Ending the Overwhelm (ep. 37)

There are so many possible activities to grow your business, how do you know which one to focus on without getting overwhelmed? Pamela uncovers the REAL reason for overwhelm, and how to reduce it so you can focus on profit-producing actions.

In this episode, you will:

  • Discover the 5-minute method to end overwhelm (it’s not what you think).
  • Learn the 10-minute daily set up to get the most out of each day.
  • The 5 things you’re probably doing that you can stop doing now. (You’ll love how much time this saves you!)

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Timecode Guide:

  • (00:54) 5-minute method to end overwhelm
  • (05:32) 10-minute daily set up to get the most out of each day
  • (13:55) 5 things you’re probably doing that you can stop doing now

Resources Mentioned

Want to know more about how to attract your ideal clients online? We’d love to chat! Grab a Breakthrough Session with one of my coaches to learn how to create real impact and income online.

Podcast Transcription

Episode 37: Ending the Overwhelm


Intro (00:00):
You’re listening to A Profitable Impact.

Pamela (00:02):
There’s so many possible activities to grow your business. How do you know which one to focus on without getting overwhelmed?

Gene (00:10):
Welcome to A Profitable Impact, where every single week we help experts, like coaches and healers to expand their reach, to increase their impact in the world, and to be well-paid for their extraordinary skills and talents. My name is Gene Monterastelli, and I am the lead coach in Pamela Bruner’s Impact Accelerator coaching program. And now, please welcome my friend, my colleague, and the CEO of Attract Clients Online, Pamela Bruner. How are you doing today, Pamela?

Pamela (00:37):
Honestly, Gene, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ve got a lot going on this week, which is why I’m really excited about this particular episode, because we’re going to talk about how to end the overwhelm.

Gene (00:46):
And I’m in the exact same position as you, because I onboarded four new staff members this week as well, and it is a little crazy.

Pamela (00:54):
Definitely. Here’s the thing. There are lots of possible activities that you can use to grow your business. As Gene said, he’s onboarding new staff. I’m looking for new staff to expand, yay. How do you know which activities to focus on without getting overwhelmed, because there’s so much coming at you, so many possibilities? Today, we’re going to talk about the real reason for overwhelm and how to reduce it so that you can focus on the profit-producing actions. And what we’ll do today is you’ll discover the five-minute method to end overwhelm. It’s probably not what you think, and learn a 10-minute daily setup the Gene and I just love to get the most out of each day, and the five things you’re probably doing right now that you can stop doing. And this is going to save you so much time.

Gene (01:37):
As we have the conversation today, if you find yourself in a place that even as you hear the strategy, you are still stuck in a place of overwhelm and don’t know exactly how to focus on those profitable activities, we would love for you to have a conversation with one of our coaches to help you to sort that out. All you need to do is go to bookmybreakthroughcall.com. That’s bookmybreakthroughcall.com, and you can get on the calendar and chat with one of our coaches absolutely free.

How to end overwhelm in five minutes

Pamela (02:04):
Let’s talk about the five-minute method to end overwhelm. Now, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for any length of time, you probably know that I am, and Gene is… we are both EFT tapping practitioners, as well as coaches who do other mindset work. And so, you might think the five-minute method to end overwhelm is a tapping routine. And we’re certainly going to talk a little bit about tapping, because it’s a good way to end overwhelm, but that’s not what I mean by the five-minute method. It is that usually overwhelm comes from the idea that…

Pamela (02:32):
It comes from one of two things. It comes from either you’ve got so many things in your head that your brain can’t focus on all of them, and so you hold as many in your head as you humanly can, and then something else pops in, “Oh, I’ve got to remember that. Oh, I’ve got to do that. Oh, I’ve got pressure from that,” and something else pops out and you feel that sense of loss and, “I’m not going to get it all done, and I can’t keep track of it all.” And you’re absolutely right.

Pamela (02:59):
One of my friends has the brilliant quote, “The brain is a thinking mechanism, not a storage mechanism.” And so when you are overwhelmed, one of the best things to do is to make a list. Simply, dump all of the ideas and all of the concerns and all the worries out of your head. You can type them in a computer. You can write them on a piece of paper, but the idea is to get those things out of your head because you can’t make good decisions, you can’t prioritize, you can’t evaluate when you’re trying to keep too many things in your head at once. So, five minutes, make a list, get it out of your head. And that’s going to start the overwhelm reduction process.

