If you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed, it’s often just a good idea to take a moment and consider: What exactly is it that I’m struggling with at the moment? What are the specific things that make me feel overwhelmed? Then, what’s the one thing I really need to be doing right now and what’s the next step I can take toward making that happen?

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host Jay McFarland and I will be continuing our discussion on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Hey, David. It’s good to be back and I’m really glad we’re following up on this topic because after we recorded the last podcast, we kind of sat around and continued the discussion and thought, we need to share this with everybody as well.

Before we were talking about self-awareness. But it really occurs to me that who you surround yourself with, especially on those days when you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s going to be really important.

David: Absolutely. And as you said, we started talking about it after the last podcast and the conversation got so good, I’m like, “we need to hit record and just keep going on this topic.” Because you raised a great point, particularly related to who we’re surrounding ourselves with.

And very often when we are in that negative state that we had talked about in the previous episode, where we bring the wrong “us” to work, or the wrong us shows up to work, you know, the unmotivated, unfocused version of ourselves show up.

When we do that, we limit the kind of people that we’re even going to be able to interact with. Because most other motivated, focused people don’t really want to be around that version of us. And so the more we bring that version of ourselves to work, the less likely we are going to be to get in front of other people who are going to help pull us out of whatever it is that we are stuck into.

Jay: Yeah, and I think the exception to that, and I’ve experienced this, is if you have people who know you well enough and you’ve built trust with them and they are able to tell you and point out, you know, is everything okay? Because you kind of feel like you’re off your game a little bit today.

You know, if you surround yourself with yes men, then you’re not going to get that. And if you surround yourself with people who are negative all the time, then they’re going to be bringing you down even on the good days.

So being able to assess your team and hire appropriately is so critical, and I don’t think people really think about it in those terms.

David: I agree completely. I also think that when people tend to give into those emotions, when they give into the overwhelm and they just basically withdraw and say, “no, I can’t do it, I’m out.” At that point, what are they leaving to themselves? I mean, they’re really leaving the opposite.

And there are people who will unintentionally feed into that. If you say, ” I’m just overwhelmed. I don’t feel like doing this.” They’ll say, “well, that’s okay,” you know, “Hey, you don’t have to do it.” And maybe that’s true, and if it’s something that’s not good for you, you definitely shouldn’t do it.

But if it’s something that you were committed to, that you really wanted to be able to accomplish, and you’re having an off day and you make a decision like that, in a lot of cases, there’s no going back on that.

Jay: Yeah, you’re exactly right. And so in that point you need somebody to say, “look, this is really important. We plan this out. You got this.” You know, this is really important because if we can close this sale, then it’s going to propel us forward. If you can surround yourself, at least have one person on your team like that, what a game changer.

But I think when we’re interviewing people, we’re thinking more about will they be able to accomplish a specific task, more than we’re saying, will they fit into our culture and will they be somebody who brings me down or brings me up and helps move the whole team forward?

David: Yeah, and even in our personal lives, there are times and there are people in our personal lives where we may not be able to share exactly what we’re going through or what we’re dealing with.

I mean, there are people who, if you tell them about something that’s bothering you , they’re either going to then tell you about 10 other things that they’re dealing with that are a lot worse, or they’re going to tell you that why what you’re dealing with isn’t that bad. Or they’re going to tell you that because of what you’re suffering with, now it’s going to make it worse for them because now they’re going to be worried about you.

Right? There are all kinds of things that can happen in that regard. So your point about at least having one person, you can go to, to be able to say, “Hey, listen, this is what I’m struggling with. What do you recommend,” is going to be really helpful.

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And it reminds me, I don’t know if you remember the old Saturday Night Live skits, Doug and Debbie Downer, who were at work and everything they did, they would just find a way to make it worse.

I’ve worked with Doug and Debbie Downer and it becomes very hard to maintain momentum when you have those people. It’s a fine balance. You want somebody who can see the other side and give constructive criticism or somebody who’s just always negative. and I think that as an owner or a manager, you have to be able to identify how that person is affecting the team.

And let that person know. And if you can coach them through it, great. If not, they just may not be a good fit.

David: Absolutely. So looking around and deciding, okay, who am I interacting with? Who should I be interacting with? Who could I be interacting with to be able to help me out of whatever issues I’m dealing with in terms of feeling overwhelmed?

