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HireMyVA Podcast 108- How to overcome overwhelm

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Episode Summary

The feeling of excessive overwhelm can affect our lives in grand ways. It may cause us to lose sleep, not eat properly. It also affects our cognitive ability. If left unchecked, it may lead to worse situations like physical health problems.
That is why in this episode, we will tackle the steps how to overcome overwhelm.

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Episode Transcription

Dave Braun


Hey, everyone! Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, brought to you by Yoogozi.com and in this podcast and at HireMyVA, we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with virtual assistants without breaking the bank – without breaking your bank. Remember, this is a team and business building podcast. We help you do it through virtual assistants. Well, of course, I’m Dave Braun and I’m here with my good buddy, MIT business mentor, coach, all that stuff. The Larry Broughton!

Larry Broughton


The crowd goes wild for David Braun! Hi buddie!

Dave Braun


Awfully silent.

Larry Broughton


Well, small crowd today. Hey, I’m going to miss you this week, man.

Dave Braun


Oh, I know. We’re not meeting this week. Are we?

Larry Broughton


We are not meeting this week.

Dave Braun


Anyway, well we’re texting, so that’s cool. That helps. All right. You ready for the topic? Okay. Here is the topics last question. I’m overwhelmed! How do I overcome overwhelm?

Larry Broughton


How do we do that? Yeah, I mean, crane, a lot. We go through life half the time overwhelmed. It sucks! We’ve talked about overwhelmed before in the past. I think we did a Q and A recently?

Dave Braun


We did. We did, we had a Q and A where we talked about it and got some input from the community and it was really, really helpful.

Larry Broughton


Yeah. What do we come up with there?

Dave Braun


We’re going to talk about sharing, right? And we were going a little bit more in depth because we’ve had a little bit more opportunity to think about it. And we want to give you guys a process to go through that could help you. So we’re going to expand on what we talked about in the community. But one of the things, Larry, one of the things that I say, it just helps me when I feel overwhelmed, it helps me to put it in proper perspective, and part of the reason I get overwhelmed from time to time is because there’s lots of opportunities, lots of things to do, lots of people to serve. And that’s a good thing in a lot of ways. If I’m not overwhelmed, that means nobody wants what I have to offer.

Larry Broughton


All these different anthropological studies show that it’s literally no better, no safer time to be alive than right now. So many of us think that poverty is on the increase. It’s actually diving dramatically. So many people are dying all around us. Like fewer people are dying every year than ever on a per capita basis. General wealth is through the roof. We have all these, choices in entertainment and people to do. Yet, overwhelm is higher than ever. It’s cause there’s so many damn things to do. And different paths we should be going and questioning ourselves. Should I have done this versus that? Well, listen, if you have, if your only choice is chocolate or vanilla, the anxiety level or the overwhelm is limited. Have you ever been with somebody when they walk into Baskin Robbins with all those different flavors or you walk into like a cheesecake factory and there’s, you know, cheesecake factory is a restaurant chain. That’s notorious for how many menu items to have. So people are like, oh, they can’t even make a flippant decision. This is why in and out, one of the most successful restaurants out there has less than a dozen menu items. People walk in and out. Less overwhelmed for everybody.

Dave Braun


And today, that the choices that we have are becoming more and more and more, right? I mean, if you just think about it, Larry in our lifetime, you know, we’re 60 year, almost there. You can act your age though. I remember growing up in, you know, Southern California. I’ve lived here all my life and we had so many TV channels compared to the rest of the country. We had like 7- 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. Yeah. We had seven channels. That’s it for our choices for TV. You guys had two.

Larry Broughton


Yeah. The were three generally for like a lot of our folks. We lived in a little anyway, we could only get two. I think it was, we had NBC and CBS. We didn’t get ABC. All the good, all the good shows were on back then, we spent a lot of time outside.

Dave Braun


So you think about that two or five or seven channels. You just don’t didn’t have hardly any choices. You couldn’t record anything for playing back later now. Oh my gosh, you’ve got your Netflix. And so within each of these, you’ve got hundreds of shows, Netflix, your apple TV, your Amazon prime, your YouTube stuff. And then your cable TV. It’s like, there are so many things to choose from. And you know, sometimes it’s funny, you’re scrolling through. It’s like, oh my gosh, there’s nothing on.

Larry Broughton


But then a lot of it has to do. And then we get overwhelmed because how many people actually have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon prime, two B and all the others. Part of his fear of missing out, they can’t miss anything. And there’s no way you could ever watch a fraction worth on any of those networks.

