10 ways to fight overwhelm

fight overwhelm | dotted design Do you ever get to that point where you just feel totally uninspired? Maybe you need to work on a creative project and you just aren’t feeling the ideas flow. Perhaps you have so much to do that you don’t know what to start with.

No matter how much you love your work, there are inevitably going to be moments or days where you feel stuck. I am a firm believer that we should strive to be productive and not busy. Whatever your reasons, here are a few ways you can break through that creative block or feeling of overwhelm and get back to productivity:

  • Take a walk. The best way to clear your mind is to get active and allow yourself to cycle through any thoughts that are stuck in your head. I always seem to have my best ideas while out for a walk or run!
  • Make a list. It’s easy to feel like you have 97 things to do when they are just sitting in your head. Getting them down on paper is a great way to see what you really have to do and not simply what it feels like you have to do.
  • Work for a set number of minutes, then stop. Set a timer for something reasonable, like 15-20 minutes, and commit to working on one thing. No social media, no emails. Sometimes the idea of sitting down to work on a project for an indefinite amount of time can seem so daunting. Knowing that you only have to focus for a short time can really help! (And I bet you’ll keep working after your set time is up.)
  • Complete an admin task. Nothing like taking time to do some accounting or filing to make me ready to jump back into creativity!
  • Do some business reading. Pick up that book that’s been sitting on your to-read list and dive in. Not only might you pick up some great tips, I often find my mind wanders to some inspired ideas for my current projects while I’m reading.
  • Do an activity in another field. If you’re a graphic designer, try doing some photography for fun. If you’re a photographer, trying painting instead. Sometimes flexing those creative muscles in a different way can help bring back that inspired feeling!
  • Take an ecourse. Continuing your education is imperative, no matter your field. Maybe you’ve been wanting to hone a new skill that will help you attract more clients. Or, perhaps you want to take a course to help you better define or operate your business. Dive in and you’ll feel oh-so productive.
  • Schedule down time. If you are feeling uninspired or overwhelmed, it’s likely that you’ve simply been expecting too much of yourself. Make the most of your work hours each week and then let go. It serves no one to give 30% of your best effort for 80 hours a week when you could be working at your peak productivity in 30 hours a week. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will be left to take care of your business? Bonus tip: plan a trip. Nothing helps you get through your work like having a vacation to look forward to!
  • Accept that it is ok to say “no.” This one can be hard when you’re presented with an opportunity to make money, gain exposure, or do something fun. If you are too overworked to take on a new project, you will serve both your current clients and your own health by admitting you can’t take it on right now.
  • Remember it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters. When our lens in narrow, it’s easy to feel like if you don’t complete 12 things on your to-do list in one day that the chances will be gone. Running a successful business is about the long game, and accepting that you can’t do it all in one day will be so freeing.

What are some ways you fight feeling uninspired?