Gene (03:40):
And for me, Pamela, I actually do this in two steps. The first thing I do is I do exactly what you say, I data-dump and I get everything outside of my head. And that first pass-through, it’s just like everything that is in my head, things to remember, pieces of content, things to do. And then after I’ve done that, I go and I recopy the list. And for me, that’s really valuable for two reasons. The first is, when I’m quickly writing things down, as I’m getting them out of my head, sometimes my handwriting isn’t as clear as I would like, and coming back to them, I can’t read them, so I’m going to recopy them for clarity.

Gene (04:12):
The second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to categorize and group the things. I’m not trying to get the ideas out of my head and organize them at the exact same time. First step for me is, write everything down, then I’m going to recopy the list slower and neater, and start grouping like things together, so then it becomes not just everything I need to do, but also getting them a little more organized, so it’s easier for them to manage. And emotionally, I don’t feel overwhelmed because I now can see what is going on in a much clear way.

Pamela (04:43):
And then those are actually the first two steps of something that we’re going to talk about in our next episode when we’re talking about how to double your productivity. I love that you brought that up, because just having a list doesn’t create the order, doesn’t necessarily end the overwhelm. But one of the things it does is it takes the pressure off of your brain of trying to hold all these things in your mind at once and make good decisions and prioritize. You’re just overworking your brain with that. I love the idea of making a list, then categorizing it… Recopying it to categorize and create order and be able to read it and see, and as you look at it, then with a little bit of self-awareness, you can look and say, “Is it absolutely true that I have to do all of these things right now?”

Pamela (05:32):
And sometimes, you don’t know. Sometimes what you need to do is talk to a coach and say, “Hey…” And our clients do this all the time, where they say, “Okay, well, I’m looking at doing A, B, C. I’m looking at starting a Facebook group. And I’m looking at reaching out on social. And I’m looking at getting a referral network going on. I’m looking at, and what do I do first, because I can’t do all these things at once? And yet, the emotionally nervous part of me thinks that I need to.” And it’s really that emotionally nervous part, usually, that creates the overwhelm. If you’re trying to stuff 10 pounds of a to-do list in a five-pound bag, it’s just going to end up with overwhelm. And that’s why the list is so very valuable. Let’s talk about a 10-minute daily setup to get the most out of each day.

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10-minute tapping routine to start your day

Pamela (06:18):
And this is something that I actually learned from you Gene. I’m going to let you begin this conversation. And this does involve EFT tapping. So if you’re not familiar with it, I’ll intro the tapping this way. Tapping is a simple self-administered acupressure technique that’s good for calming the amygdala, the fear center of the brain. It also lowers the cortisol or the stress hormone levels in the bloodstream. So when we tap, we are coaching or self-coaching, and we are getting ourselves to calm down so that we can consider new ideas, and we can be more resourceful, and we can think better and be in a more comfortable emotional place to take better action. At least that’s the way that we use tapping. That’s a little introduction to it if you haven’t heard of it before. And now, Gene, why don’t you talk about this 10-minute daily routine?

Gene (07:06):
Absolutely. This is something I started doing about a decade ago, and I wish I had my old web stats, because if you looked at my old web stats, you could see the moment I started doing this particular thing, because there’s, instantaneously, a spike in the number of people visiting my website, because all of a sudden, I started doing more useful tasks. And my disposition is that on any given day, the three most valuable tasks on my to-do list are more valuable for my business and more valuable for my profitability than the rest of the to-do list combined. But because those three tasks are so valuable, they’re also the ones that have the largest stakes. I’m much more likely to avoid doing those particular tasks, because on a subconscious level and sometimes a conscious level, I’m afraid that they’re going to go wrong, so I avoid them as a way of keeping myself safe.