Dave Braun


And then to add onto that, you meet with some friends and they say, oh, I watched this show. You got to see it. Oh, I watched that show. You got to see it. Oh, that show. It’s like, and then pretty soon you’ve got this list of shows that there’s just no way that you can get to, unless you’re watching the 24/7. Then it used to be, if you want to go to the library, you’d have a few books in each category. What’s a library, I know right? now you can get unlimited books on Kindle. I mean, books are so inexpensive, audible. You have so many choices. And that ends up happening. It’s causing overwhelm. So it’s really kind of a product of in the last, you know, a hundred or a couple of hundred years.

Dave Braun


And when these types of changes happen so fast socially, it takes a while for our brains to really catch up and how to deal with it. So given all of that, one other thing before we get into this is we’ve got to really remember that overwhelm- It’s, you know, it’s not really a thing, it’s, it’s just a feeling that we have, because you can feel overwhelmed right now. You might feel overwhelmed, just hearing what we said, but then, you know, you go having a good night’s sleep and you’re not overwhelmed in the morning. So it’s, it’s really a feeling and there’s multiple definitions of it. But Websters talks about this, will relate to what we’re going to talk about here is overwhelmed means to overpower in thought or a feeling as an overwhelmed with grief, overwhelmed by terror, overwhelmed with guilt.

Dave Braun


As in a sense of inadequacy overwhelmingly. Now with being entrepreneurs and trying to build our businesses, you’re overwhelmed with choices of what services to offer, products to offer tools to use to build your business, methodologies, coaches. So we’re overwhelmed again with all of these choices. So what do we do when the time comes, when we’re feeling like, I just don’t know what to do. I’ve got so many things to do and my business, I’ve got to go chase clients. I’ve got to go do this education program. Oh, I’ve got a mastermind I’m in, oh, I’ve got to meet with my coach. Oh, my kid needs this. Pretty soon it’s just all bam on top of us. Right. So what do we do?

Larry Broughton


Well, one of the things that came up last week when, on one of our calls Dave, with clients was this darn three column exercise that we talk about all the time. It’s such a simple tool that we developed all these these years ago about turn a piece of paper landscape wise. And in the far left column, you do everything that you write down, everything that you’re doing – and I mean, everything that you’re doing and ultimately what you want to do is then write everything down in the middle column that you’re great at. And then on the far right column things that you love or love it and what you do with everything in the, let me back up the ideas, then you move things that you’re great at what you’re currently doing. And then ultimately I’m not going to go into all the details.

Larry Broughton


And you already think that you’re great at, into the love it column things that you are ultimately, what should be in the far right column is things that you love and that you’re great at. All those other things you go through, you delete, delegate, defer, or do. It’s amazing, Dave, how much overwhelm can be suddenly slashed from your life. If you just get radical and saying, I’m not going to do this anymore, I don’t need to do, why am I doing this or delegating it. Someone else can handle this on the team or deferring it like saying, you know, I kept telling myself, I need to get it done now, but really I, I don’t need to do it for six months. I’m going to put my tickler file for five moves from now. It’s amazing. Just that right there, that lowers the blood pressure and that is a 30 minute exercise.

Dave Braun


And it’s a great thing to do on a regular basis to help keep overwhelm from happening.

Larry Broughton


Right. Don’t we see it over and over again, day that then people say, oh yeah, I forgot all about that. You need to go do that again. So what I would encourage people to do, if you’re somebody who is constantly living in overwhelm, put it in your calendar, that once a month, you’re going to do the three column exercise. If you’re in the victory masterclass or the victory community or the, the HireMyVA community, you can just search in that.

Dave Braun


It’s there. Yeah, it’s absolutely there.

Larry Broughton


Sorry to keep us off track, Dave.

Dave Braun


No, that’s what we want to do on a regular basis, because that will keep a lot of the overwhelm from really happening. But there’s just going to still be times when it’s like, oh my gosh, everything is coming all at once because you’ve got, you know, clients opening up help tickets and people wanting stuff from you right now. So here’s our methodology, Larry, shall we go through it?

Larry Broughton


Let’s do it. Let’s do it!

