I was in a Facebook group this morning when someone asked what you do when you are feeling overwhelmed with how much you have to get done. I was keen to read the answers people gave as I know overwhelm is something that it is easy to suffer from when you are running a food business and especially if you are doing it as a side gig.
There were a number of great suggestions in the Facebook group but a few kept popping up and I thought they were worthwhile sharing with you:
Take a break
I know you may feel like you have so much to do but sometimes you just need to walk away and clear your head. For me this means either walking the dogs or doing some gardening, basically something that gets me outside – assuming the weather is playing nice. Other suggestions people made included cleaning, ironing, walking on the beach, meditating, meeting a friend for coffee, cooking and playing with their children. Really anything that is not business related and all the better if it is an activity that you know helps clear your mind.
If the overwhelm is feeling completely out of control then others suggested just taking the whole day off. That might not be possible to do if you have orders to fill or events to cater but you can just do the absolute minimum.
Do a small task
The other suggestion that I use myself when things get a bit much is to pick one small task to start on. Nothing too daunting mind you. I like to choose a task I find easy. Something that I can cross off my to-do list and start to feel a sense of accomplishment. Then move on to another small task and before you know it, you have made great progress on your list.
Again if you have orders to fill, start with them, rather than a task that you are going to be doing for the very first time or that requires lots of creativity. You probably aren’t going to be at your most creative if you are feeling overwhelmed. Eventually you are going to have to get to those tasks, just be mindful about when you are going to do them.
Ask for help
This is my Achilles heel. I am terrible about asking for help. But I am working on it this year. Whether it is paid help like an assistant or coach or simply asking family and friends if they can give you hand. I feel like I have worked too hard on being independent and I need to start letting people help me. When I have asked I have been surprised at how willing people are to help. I don’t know why I am surprised as I have a lovely group of family and friends around me.
I know this one can be difficult, especially if you have customers wanting to book you for catering gigs or asking for just one more beautifully designed cake. But sometimes to do your best for the customers you have already agreed to work for you need to say no. Or maybe it means saying no to attending a market stall every weekend. Maybe you need to have one weekend off. Whatever it is make sure you are in control and not feeling obligated to make everyone but you happy.
Do what works for you
Another recommendation was to pick the big task you have been putting off. I know for me that if I am feeling overwhelmed this probably isn’t going to happen or if it does, it does not end prettily. But everyone is different and if you know that getting that task done is going to make a huge difference to how you are feeling then it is worth giving it a go to see what works for you.
Do you have any tips for coping when you feel overwhelmed? If you do, then hop on over to my facebook page and share them. You might be surprised how much of an impact you can have by sharing with others.