Being a business owner can be super overwhelming. There have definitely been more than a few days where I just feel paralyzed in my business because I am so overwhelmed with everything I have to do. Whether this was when I was just starting out and didn’t know what I didn’t know, feeling like I needed to be networking and building relationships more (I still struggle with this), or overloaded with a heavy week of client work, or just coming off of taking a few days off — the struggle can be SO REAL.

So how do you move past that? That feeling is oftentimes when SO many business owners quit. You have to find a way to overcome that overwhelm. Here are three things I do when I feel overwhelmed to reduce my stress and anxiety, and keep my business moving forward.

1. Take care of myself FIRST

You can’t pour from an empty cup. I always make sure that no matter how long my to-do list is or seems, or how overwhelmed I am with everything that needs to get done, I cannot pour from an empty cup. It may seem counter intuitive, but the days where I have the MOST to do, I make it a priority to get in a workout that morning, do my daily devotional, journal, listen to or read personal development and eat a good breakfast. You have to take care of yourself first because you cannot be the best version of yourself otherwise. This will spill over into your relationships and your work. You have to make that time for you so that you feel a little more relaxed and in control of your day.

2.BRAIN DUMP everything & Use a project management tool

Just make a big ole list. On your phone. On pen and paper. In Asana or a project management tool you use. Then organize it. Figure out what is truly a priority to get to TODAY and then make sure you’ve accounted for the rest and schedule it into your week. Sometimes we feel like we have to do everything RIGHT NOW, when in reality we’re just anxious and overwhelmed with all the things we THINK we need to do. Getting everything out on paper will really help you to see what truly is important. It also clears space in your brain to focus on those important things now that the rest is written down.

3. Start with something small that will create a “win”

Give yourself a small victory. Maybe that’s throwing in a load of laundry or doing the dishes. Just do a small task that makes you feel productive. Sometimes we have to trick our brains into thinking we’re crossing things off our list and getting things done to start to feel less overwhelmed and more motivated to accomplish the rest of our to-do list. Now, that being said, don’t fill your day with all the little things, because you’ll still feel overwhelmed with all of the big things on your plate left to do, so be mindful of that. This goes back to the prioritized list I mentioned before, just suggesting starting with one small thing to get you going.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, give these tips a try and let me know if they help! Do you have any other tips or suggestions when that feeling of overwhelm washes over you?