Whether we live our lives organized or as a beautiful hot mess, we will come across times where we just cannot seem to get our head above water. We are struggling with the who, what, when, where, why and how of every task. This isn’t the burned-out kind of overwhelm I’m speaking of today, it’s the “HOLY CROW! How did all that stuff sneak up on me?!” kind.
Here are three ways to reduce overwhelm in your voice studio, or maybe even life in general, for those times when the wave hits you from behind.
- Reduce Overwhelm with Your Bookmark Bar
- Reduce Overwhelm with the “Screen Time” area of your iPhone
- Reduce Overwhelm with a Brain Dump
Reduce Overwhelm with Your Bookmark Bar
The internet is a constant source of overwhelm, compare and despair, and funny gifs. To pretend to say “just shut it off” is enough seems silly. Especially when we use web-based software and places like FB for professional interactions, marketing, and communication with clients.
To reduce overwhelm on the interwebs, utilize your bookmark bar! For example: Instead of going to Facebook(dot)com, go directly to the groups on FB you interact with and bookmark them. Then, go to those pages specifically, rather than getting caught up in the scroll.
Chrome has recently rolled out a fabulous new way to make folders for your bookmarks, too… grouping them together can help organize how you flow through your internet day.
If you want to get REALLY fancy, you can even think of all the tasks you’ll need to do on the internet over the next few days, and bookmark those places in a special folder. You can go to each web-location, finish your task, then remove it. Viola!
Check out this four minute video so you can see what I mean:
Reduce Overwhelm with the “Screen Time” area of your iPhone
Did you know that you can use your phone to help you unplug? You can tell it help you by setting limits on apps, restricting who you allow after-hours contact from, and requiring passwords to get into apps that you’d like to avoid.
Simply go to “Settings”, then “Screen Time”. You’ll see all the fun things pop up to play around with and set limits on.
Watch this three and a half minute video for more info:
Reduce Overwhelm with a Brain Dump
Even when we use productivity tools like Notion, Trello, the Best Self Journal, etc, we can still get into overwhelm because of all the little nagging tasks, thoughts, fears, ideas, and whatever-else-we-are-interested in just pile up in our noggins. The “recent history” can sometimes become a long list of WTF.
Every once in a while, we need a hard reset to “clear the cache”. I like doing this with two things: the Emergency Scheduling System (ESS) that I’ve developed for The SpeakEasy Cooperative and a regular ol’ notebook.
Since the ESS is SECO member’s only stuff, I’ll go over my notebook solution.
1. Grab a notebook with nice big pages, or several sheets of printer paper.
2. Grab your favorite pen(s).
3. Get into a comfortable sitting position.
4. Turn off all devices and/or notifications.
5. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
6. Write down EVERYTHING that comes into your mind… don’t worry about organizing it, just dump it.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until alllll the brains are cleared out.
(If this sounds like Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” to you, you’re spot on. It’s a twist on that!)
After you’ve done your brain dump, you can add the tasks to your planner or calendar, the worries to your meditation or prayer list (if you’re into that), your ideas to an idea jar or planner/calendar, etc.
This act of “clearing the cache” moves all the itty bits from your short term memory to the paper – freeing up precious brain juice.
Let the Simple Things Simplify
This great article in Scientific American reminds us that when we are faced with problems, we tend to “select solutions that involve adding new elements rather than taking existing components away.”
Instead of adding a new piece of software, or creating a new system, or getting fancy-pants with timekeeper apps, try the three simple things in this blog in order to simplify the input coming in, and therefore, the amount of overwhelm that comes with it. Just apply these three ways to reduce overwhelm in your voice studio, and you may find you reduce overwhelm in life!