Dave Braun


We’ll go through this really quick. So one of the first things to do is breathe, right? Realize that most of the time, most of the reasons that you are having some overwhelm is it’s probably a more of a first world problem type of a thing. It’s an opportunity, things that are happening because we live in a pretty wealthy society. So take some breaths and relax a little bit. You know, you can take a deep breath, hold it for a count of four, breathe that out for a count of eight. And then do that three times- that will clear your mind a little bit and start bringing in that level of stress way, way, way down.

Larry Broughton


And when I was taught that 40 years ago in martial arts or whatever, breathe in through your nose for four seconds. You know, the course I can do it, hold it for four seconds and then exhale it through your mouth for four seconds. There’s something about that process. And I don’t know what it is. I guess we should, I should read up on it some time, but do that three or four times. And you’ll start feeling your mind, start to work. Here’s one of the things I think Dave, I have to remind my son sometimes is that we just stopped breathing. We start breathing shifts. When we get overwhelmed, we don’t take a deep breath. Your brain needs oxygen to work. They’re trying to drive your car on, when you got no gas in it, but you just keep putting this booster stuff in the carburetor. It’s no good for you. You have to get oxygen to your brain.

Dave Braun


And what this is doing is it’s helping you get oxygen, but it’s also helping you pause. It goes short pause. There’s a great book. I think this is in power of habit where they talked about one of the things that they do with policemen is how they have taught them to when they stop a car, they have to pause before they get out of a car and go talk to the person. The reason is, is because we get into this mode, Larry, where we can get blinded, we’re focused on one thing and we don’t hear or think about something else. It can make really wrong decisions. So that’s what this is doing. It’s helping you pause. And the second thing that helps you pause too, is, and we talked about it in episode 1 0 7, but express gratitude for a couple of things. Five or six things, just think, okay. Yeah. I’m, I’m thankful for the fact that I’ve got clean water. I’m thankful the fact that I’ve got, you know, a computer system, I’m thankful the internet that I can actually work from home. I’m just thankful for the fact that I’m not starving right now. So once you do that, you’re just putting things on hold for a little bit, adjusting your attitude. So then you can start thinking a little bit.

Larry Broughton


Yeah. I like that. You know, another thing I think Dave, that would be beneficial for everyone. This is a lot of writing. I know that if you get in the habit of doing your daily gratitude, I understand that. But again, you’re probably overwhelmed right now. And how is that working out for you? So take a second and just take out another piece of paper, write it on your tablet or your phone or whatever it is. I want you to write everything down, what’s going through your head. Literally, What are your thoughts? Old school, you would take two separate pieces of paper, right. And, or front and back of a piece of paper. And on one side of it, you’d write things that I can control. If for those who have been through any recovery program, but you’ve probably heard the serenity prayer.

Larry Broughton


There are things you can control, the things you can’t control. I’m not gonna worry about the things I can’t control. So things I can’t control on one side things I can’t control on the other. And just write those things, everything that’s going through your head in the appropriate column. But those things that are causing you stress and anxiety- write them all down. And then once you’ve done that, you can throw out shred, put an X through whatever you need to do of those things that you can’t control, but may do something physical. Like I, I’m not going to do it, burn it, whatever, whatever you need to do. I think that is going to help. It might sound really simple, but I remember I’m not going to say who I had a friend who was going through therapy at the time and needed to really close this important chapter of her book. And, and the therapist suggested that she write a letter to whoever this person was and go throw it in the ocean. And she tells a very funny story about how she went out to ocean beach and threw it. And her dog was with her and the dog went and chased it and brought it back to her.

Larry Broughton


Maybe there was a message there. But she did it again. And finally got it out far enough where the current took it away. But what I love about that story, Dave is even then she was seeing the humor in this. Is as you started this podcast out, there’s a lot of this stuff is really when you put it in perspective, you start to realize this is first world stuff. That doesn’t mean that it’s not important. That it’s not real in the grand scheme of things. Yes, most of us who are listening to this, I don’t care where you are in the world can probably walk to a tap water inside your dwelling and draw clean water. Otherwise, a lot of people in the world can’t even dp that.

Dave Braun


Oh, you just reminded me of something. Larry. I was reading, I’m just scrolling through the news for a little bit, taking a break one evening. And I like to read this, some of these kind of weird articles, but history articles, it was in the Sonian or something. They were talking about some, a PhD person researching making their life’s work at this point, understanding how people, and this is going to sound crazy. We talked about all kinds of stuff on here, but how they went to the bathroom in ancient times, what they did with all the excrement, and how they recognize that wasn’t good enough once the population was growing, like an ancient Rome. They talked about different there’s communal places where you would go and all that stuff. And, oh my gosh. And some of them were only for the rich. And so it’s like, oh my gosh, just even having an indoor bathroom right now, we are so much richer right now than they were years and years ago.