That’s a big one. Another one that you raised in our time between the podcast was the idea of utilizing delegation. So let’s dig into that a bit.

Jay: Yeah. Also so important, especially if you’re starting out. We’ve talked in the past about doing the things that are most important that only you can do. But if you are on your own, you know, or if it’s you and your wife or you know, starting out.

You have to do everything. But it’s not true in today’s world anymore. It is so easy to hire a part-time virtual assistant. There are websites like Upwork or Fiverr that I’ve used many times now because I realize doing this one task is something that I shouldn’t be doing, because there’s so many other things that are more important for me to do.

And so, I think people often think, well I don’t have money to hire a full-time or part-time employee. Well, you don’t have to in today’s world, and I love that.

David: Yeah, that’s exactly right. You really can find most of the skills that you need in a way that is affordable and temporary.

I know for decades, a lot of the people that I worked with in the promotional products industry really struggled with the idea of being able to get additional help. Where can I find somebody to help with sending out invoices and that type of thing? Because 20 years ago it meant you had to hire someone and have them sitting there in a chair in your office doing the work.

Well, that is now no longer the case at all. It is so easy to delegate work to temporaries or virtual assistants who can do it from wherever they are, as time allows, and you get the benefit of being able to just utilize whatever time they have to do it without having to pay them to be there for 40 hours a week, to do what might just be a five or 10 hour a week job.

Jay: Yeah, such a great point. But the other part of it is that’s their skillset. That’s what they do every day, right? So if you’re doing it, it’s probably not your skillset. It’s something that you have to do, you don’t want to do. When you hand it over to a professional, like in promotional products, maybe somebody will ask you for logo design or creative layout or something like that.

If you’re not a graphic designer or even if you are, I’ve had stuff produced on Fiverr that it’s amazing. Because there are so many talented people there. So you can improve your product and get things off of your plate at the same time.

David: Yeah. In the early days of my promotional products business, I invested in a program called Corel Draw, which of course allowed you to do graphic designs. I had no talent for doing graphic design, but I had Corell draw. And I made the mistake of thinking that if I had a tool that would allow me to create art, that I should actually create art, which was not the truth at all.

It’s like saying, “here’s a bunch of paintbrushes, go paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,” right? Just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you have the skill. And so I learned fairly early on after that experience that it would make a whole lot more sense for me to pay someone to recreate a logo than for me to try to do it pixel by pixel, not being an artist, not being good at it.

Because I could spend six hours on a job that would take somebody who knew how to do it, 15 minutes. And I did that very often in my business and I’d never go back to that again.

Jay: No, and you don’t have to, and the product is going to be better. So finding those little ways to offload things that you shouldn’t be doing.

I always feel like your goal should be doing the things that only you can do. And then if you can delegate the rest to other people, you’re going to have fewer of those days when you’re overwhelmed. But then, probably the subject of another podcast. How do you then keep that team moving forward?

How do you delegate and follow up? Because if you do that wrong, if you micromanage, things like that, then you could be destroying everything that you’re trying to build. So these are all building blocks that we’re talking about.

David: Yeah. And for some people delegating can become overwhelming because they’re afraid to let go.

So a lot of it, and just sort of circling back to the overall topic of feeling overwhelmed, it’s often just a good idea to take a moment and try to think about, okay, what exactly is it that I’m struggling with at the moment? What are the things, what of the specific things that make me feel overwhelmed?

And we touched on this at the beginning of the last podcast, right? Making a list, writing them down, and then prioritizing and deciding, okay, what’s the thing that I really need to be doing right now? And what’s the first step on that? And then taking action on it. Because that will then allow us to maybe get a little bit of traction on the important projects so we can start to feel less overwhelmed and feel more inclined to take a next step and a step after that.

Jay: Yeah. I love it. I love it. David, how can people find out more?

David: Well, you can go to TopSecrets.com/call. That’s TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with myself or my team. We can help you walk through whatever it is that you’re dealing with, whatever issues you’re struggling with. If there’s an area in which you’re feeling overwhelmed, particularly as it relates to growing your business, growing your sales, being able to keep up with everything on a day-to-day basis. We’d love to have the conversation, so schedule a call, and we look forward to talking with you.

Jay: All right, such a pleasure. Thanks for talking today, David.

David: Thank you, Jay.

Are You Ready to Say Goodbye to Overwhelm?

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