Today I want to talk about something that answers a common question I get, how to stop overwhelm so you can get what you want. Because overwhelm is a bitch. But not getting what you want, that’s even worse. The Suger News team loved this one, and I know YOU are going to as well. Let’s roll. 


This week I find myself somewhat in the zone. I am charging on through a million things that I have to do and lining up behind them are a million and one more. I’ve got some big exciting balls in the air right now, and I’m trying not to drop them.

I look over at my to-do list and give a frustrated sigh, it’s too much, and I feel the anxiety of overwhelm start to build. You’ve been there, right? That panic that there is absolutely no way you can cram all this in, and so you freak out and get nothing at all done thing? That.

So, as that panic builds and emails go unanswered, and life whizzes past my eyeballs, I have to stop myself and do what I know to do to make it all right. Because when I stop it, all does get done. Somehow, in some way, when I take the time to stop, step back, assess and then take action, I make it. And it occurred to me that perhaps you feel this way too. Maybe your next big thing commitment from a month ago feels too big right now.

How to stop overwhelm so you can get what you want

So, let’s talk about how to stop overwhelm head-on so you can get on with finishing what you started.

Go slow to go fast: Trick number one is to go slow to go fast. When overwhelm kicks in, most people assume they then have to start going more quickly to fit more things in and get more done. And if you’re anything like Mr Suger, in particular, then you just manage to stuff something up and have to do it again. Go slow, is the catch-cry around here. When things get busy, we focus hard on slowing down and doing things right in the first place.

Become a list person: When you are overwhelmed, it can be easy to build up all the things you have to do into a massive, insurmountable pile. And that insurmountable pile seems 150% impossible. That feels terrible, and that terrible feeling rules the day, then the panic gets worse and worse. I’m here to tell you, my friends, that all it takes to release that valve is a list.

Make it simple or make it a listing of every single thing you are planning to do that day. Whatever works for you. Me? I just sit still and start writing everything I need to do. I try to make mini lists within the page. For the blog, work, personal, home, etc. I scribble and draw and build that list until everything is on there. When I get everything out of my head and on the page, like magic, it doesn’t feel so bad.

It almost feels like it’s the paper’s problem now. Another reason I like to use an actual pencil and paper for lists. Try it. It’s wonderful.

Action-filled action plan: By now, if you have done the steps and breathed those breaths, you are going to be feeling a little better. Maybe you are looking at that list and thinking OMG how the heck do I do this? Well, that’s where the action-filled action plan comes in. You are going to tackle the most amount of jobs in the least amount of time by making a plan.

Like when you’re planning your errands before a house party; economy  of your time is key. You go to the bottle shop because it’s next to the supermarket, but you go to the party supplies store first because nothing in there can go bad, and you won’t have to run home. You pick up the meat last thing on your way home because food poisoning is the gift that keeps giving. Bit by bit you create an action plan around what there is to be done.

Take a look at your list, are there tasks there you can group together? Can you invite a friend to lunch to eat food you prepared and photographed for your blog, a friend who happens to be an accountant and can help finalise your tax return? Stuff like that. Or, you know, less magical, like can you swing past this place on your way to school pick up and here on the way back. Economise your time and actions and your list starts to become a bunch of small list bundles that can be taken care of in an hour or two each.

And then you have to take those actions. That list is never going to get smaller if you ignore all the things on it and drink wine while complaining to everyone who will listen to how busy you are. Oh wait, that’s not just me who does that right? It’s true.

You have to start to do the things on your list and not get distracted by other things. If you come across other things to do add them to a new list! If you forgot it in the first place, it’s not so urgent that it can’t wait until later. Probably. You are probably procrastinating.

I know because it takes one to know one. Overwhelm and Procrastination are BFF’s. You rarely see one without the other. Learn to recognise the signs and kick procrastination’s butt. Maybe you’ll even lessen your need to reduce the feeling of overwhelm when you do things as they arise. Suger… That means you. And of course, I mean you too.


Now tell me, are you doing okay? Do you have any questions about how to stop overwhelm?

How to stop overwhelm so you can get what you want

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