We talk about everything on the INsiders. And one thing that comes up for professionals, even if they don’t own the business, is overwhelm. How to handle the stress and commitments that bombard business owners, leaders and decision makers. Here best selling author Soulla Christodoulou shares her thoughts.
Perhaps it’s being a best selling author that makes you more aware on best practices in business?
As our Founder Mandie Holgate has a course on resilience and has spent many years training companies in the skills to override overwhelm. See how many match up to Soulla’s great advice here. Great share from Soulla as always, do let us know what actions you take for yourself, team and business.
This month has seen a lot of “new” experiences for me and I wanted to share how I have dealt with some of the overwhelming feelings of ‘Can I do this?’ and ‘What if it all goes wrong?’ with you all.
Overwhelment raised its head more often than I would like this last month especially as I’m juggling multiple roles: an author, book editor, private tutor, and writing mentor, as well as a bookpreneur and entrepreneur.
The spiritual me believes strongly that these feelings come along to remind me that things are working and that the universe has my back. You know, that saying that just as you’re about to give up, don’t, because that’s when everything falls into place.
So here I am admitting that I have times of muddling through in my business and at other times I am so damn organised and “on it” that I feel invincible with energy and drive through the roof that I am still going strong even after a ten-hour day!
Here are my top six tips for coping with it all in business and generally…
(I do it all really well most of the time.)
1. I think one of the best things is talking about what I’m doing. Sharing really does lighten the load and that feeling of trying to do it all alone. Also, telling people that I am worried gives me strength from the encouragement and love I get. Sometimes, my actions speak louder than any words and in my case I have burst into tears and Alan, my partner, says, ‘It’s getting to you, I know. But the tears will be tears of joy before you know it.’ Having someone in your corner makes all the difference and I am lucky enough to have Alan. I also have my mum and my two sisters. They are all incredibly supportive and always here for me.
2. I have a diary. It’s a beautiful Papier diary which makes it look and feel so special and I write EVERYTHING in it… personal commitments, work commitments, reminders, ideas, notes, plans, mind maps… Having somewhere to organise my thoughts and my weeks helps me look at where I might be overstretching myself
3. I block off me-days; RELAX days where I don’t plan a single thing and let the day unfold. I might read, I might tidy my kitchen drawers, I might binge-watch a Netflix series, I might look over my morning pages and highlight feel-good moments or I might have a long shower, take a walk on my own or plan a big dinner for when everyone gets home. The beauty of working for myself means there are many aspects of what I do which don;t have to be done between 9 and 5. I can get up early, I can work late, I can work through lunch.
4. I am much better at saying no to things that don’t make me feel good, support my work or which don’t align with my goals, both personal and work. Saying no, for me, is a form of self-care. I hate the drain on me emotionally, physically and mentally of forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do. So I am picky about how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Saying no frees space in my head and in my life for the right things to come to me.
5. I have TO-Do lists and prioritise urgent things over important things and as I get through the noted tasks in my diary I write out my DONE lists for the day. This makes me feel better about what I’m doing and how much I am achieving and focuses on the success of tasks and commitments in a day rather than the lack of.
6. The beauty of working for myself as anyone running their own business from home means there are many aspects of what I do which don’t have to be done between 9 and 5. I can get up early, I can work late, I can work through lunch. Managing my time effectively is one of the best ways to deal with all the tasks and different roles I do. I also work smarter not harder… but that’s another post.
This month has seen my tutoring pick up again now that pupils are back at school and I’m planning the release of my fifth novel, A Palette of Magpies on the 28th October 2023. I have received an incredible opportunity to work as a Literary Agent and I have been working on putting together my terms and conditions, my mission statement and other mechanics of running a second business alongside WRITING FOR LIFE. There has been a lot to be overwhelmed by yet I am still here and coping so much better with the workload and the responsibilities that come with all the roles I have.
Let me know how you cope with feelings of overwhelment. What tips can you share to us Insiders?
Thank you so much for reading and if you are looking for support with writing, whether it be for business, for learning or for pleasure, then please give me a nudge. I will add you to my diary pages and promise to give you 100%.
And if you have time for a relaxing read, you can check out my books below.
Lots of love and thanks for reading, Soulla
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