James Schramko here, and a customer of mine had 4000 items in his project management tool, on his to-do list and he asked me for help.
I said to this client, what I would do is I would allocate an hour to scan through those 4000 items, and I would cherry-pick. I’d reach in and grab only the high-impact things that will really make a big impact, that will shift the needle on the business. And I put them onto a separate piece of paper or whiteboard or post-it note, it doesn’t matter. But take them away from there, and you could put the rest of it to the side knowing that they’re written down and you might get to it someday but not today.
So just when you get to that absolute paralysis and overwhelm of having thousands of items on your to-do list, you need to cherry-pick and take the good ones away. So just set the timer, this Pomodoro Technique works really well here. It could be 40 minutes or an hour, it doesn’t matter but put aside all distractions, get some noise-canceling headphones, and get yourself in a quiet space, and just for that hour go and find with the best concentration you possibly can, maybe this is early in the day, and get those top items and rescue them. So that you can save them from being drowned out by all the other 3,900 other items that may not be as important. Go and find those critical ones. Remember, 4% of those items will have an impact on 64% of your business ecosystems. So a tiny little percentage of those items will be big movers. They’ll be the small hinges on the big doors that will evolve your business. So put aside one hour of your life to get yourself back into whelm which is, I guess, the opposite of overwhelm. So whelm yourself a bit, get those few items, put them aside and now hand them off to someone else or put them on your own agenda and build them into your schedule and get them done, and you’ll get yourself out of such a mess.
Then the second part and probably not discussed very often is, stop collecting so many to do is into your project system. Obviously, there’s a problem. You’re taking so many inputs into the machine that you will never get to, you’re just creating a problem for yourself in the future. That’s why I take the minimum notes possible. I don’t record my calls except for podcasts, I take handwritten notes sparingly, and then I put them into my life sheet system which is a training that I’ve done inside SuperFastBusiness for our members where I actually collect my core notes that I use as a reference library.
And that is how I reduce myself from massive overwhelm. Just don’t take as many inputs in the first place. And the other thing is, it really helps if you can paint in broad brushstrokes and not be a perfectionist. If you are super, hyper detail-oriented, if you are a perfectionist you’re going to make life really difficult for yourself. As an entrepreneur, I’ve found it’s good to just do the broad brushstrokes and let someone else color into the edges.
Hopefully, this is helpful. I’m waiting to coach you at jamesschramko.com inside the membership. It is a paid membership community where hundreds of members who have businesses get my help personally and privately and, of course, with each other at times. And I do new training every single month. I’ll see you inside SuperFastBusiness Membership if you think I could help you with your business. If you are overwhelmed, if you are struggling to figure out the right business model, if you’d like to get better results for less time in your business, then I’m the person to help you with that. James Schramko here. You’ve been watching SuperFastBusiness.
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