Gene (08:00):
What I do at the beginning of my day is I look at my task list, and I just start reading the tasks on my task list. And I read the first task, like, I’m looking at my task list right now. I need to send someone a contract. They’ve signed up with me. They want to be one of my clients. As I tune into that, there’s absolutely no resistance at all. The next task on my task list is to send a proposal to a number of people who I want to collaborate with. Well, as I imagine that, I can feel some tightness in my chest. And so for me, what I do is, as I imagine myself doing that, I feel the tightness in my chest. I then ask the tightness in my chest, what is it afraid of? Because I recognize the fact that I’m a notoriously bad eye witness to my own experience and my own fears, so I want to get the information from my subconscious mind, not my conscious mind. By asking the physical sensation what it’s worried about, I’m much more likely to get a clear answer.

Gene (08:54):
Then after I get the information, like, they might say no, they might laugh at you. Then what I do is I ask the same physical sensation, “What proof do you have that this is a possibility that it’s going to go wrong in that way?” Now, sometimes there’s proof and sometimes there’s not, but by imagining myself doing the action, feeling the physical sensation, and asking the physical sensation, “What are you afraid of, and what proof do you have?” all of a sudden, I have all of the information as to why I am probably resisting this action. So then, I just start tapping.

Gene (09:29):
And the first round of tapping, I state all of the information I have discovered in the question process, “I need to do this task. I’m afraid of doing this task because of A, B and C. And the proof I have about that is X, Y, and Z.” Then I pivot, and I pretend that a friend of mine has just told me all of that. And I just start coaching my friend, and then I just start tapping along, and I just go through that information. “These are people I’ve worked with in the past. They would love to work with me again. If they say no, they’re not actually judging me, they just might not have time.” And so, I go through this process, which reduces the anxiety around that particular task, and then I just march through every single task on my to-do list in this way.

Gene (10:11):
Now, it is possible that my sense of overwhelm and fear is only going to go away for 90 minutes. But typically, in that 90-minute window, I’m going to do those high-value tasks first, because we always do the highest value task that is emotionally safe. And so now what I’ve done is, the three highest value tasks on my list are emotionally safe. I do them because they’re really valuable to me. And so then if my worry or anxiety comes back 90 minutes from now, it’s okay, because all of the tasks I’ve left are things that are manageable. And so what this does is it clears the space, so it’s easy for me to take action.

Pamela (10:49):
I want to underline this because there was so much juicy content in what you just said. And one of the things that I think is particularly important, and most coaches and healers and energy healers and energy practitioners will get this because as a group, we tend to be more self-aware, but this idea that we resist things because they are emotionally uncomfortable. Now, you said emotionally unsafe, but whatever the discomfort is, and usually, there’s a safety issue around that, especially when you’re talking about marketing, or sales, or reaching out, or building a business, or trying an endeavor that you might fail at, there is almost always a level of emotional unsafety.

Pamela (11:28):
And we don’t think of that when we think of, “We’re busy. We’re overwhelmed. When should I do this? And how do I schedule it? And I just don’t like doing this.” And our minds are incredibly clever at turning us away from the real reason that we are resisting, that idea of, “What are the tasks on my list that have a sensation of emotional unsafety?” And calling that out, focusing on them, just long enough to reduce the emotional charge so that you can take effective action. And as you said, your emotional charge may even come back later, that maybe you get 60 or 90 minutes or two hours of emotional clarity and courage, but you can get a lot done in that period of time.

Pamela (12:11):
I really love that as a process. And if you do, you need to listen to that a couple of times, I think it’s worth doing. The thing is, even bringing an awareness of the emotional resistance to your to-do list and identifying the most high-value tasks on your to-do list will make a difference, because you may choose… Maybe you don’t like tapping, maybe you don’t know about it, you may choose just to sort of grit your teeth and gut your way through it, if you recognize it’s an emotionally difficult task. You’ll get better results than avoiding and procrastinating, which you’ll get even better results, if you can do it from a more wholehearted place.

Gene (12:51):
It is a perfect example of this because it’s easy for us to see, “I’m afraid because I’m going to be judged. I’m afraid because people are going to say no.” I was chatting with one of our clients earlier today, and she was struggling doing some marketing activities. And for her, as we went through this particular process, the place that we landed was, “I don’t want to waste a bunch of time and not get any return from that.” The fear wasn’t danger in far as, “I’m going to be judged,” but the fear was danger in wasting a really precious resource that was time. And as we tap through it, we got to the point of, “Okay, that’s what marketing is. It’s lots of little steps that sometimes don’t return something immediately, but it’s the sum total of those things, and it is not a waste of time.”

