Dealing with overwhelm

There are times when I sit at my desk and I feel absolutely, totally, overwhelmed.

I feel like I have 100 things to do on my list, and I also feel that even if I got those checked off, I’d still be behind.

My personal feelings of overwhelm can be broken down into 3 core areas.

  1. The list of things I want to get done or that are worrying me
  2. How far I feel I should be compared to my list
  3. How far I feel I should be compared to others

And of course it never stops raining, right?

In the space of one month, I had my dishwasher, cooker/hob, laptop and washing machine all break.

We had MASSIVE fraud committed to our payment provider (thanks Payoneer).

And I caught a lung infection which floored me for 6 weeks.

I couldn’t workout or exercise. I could barely work.

And so all this stuff just piles on and on.

It’s almost impossible keeping up with the few daily habits that keep you on an even keel.

Yet alone when things go wrong.

Now this isn’t about “woe is me”. If anything I’m extremely lucky to have a business that runs very well without me.

But we all feel overwhelmed and we all have to deal with stuff going wrong.

Stuff going wrong is life – that’s the point.

And sometimes it can feel like it’s all just a bit too much.

And so I did two things that helped MASSIVELY and started helping immediately.

  1. I contacted someone I trust, love, and respect and asked them if I could ask for their help with something
  2. I focused on the smallest, easiest, and most achievable thing I could do.

In this case, I sat down with my wife.

Yes, I was worried about piling all my worries on top of her. She has her own problems to deal with and I didn’t want to add to that burden.

Yes, I was ashamed and worried about some of the things on my list, how I was handling it, and even the idea of going to her for help in the first place.

I made her a cup of tea, let her settle in and decompress after work and after a few minutes when she wasn’t carrying “work stress” on her shoulders, I asked for her help.

She listened to me. And she listened to a lot.

Olivia knows not to “help” or offer advice at these times. That was something I had to ask for. “I don’t need advice just yet, I just need someone to listen”.

Telling her exactly what I needed meant she could just listen and I’d get it all off my chest.

Next, I asked her for help.

“That’s about everything,” I said. “What do you think we should do?”

So we made a list.

And today, all I did was the smallest most achievable thing on that list.

Tidy my office.

I didn’t need to get back to my training or hit a PB with my squats again.

I didn’t need to completely organise our finances or write all the letters needed to our appliances that broke.

I just tidied my office.

And that felt pretty good.

So I looked at another item on the list.

And then another.

And another.

Yes, some of the things that overwhelmed me are 1 year and 5 year and 20 year plans and goal and worries.

They’re not going anywhere.


Just put on your trainers.

Just start writing SOMETHING.

Just start getting all your statements or bills from SOMEWHERE.

You don’t need to run the marathon, you just need to take one more step.

And pretty soon, after just a couple of hours, I felt better.

I got more done than I thought.

So tell me, what’s on your mind? What’s overwhelming you?

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.