Larry Broughton


The poorest person now actually lives better than Kings did, 400 years ago, 300, 200 years ago. Think about Crazy! that.

Dave Braun


Yeah it is!

Larry Broughton


Electricity, heating.

Dave Braun


Yeah. It’s amazing. So, so we’ve talked about a few things, maybe at this point, you’ve hopefully you’ve written everything down that’s going on, write everything down. So once you get stuff written down out of your head, it’ll stop going through your head, going back and forth and back and forth and creating that feedback loop where all of a sudden you feel like you’re overwhelmed, you’ll still have it, but at least it’s down on paper and now you can do some stuff with it. Right? So, Larry, I think one of the next things is this. Now we’re at the things I can control part of it. I think what you need to do is go and write down or check off or circle things that have to be done today.

Larry Broughton


Oh, that’s good. Just today?

Dave Braun


Today, because that’s a really Larry, when you think about it, that’s all we have is today. We don’t have tomorrow. It hasn’t been, it hasn’t come yet.

Larry Broughton


But realistically, today, what really needs to be done?

Dave Braun


What really needs to be done.

Larry Broughton


Not, what do you want to get done? Need to- like words have meaning, we talked about this all the time. Need, not want. Need.

Dave Braun


Yes. And then the next thing is take what you just circled. Put those on a separate paper. So now you’ve got a whole other piece of paper and you don’t want to put that one aside that has all this stuff on it, but now you’re whittling it down to everything today. And that’s all that you have in front of you is all those things that you want to do today.

Larry Broughton


Yeah. Or get that paper and give it to someone else and get this stuff done for me. Yeah.

Dave Braun


Yeah. You can do that. You can deal with it tomorrow. Right? Put it over and it’s in your tomorrow pile. All right. So now you’ve got the stuff that you need to

Larry Broughton


No, don’t do that. Okay. Let’s keep going.

Dave Braun


All right. So you’ve got the stuff you, you just have to do today on a separate piece of paper then, this is going to be interesting is that you want to look at those things and as you’re looking through them, you want to start building momentum, right? So that will get you out of this paralyzed type of mode that you’re in. So take whatever you think is going to be the easiest, the most fun, something that you’re going to like to do on there. Cause I’m sure there’s something or maybe something that you would like that you’ll hate the least whatever it is, something that’d be done quick and do it! Do it. And then once you’re done, celebrate it. Because when you’re done that, make a big check mark by it, cross it off real well, real hard and once you do that, I’ll feel pretty darn good.

Larry Broughton


A former mentor used to say that his goal was always to get three major things done in a day, just three, three major. Not, not, I’m only gonna do three things today. What are the three things is going to make an impact in my life business, my to-do list each day. Alright, everything’s good gravy beyond that. Right? Good. Let’s be real. Most of us don’t accomplish three major things a day. We get so wrapped up in all the minutia in life. We don’t accomplish it, but it’s called the three major things done each day. And then the rest of the day is spent doing the small stuff, the supportive things, building the relationships, you know, developing people. Listen, there is no exact or perfect way to do this. All we’re doing is just giving you ideas. You’ll find something that works for you.

Larry Broughton


But Dave, you and I have worked with hundreds, thousands of people over the years at this point. And we’re just one of the things you and I talk about is we’re aggregator of ideas. We’re gonna take best practices that we see out out there that are working. Now we’re gonna share them with the folks that are in the victory and HireMyVA tribe. That’s what we are doing. So if this resonates with you, do it, if you say, well, let me tweak that a little bit, tweak it and let us know how it’s working for you.

Dave Braun


Yeah. So now, now that you’ve got that one thing done, you’ll be able to prioritize the rest of the list. And you know, maybe once your head’s a little bit more clear, you want to prioritize the list, it’s very possible that one or two of those things could go to your tomorrow list. You could renegotiate a when they are really, really do, you know, you could do that. But right now, then the next thing is, after you build some momentum, here’s a technique. You could set a timer like a countdown timer for 30, 45, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, whatever, go nose down, execute, renegotiate as many of those items as you can, hopefully they’re prioritized to a certain extent and then make sure you take some breaks in between when you’re doing these focus sessions. In fact, one of the things Larry that we do as part of our community is we have at least one of these focus sessions a week with people. And it’s amazing what happens. Everybody just loves them. Not too many people get on them. Surprisingly so

Larry Broughton


But the people who get on them loved them.