Gene (13:36):
And so it was a perfect example of seeing something that was unsafe, but not necessarily dangerous. And so recognize that as you’re doing this, there could be lots of reasons why you’re resisting, and when we can let those go, it makes it so much easier because we don’t want to step into something that is dangerous, and we don’t want to step into something that’s a waste of time or energy.


5 Time-Wasters You Can Stop Doing In Your Business

Pamela (13:55):
Great. Now, let’s talk about the five things that you’re probably doing that you can stop doing now. And these are in different areas, but I think they’ll be helpful. One thing is spending time in your Facebook feed. Now, I am a believer that social media can be a wonderful marketing tactic, a wonderful marketing tool. And often, the way that people use it is as a time-waster. I also believe that television can be an entertaining and educational format, and people use it as a time-waster. If you’re spending time in your Facebook feed, unless you’re identifying Facebook ads and you’re a marketer or something like that, you probably are spending more time than you need to. So, spend time in your Facebook groups perhaps than a minimal time in your feed, or classify that as entertainment time or social time, but not work time.

Gene (14:53):
And so the two things, Pamela, I did is I was renegotiating my relationship with Facebook, was twofold. The first is, I created bookmarks in my bookmark bar to the groups that I participate in, either groups that I participate in because I’m learning or I’m a student at a coaching program, or Facebook groups I participate in as a coach, where I’m providing help. I don’t go into the feed. I go directly to the groups that I want to participate in.

Gene (15:19):
The second thing I did is I changed my relationship to Facebook, and I decided that Facebook is a broadcast platform, it is not a consumption platform, because there’s so much junk there, and it’s so hard to find the things that are good, that when I want to learn things about my friends and family, when I want to see what’s going on, which we can do in social media, I do that in a much more directed way, not just in a grazing way. And so by looking at it as a place that I’m sharing information that I want to have out in the world that’s going to help me grow my business, and not a place that I go and consume the stuffed, it makes it so much easier not to show up there because I don’t feel obligated to pay attention to what other people are doing.

Pamela (15:58):
Social media can be an enormous overwhelm-creator, if you feel like, as soon as you look at a bunch of things, you have to keep up with all of them. I love you underlying that. That’s great. The second thing on this list is to blog more than one time a week. Now, if you are a blogger, or if you are a writer, you may find great satisfaction. As a content marketer, you may want to put out things more frequently than that. For most people who are creating a coaching or healing business, I’m going to suggest that blogging once a week, creating a video blog once a week, that kind of thing is an appropriate use of time. And you don’t even have to do it that frequently, although I think once a week is good. More than that, you’re probably hiding behind your computer.

Pamela (16:42):
The third thing is to consume free trainings or to consume too many free trainings. Now, just like social media can be used to advantage, I give free trainings all the time, and I believe in free trainings. I like doing them. The thing is, if you are trying to get all the information that you need to grow your business simply from free trainings, it’s like trying to get all your nutrition by going to a whole bunch of different ice cream shops and getting a little pink spoon of ice cream, or get… Free trainings can certainly be valuable, it can certainly be informative, but take a free training, decide if you want the offer that’s behind it, because all free training has offers behind it. And if not, move on and recognize that those free trainings are not there to give you everything you need to build a business, they’re there to introduce you to a person’s work. And if you want to be introduced to the person’s work, and you believe they have value, great, but then make a decision and move on.

Pamela (17:36):
The fourth thing, and this is a little bit of a left turn is worrying. I know that spending time worrying is one of the biggest overwhelm factors and a thing that takes a great deal of your time. Now, the whole idea of tapping on your to-do list, that 10-minute process, is a great way to reduce worrying, but ask yourself, “How much time am I spending worrying? How much energy am I spending worrying about what other people think, about what people are going to think about my marketing, about what people are going to think about me and sales?” Because if you’re spending that time, and you’re spending that emotional energy, you’re making your business-building much harder.

