AAhhhh! Okay, sometimes you simply have to scream into a pillow! Because I work from home I can just scream into the empty house.
It always happens this way. When I am heading out to a conference — especially one at which I am speaking — the preparation prior and making sure my client work is prepared in advance, it always a bit stressful. This is ironic as I am speaking at the Women In The Pet Industry Network Conference in Oregon about… wait for it… time management and conquering the overwhelm!
What do I do when I am feeling stressed? I take a step back, look at my calendar, make notes of my to-dos then breathe a sigh of relief. In addition to my usual work tasks that I perform for clients, I added to my tasks “Prepare my power point” and focus in on my “Making It Happen” session. Attendees at my session will be entered into a drawing for a free “Make It Happen” session.
In many cases my “stress” is all in my head. It is a change of routine that kind of sets me off-kilter. Once I write the information down, and truly look at my calendar and at my to-do list I realize I am still in control of my schedule. How does that happen you may ask? It’s because I build a cushion into my workweek. At the end of each day I have a bit of a buffer zone that I create “Just in case” an unexpected client project springs up, or if a phone call lasts longer than I anticipated or if there is a meeting I want to attend.
Planning that buffer zone into my work day (which I do carry over for the week) means that I usually have a couple of hours banked from which to add in these unexpected items or to allow myself time out of the house to network… or attend a conference which means I will be gone from my office for four days. Do I have a four-day buffer? No I do not. Will I have time to perform client work while I am away? Yes, I will.
ACTION STEP: When you feel you’re overwhelmed. Stop. Write down what you believe the reasons for your overwhelm are. Chances are, things are not as bad as you’re imagining. If, however, you write down the items you believe are causing you stress you may find it’s not as bad as you imagined. Try it. Let me know how it works!