we set up impossible goals for ourselves in the first place, we’re bound to get burnt out and overwhelmed. So let’s take a look a looks at those goals, the ones you came up with while fantasizing about being Superwoman…

A major presence on EVERY social network. No wonder you are pulling your hair out. Pick a few, ditch the ones you don’t really care much for anyway. (Hint: no one uses MySpace anymore.)

5 blogs. Are you kidding me right now? One is good. In fact, one will be BEST because you will be able to focus more energy on it, making it better in the long run. You don’t need a separate blog for your book reviews, one for your recipes, and one for your crafting business. Chances are, your readers will be interested in all of your hobbies, so keep ’em in one place for your own sake as well as theirs.

Promising same-day turnaround time on custom and made-to-order items. Did you realize you were going to get MULTIPLE requests for these AT THE SAME TIME when coming up with this goal? You probably didn’t. Set your turnaround time with a buffer for when this happens, especially during busy seasons like the holidays. Besides, you’re customers would rather be pleasantly surprised if you finish their order early, rather than later than promised.

Mess leads to stress. (I confess, this is something I need to work on.) A messy work area will contribute to your feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. When you’re in a hurry and can’t find anything, or don’t have the space to work, every small task will take that much longer. It’s worth it to take the time to tidy up after each work session.

Finally, make sure you’re making time for fun. When running a business, you’ve probably quickly discovered that days off no longer exist. While this may be true, be sure you are reserving some YOU time. I generally set aside Friday and Saturday evenings. If you have to, schedule a couple of days/evenings that work best for you. Get out and see a movie. Stay in and read a book. Visit a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. GO SOMEWHERE. DO SOMETHING. It’s worth it and you’ll feel more fulfilled for it too.

What’d I miss? What tips do you have for dealing with the overwhelming days? Please share, I’d love to hear them!

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23 thoughts on “When It’s All Too Much

  1. Heather October 1, 2012 at 7:14 am Reply

    Very good tips! I’d add that you should make yourself a schedule if you’re feeling overwhelmed regularly. Make sure there’s leeway in it too in case things come up (I have a “make up” day on Fri to do all the stuff I missed during the week). Because of me making a schedule, I now have weekends off for the most part and I get a lot more done. I only work them during the holiday rush or prepping for a craft show now instead.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 1, 2012 at 8:36 am Reply

      A “make up” day is a GREAT idea! Thanks for sharing Heather!

    • cdavern1 October 3, 2012 at 6:40 am Reply

      I love the make up day too, I shoot for thursday to figure out why I havent done something and sometimes I need to get help or break it down so it doesnt seem overwhelming

  2. twistedpixelstudio October 1, 2012 at 8:00 am Reply

    I confess that I spend too much time online and not enough me time or creation time. Its hard to tear away especially when you know people need this question answered or this item promoed. I guess it all works out in the end. Thanks Megan, as usual you have wonderful points.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 1, 2012 at 8:38 am Reply

      It’s very easy to spend all of our time behind the screen. It might help to schedule certain times when you allow yourself to get your cyber work done, and limit yourself to that time.

  3. homegrownjoy October 1, 2012 at 8:19 am Reply

    I agree that making time for you it’s essential. I make lists of a few things to do today, what to do this week, and what I want to work on long term (does that new pattern need to be done this week when I have a craft show to prepare for? probably not, so I shouldn’t think about it yet). This way I don’t have a thousand things running around in my head.

    And like you said, doing anything NOT crafty helps too. Go for a walk, clean the house (boring, but I always feel better afterwards), just sit and have some coffee with a friend.

    Great post!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 1, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply

      Great point Amanda! Separate what needs to be done NOW and what can afford to wait. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Between The Weeds: LRStudio October 1, 2012 at 9:35 am Reply

    Reblogged this on The Painted Cottage Home and commented:
    For creative people and everyone else. Fabulous post by Megan.

  5. Kim @justByou October 1, 2012 at 11:10 am Reply

    We all get stressed at times, and this post is GREAT, because it reminds us that we need to de-stress so we DON’T get burnt out. It’s so easy to get burnt out, really! It’s happened to me more than once. Thanks for the great tips and reminders. =0)
    ~Kim
    from Blogging Buddies
    2justByou.blogspot.com

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Glad I could help Kim! Good luck preventing your next burn-out!!!

  6. SaturdaySequins October 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm Reply

    Awesome list, Megan! Amen about the social networks.

    One thing I’m experimenting with is a piece of advice I read in a blog post — I wish I remembered which post it was! And that advice was to start the day with your most important work first and fit the rest of your life around it, instead of the other way around the way most of us do.

    I dropped the ball on it today, but I’ve been trying to work on my most important projects before I check me email and see what’s in my Hulu queue. It actually gives me more energy to do the other things, and I do them much more cheerfully.

    PS: I see a Christopher Moore book in your sidebar. How did you like it? He’s one of my favorite authors.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm Reply

      That is absolutely SPLENDID advice. Whether we think we are morning people or not, we are all at our most fresh and creative at the beginning of the day – the best time to focus on what’s most important, save the rest for later when our brains are more tired and we can just go through the mundane tasks, like e-mail.

      As for Christopher Moore – totally cracks me up. Lamb is probably my favorite book by him. It isn’t often you find an author that make you literally laugh-out-loud while reading! :-D

  7. Vivid Please October 2, 2012 at 8:20 am Reply

    What a great post! It is waaaay too easy to get stressed out about the small things. The first thing I need to to is get tidying! Thanks for sharing such a useful post :)

  8. cdavern1 October 3, 2012 at 6:42 am Reply

    are there any ADD crafters out there? I cant seem to stop piling and starting too many things at once!!!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 3, 2012 at 8:17 am Reply

      It’s not always bad to have several things going on at once, as long as hey are simular enough and you don’t feel overwhelmed as a result. For me, it makes sense to make several pieces that utilize the same beads and other supplies, that way I have everything I need out and ready, and can finished several projects at once. It can sometimes be a huge time-saver. :-)

  9. Joyce Wynes October 9, 2012 at 11:46 am Reply

    Reblogged this on CONTEMPORARY PAINTINGS by Joyce Wynes and commented:
    Wow, this is exactly how I am feeling this week. I was just thinking it was all getting to be too much and then I found this.

  10. Kate October 14, 2012 at 10:37 am Reply

    Thank you Megan, I am in the process of setting up a web based greeting card business and was wondering, how I was going to manage keeping info up to date on all the social media sites people keep telling me I need to be on, whilst finding the time to make the cards we want to sell. Which are the best do you think? All your advice is really helpful and I hope you continue giving it! Thanks again, kate

    • MegansBeadedDesigns October 14, 2012 at 11:47 am Reply

      So glad I could help Kate! Good luck with your business!

  11. J_Mo November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Here’s a video that I find very cathartic:

    On a more serious note, though, I think you are absolutely right: Making sure to leave/take time for YOU–for replenishment, rest, and attending to other aspects of life–is essential for decompressing when things get overwhelming. It’s also important to treat the people (and animals) in your life who mean the most to you well, so that you can turn to them when it all gets to be too much.

    I love your blog!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns November 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm Reply

      Hahahahahaha… LOVE that video! Thanks for sharing J-Mo!

      • J_Mo November 29, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply

        Any time! A friend introduced me to Andy Samberg, and now I can’t get enough. :P I’m also glad it was not offensive.

        • MegansBeadedDesigns November 29, 2012 at 8:10 am Reply

          Oh, goodness no. It would take a lot more than that to offend me! “Punched” is probably my favorite video.

          hee hee “follow your dreams…”

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