Gene (18:18):
The way I think about worry, Pamela, is kind of like having a piece of software that is running in the background on my computer that isn’t doing anything useful in the moment, but is stealing a huge amount of resources, and so it’s slowing everything else down. It is this giant energy leak. It is this giant attention suck that makes it so hard for us to take action. And there are times where it’s good that we muscle our way through it, but if you have that programming running in the background, it’s super, super valuable to stop what you’re doing, figure out what the worry is and clear it out, so it’s not something that’s stealing that energy.

Pamela (18:54):
Great example. And the fifth thing may bring up a little resistance, but it is to not take on a skillset for a one-off. For example, if you need a website created, and you’re not going to be a website designer, don’t learn how to design a website, just to create one for yourself. Any time you need something done once in your business, and it’s not going to be done again, or it’s not going to be done very frequently, that’s a great thing to delegate or to basically take off your plate, let someone else do it. Now, I know that this usually involves investment and that kind of thing, but do not learn a new skill set for a one-off. Doing a one-off is an incredibly time intensive way to get something done, and it’s just not useful.

Pamela (19:40):
Now, the flip side of that, if you’re going to learn how to post on social media, that could be a very valuable thing. You’ll probably need to do it over and over again. It is a skill set you need to acquire, or it’s a potential skill set you need to acquire as you’re growing your business. Investing time in learning to do that, learning marketing, learning how to sell, those are very valuable investments because they’re not one-offs, but don’t invest time in learning the one-offs.

Gene (20:05):
And when you’re looking at those one-offs, sometimes the one-off is stacking a skill on top of a skill that you already have. I mentioned at the top of the show that I’ve brought on a bunch of new staff this week. One of them is someone who’s doing some website development for me. I have a computer science degree. I’m actually pretty proficient with WordPress and can do a lot of things. And I want to expand my website to do some new creative stuff. And it’s not worth it for me to learn that particular skill, even though I already have the baseline skills for it, and I’m just adding on top, because it’s not something I’m ever going to do again.

Gene (20:40):
And it’s so much easier and it’s so much more efficient to have someone come on and do it. It’s not just, “I am doing something that is a one-off that is completely new to me. I don’t want to go learn it.” Sometimes, you might already have some of the skills, and the action is still one-off and you don’t need to go add the extra skills, and instead, go find someone else to do it for you.

Pamela (20:59):
Great example. As we go through this series, because this episode is actually the first of three loosely connected episodes, all about overwhelm, productivity, and procrastination, think about, “In what situation do I find myself overwhelmed? How do I deal with the overwhelm, and what can I do to reduce the overwhelm, so I can be more productive and more effective in my business?”

Gene (21:20):
And sometimes when we’re dealing with overwhelm, even when we have a set of skills like this, we are so close to what is going on in our business, we don’t exactly know where to start and how to figure this out. So if you’re in a situation where you’re still feeling overwhelmed and you’re not exactly sure what are the first most profitable actions you can be taking in your business, we would encourage you to reach out, have a conversation with one of our coaches. These conversations are absolutely free. All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com. That’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, and get on the calendar of one of our coaches, so they can help you search that overwhelm and take more efficient action every single day.


Gene (21:59):
If you’ve enjoyed the conversation today, and you know someone else in your life who recently was mentioning to you how overwhelmed they were, please be our ambassador and pass this along. Letting them know that you were thinking of them will make their day a little brighter, and this might be exactly what they need today in order to be more successful and have a larger impact in their business as well. If you have a question, a comment, or a topic that you’d like Pamela and I to cover in a future episode, we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is go to AttractClientsOnline.com, click on that Contact link, send us an email, make sure you put in the email question for the podcast, so we can get a chance to address that in the future.

Gene (22:38):
If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to the show. In podcasting, Subscribe is always free. You can find the show on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Audible. Basically, everywhere you get audio online, just search for A Profitable Impact, and make sure you click the Follow or Subscribe button, so when a new episode comes out, you’re notified right away.

Gene (23:02):
For A Profitable Impact, I am Gene Monterastelli. Until next time, I hope you have an impactful week.


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