Are you feeling overwhelmed this holiday season? This was the first blog I ever wrote. It was penned in December 2010 for an entrepreneurial women’s group.  While my writing style has evolved over the years, I believe the message is as relevant today as it was then.  When you experience a moment of overwhelm this holiday season, take pause and ask yourself, “Am I eating the elephant? Or is the elephant eating me?”

Overcome your Overwhelm

When battling “The Overwhelm”, I often ask myself and my clients a simple question:

“How do you eat an elephant?”

Most of us know the answer is: one bite at a time.

However, it dawned on me today that many times, we are so caught up in “The Overwhelm” that we are allowing our elephants to eat us.

womans-head-in-elephant

Are you eating the elephant? OR Is the elephant eating you?

 

My overwhelm moment: A project that may only take 1 hour is over exaggerated in my head and I convince myself that it is going to take 4 hours and I only have 3 hours left in the day. Then I fret over it for 15 minutes, call a girlfriend to vent, cry for 5 minutes, and next thing you know it is an hour later and I have made no progress.  (BTW – did you catch the fact that my fretting, calling, pitching a fit, took exactly how much time it would have taken for me to just do it!)

Does this sound familiar to you? I suggest that we stop fretting over eating our elephants. They are yummy, tasty, and when we finish the last bite, we can be satisfied knowing that we ate and were not eaten.  (No animals were hurt as a result of this post.  The elephants are purely metaphors.  Don’t eat real elephants…just your big tasks)

Overwhelm tip:

Write down everything that needs to be done to complete the task. Then ask yourself the following question:

  • What can I do quickly?
  • What can I delegate and to whom?
  • What of these tasks could I eliminate and still make it good? (it doesn’t always have to be perfect)

Then take your first bite!  After all, taking that first bite is much better than meeting the fate of the woman above.