4 Ways to Calm Overwhelm & Get Motivated in Your Business
I don’t know what it is about Autumn, but every year when the leaves start to fall, I fall, crashing into a heap of overwhelm and exhaustion.
After 10 steady months of staring at a computer screen for hours and hours each day, I start to lose my motivation and my entrepreneur energy. My creativity-on-demand well is dried up, desperate for replenishment. For going inside. For nourishment.
Yet, Fall tends to bring out a rush of creative energy in different ways. For example, I am really excited and productive with the writing of my first e-course…finally! This has been on my mind for years.
The problem for me, and I’m sure many of you reading this can relate, is that I have SO many ideas that I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know where to begin…so I don’t. Ever.
That doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything to move forward with these ideas. I have paper notebooks and digital documents filled with half-formed ideas that just need a little time and care.
But then I see others doing what I want to do, very similar ideas that I have so many notes and sketches ready to help me create. And I get discouraged.
“It’s been done, you can’t possibly come up with anything better or different!”
“You waited too long!”
“You wasted so much time!”
These discouragement monsters get in the way of creativity. They squash our motivation and keep us in the safe holding pattern of whatever keeps our businesses afloat. They don’t let us flourish.
The other day I remembered an article by Abby Kerr I read awhile back, about making ideas your own. One point she makes is to think of ways to take an idea and do it differently, creating something that works better for your own audience. I love this advice and it’s guiding me forward as I work on my e-course.
But there’s still the overwhelm to reign in. How do we create a productive environment when we’re scattered?
We have to get a little crafty. There are many modern-day distractions that we can eliminate (temporarily) as well as many “old-fashioned” activities to revive that can rejuvenate our creative energy. Here are a few I’m trying right now:
Delete Facebook from your phone.
For a week, a month, 2 months…whatever time you need to get back on track. If you need to use Facebook for work, only check it on your computer and only stick to the Facebook groups you use for business, or private messages if you use that for client communication. You don’t need to know everything that’s going on with that high school friend you don’t hear from very often. If it’s important enough for you to know, they will contact you personally. If they don’t take the time, it’s not worth worrying about.
Go for a walk.
Still the best way for me to clear my head, so I will always put this on any list of ways to fix anything in life and business. It always always always helps, to the point where I crave it. Bonus for this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere: A world awash in color! Take it all in.
Read a fiction novel.
Like, an actual printed on paper book. The less staring at a screen, the better. Take a break from reading business books, and journey to another world for awhile. Remember how you felt when you read Harry Potter? I don’t, because I’ve never read them (I know…I will someday! I was too busy reading The Wheel of Time series at the time!), but I’ve gotten lost in a lot of other fantasy novels that left me with a sense of wonderment every time I read a chapter. I even created an entire series of Digital Artwork inspired by all the stories I’ve read. Bringing into your life some otherworldly magic, romance, rom-com, or whatever genre enchants you, is a powerful creative catalyst.
Cook a real meal.
Find a new recipe. No pressure to get creative, but if it brings out a creative spark in you then by all means, run with it! Spice it up! There is something immensely therapeutic and satisfying about preparing a delicious meal with fresh food. The smell of cooking alone can calm your nerves. Your soul is fed.
Now, after you’ve tried these things for a few days, even a week, go back to your ideas and see what comes up. Hopefully, you’ll have some very productive days ahead of you.
What are some other ways you can refresh your energy and creativity, and calm the overwhelm?
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