Written by NVME’s Midcoast Staff
You’ve taken the first steps – deciding to look for a new job, start your dream business, or go back to school. You’ve made a plan, and you know what you need to do to get started. But now there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day or energy and attention to do it!
- How do you manage a marathon job search, targeting each application carefully to your prospective employers, when you’re already stretched to capacity with your current position?
- How do you grow your business and be where the buck stops 24/7/365 while maintaining a livable work/life balance for yourself and your family?
- How do you make room for going back to school, retraining for a new career, or investing in your professional development when your commitment to children, parents, work, or other “unbudgeables” is draining or unpredictable?
Here are a few tips that can help answer those questions:
1. Be kind to yourself.
Any new venture is both exciting and terrifying. Acknowledge the challenge and forgive yourself for any failures of confidence or outcomes.
2. Make it happen.
Each day, set a timer, take one thing (preferably a 20-45 minute task), and simply do it. In less than the time it takes to watch a Netflix episode, you will have a feeling of accomplishment and forward motion.
3. Set mini-goals.
If your to-do list doesn’t fit into 20-45 minute blocks (or 90 minutes at the most), break it down. Identify the time commitment needed to complete each step, prioritize what really has to be done by when, and schedule the time to get it done.
4. Be reasonable.
Identify achievable goals. How many jobs applications per week can you handle while bringing your best effort? In your business, how many new customers will you take on each month? In school, how many classes can you carry per semester?
5. Cross it off.
If your to-do list has more than 5-10 items, cross off lower priority items. There’s a reason we learned to count on our fingers! If your to-do list exceeds your digits or requires your toes, you have too much on your list.
6. Say no.
If you have a job interview at 8:00 AM tomorrow but need to go grocery shopping, make dinner for the family, give a ride to your mom, and help your friend clean out their apartment all between 5:00 PM and before bedtime, recognize the impossibility of the situation. Delegate tasks (“Would you please bring mom to bingo?”), dump things off the to-do list (order pizza or have leftover night), and decline (“Sorry I can’t help tonight – I have a big job interview tomorrow.”).
You can do it! Managing the overwhelm monster in these ways will help you tame your anxiety, move through transitions with grace, implement your plans, and make progress towards your goals and dreams.