Dave Braun


Oh my gosh. Today we did one today. And you know I commented at the end on all the stuff that I did and I thought, well, I was hoping I’d get more done. And then Melissa told me, she said, sounds like you’ve got a lot done in an hour. And I’m like, yeah, I did. So it’s amazing.

Larry Broughton


She was on that. And she got a project done that you and I’ve been, you know about that was really good. I’ll tell you this, Dave from all the folks that we’ve worked with over the years for somebody to sit down nose to the grindstone for 90 minutes is rare. Most people can’t do that. Generally, we start to see 40 minutes people really, you can go hardcore nonstop for 40 minutes just about anybody can when they’re focused. But at that point you have to take at least a five minute break, get up, walk around, use the bio room, whatever you need to do and then go back and do it again. But yeah. So a lot of people like when I have to go, I have to do 20 minutes sprints. I do 20 minutes sprint, five minute break, 20 minute sprint, five minute break, 20 minute sprint, 15 minute break. Okay. You just need to find out what works for you because all of our brains are different.

Dave Braun


Yeah. Experiment. In fact, you know, a experiment with this and it’s not just experimenting with this overwhelm reduction technique. It’s just experimenting with the, you know, how you prioritize your day into your morning routine. In fact, Larry I’ve adjusted my morning routine. It seems to be working better for me. I’d love to talk about it. I’ll talk about it now. Well, normally what we talk about is when you get up in the morning, you make your bed and then you do some prayers or spiritual reading or something like that. Yeah. Drink some water and exercise. What I’m doing is after I’m getting up right now, course, I’m making the bed and I get some water and I start writing down a few things that are going through my head and start doing an initial planning of my day. Because what I’m finding is that starts waking me up. And then my brain is in a better position to process all my spiritual readings. You know, I’m reading the Bible, I’m doing some journaling and it’s just more effective. And then when I come back after I work out and I come back, my day is kind of almost set up because for me, Larry, I have not been able to, I have not been successful at setting up my day, the night before. It’s my brain’s just not there. I can’t do it.

Larry Broughton


That’s fine. That’s finding what works for you. What’s very interesting that we’ve been talking about and doing morning routines for years and you’re still tweaking and monitoring and changing it as we go, folks, please hear this. Life is going to change for you. You know, modulator, change, whatever experiment with these different things and find out what works. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with it. But please what I’d like to hear that I love hearing more folks ideas, you know, like most of the stuff that you and I share, Dave, 99 of it are not original ideas that we’ve come up with. The ideas that we’ve seen, we’ve tweaked, we’ve modified, you know and just recognized what things work for some people and what don’t. Yeah. Right. So modify it, make it personal for you. But I’d love to hear about it because what works for you might work for somebody else.

Dave Braun


Yeah. Right. Folks will, hopefully some of these techniques to manage your overwhelm will help you. It helped us. It works for us. So, but anyway, folks, thank you for being with us, cause we’re putting a wrap on this episode. Cause if we go on any longer, we’re going to start feeling overwhelmed with all the other things we have to do.

Larry Broughton


To things get right. That’s done.

Dave Braun


Yeah. So speaking of this team and business building podcast, building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom. That’s one of the biggest things you can do to help with consistent overwhelm because you got to have people that you can offload some of your tasks on to got to do that. Otherwise you’ll just go nuts. So if you want to get into that, if you want to do that, we’re here to help you with our course and community. And one of the best ways to make a quick and giant leap forward in this is to take advantage of our white glove service, where we find a rockstar VA for you. Okay? So as we end most episodes, three things we’d love for you to do. We’re going to cut that short, but we’re going to do it. Subscribe to this podcast either on your phone or on YouTube. Number two, give us a rating or leave us a comment. Tell us what you do to handle overwhelm. And then number three, go to hiremyva.com for more information on the course and community and our white glove service. Because even without experience, you learn how to prepare for, hire and thrive with virtual assistants. We’re helping folks. We’re loving it. It’s great to be able to make a difference and to help people handle their overwhelm. So go to hiremyva.com for more information and all that.

Larry Broughton


All right. My friends, we love you. God bless you, God keep you, God hold you. All right. Go get them. We’ll see ya!

Dave Braun


Thanks everybody. Bye!

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