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When I’m talking with other bloggers in the DNW Facebook group, one of the biggest complaints I hear is that they are overwhelmed.
I 100% understand this. I think it’s a rare blogger who hasn’t experienced overwhelm at some point and I think the majority of us have problems with it on a regular basis.
The good news is that you can beat the overwhelm!
It’s better to spend some time working on getting overwhelm under control when it rears its ugly head rather than letting it fester and grow. It’s hard to work effectively when we feel stressed.
In this tutorial, I’m going to tell you 6 steps you can use to beat the overwhelm!
However, if you are feeling so overwhelmed that even a blog post about beating overwhelm seems too much, you can click here to get instant access to my Beating The Overwhelm RIGHT NOW Cheat Sheet. It will help you get over your overwhelm quickly although I still recommend that you come back and do all the steps in this article when you can.
You will learn...
- Step One: Work out why you feel overwhelmed
- Step Two: Work on your mindset and remember your why
- Step Three: Know what you want to achieve and have a plan
- Step Four: Block out the noise
- Step Five: Be kind to yourself
- Step Six: Have time away
- What to do if even this post is too overwhelming
- Tips from other bloggers
Step One: Work out why you feel overwhelmed
Often beating overwhelm is as simple as working out why you feel overwhelmed.
Sometimes, it’s not because of blogging at all. Maybe your day job is not going well or your kid isn’t sleeping.
I find my overwhelm is usually about fear. I’m worry that I won’t have success with what I’m working on and, instead of realising that, I become overwhelmed about the tasks I’m working on.
Question why exactly you feel overwhelmed.
I find writing down the answer to this leads to the most useful answers.
Write without analysing or censoring yourself and see what comes up.
If something comes up that is actually a fear or a limiting belief then work on feeling better about that and you will find that your overwhelm may go away by itself.
For example, a few months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed because, on the surface, I felt like I had too much to do in too short a timeframe.
However, when I wrote down why I was feeling overwhelmed, I realised it wasn’t about being busy at all. It was about fear that I wouldn’t succeed.
I wrote a list of all the reasons why I would succeed and why it was silly to feel that way.
Then, when I felt like the overwhelm was coming back up, I read through this list of reasons.
It’s simple but incredibly powerful.
Step Two: Work on your mindset and remember your why
Having the belief that you will succeed is essential for blogging success.
And you need to do whatever you can to believe this.
Often overwhelm goes away when you address your mindset and feel confident that you are on the right path and will reach your goals, like in the example I gave in step one.
If you feel confident, you will act confident, you’ll get more done, you’ll beat the overwhelm and be far more likely to have success.
This is where mindset plays a part.
I can’t recommend enough that you spend some time working on your mindset. I have a full tutorial to help you with this here.
It’s also important to remember your why.
Why did you get into blogging in the first place?
Was it to be stressed out and/or working all the time?
I’m guessing no.
So go back to step one and why you feel overwhelmed. If it’s because you are trying to do too much at once, just stop.
Cut it back!
(The next step will help with this.)
Because you won’t have as much success as you could while you feel like this.
I also would question whether you can ever have success if you are not meeting your why even if you have lots of traffic and income. If it doesn’t make life better, what was the point?
Step Three: Know what you want to achieve and have a plan
One of the biggest reasons for blogging overwhelm is trying to do everything and be everywhere all at once.
You don’t have to!
You really only need to be good at one aspect of blogging to have success.
How can you work out what this should be? Where you should spend your time?
It’s all about knowing what you want to achieve and having a solid plan. If you don’t have this at the moment, it’s time to stop and create one.
Goals, and a plan to reach them, are essential.
One you know your goals and work out what you need to do every month to reach these goals, you’ll also know what you don’t need to do.
Chop out all those tasks and you might be amazed by how much time you suddenly have.
If you aren’t sure how to create your plan and set goals, I have a 5 day email challenge here to help you.
Step Four: Block out the noise
One of the best things I ever did for my own blogging success was to block out the noise.
I stopped going in most blogging Facebook groups and reading other people’s sites about how to have success in blogging and internet marketing.
At some point, you have to trust yourself that you have a good strategy and stop wasting time reading what others’ have to say or getting caught up in every new shiny object that comes along.
A big element of success in blogging is persistence.
And that’s not just persistence in blogging in general but persistence in whatever area of blogging you are trying to perfect.
Remember, you only need to be great in one area of blogging for success.
Find one good source in that area – like this blog! – and cut out other noise. Only go in Facebook groups that align with your goals and only listen to advice from bloggers that have the level of success in the area that you want.
Step Five: Be kind to yourself
It’s really easy to beat ourselves up with blogging.
Don’t. Do. It.
Think of ways you can be kind.
Write a list of everything you are good at with blogging and read that when you start being negative.
Look at your plan.
A good plan should have achievable items for every day that you work on your blog.
But also remember that stuff happens – and it happens to everyone. So be kind to yourself if you start getting behind or don’t hit a goal. Just keep working on it.
I also think it’s useful to have a list of not just what you need to do, but what you have already done.
When you complete an item, move it to another list. At the end of the day/week, read through this list instead of everything that’s still outstanding.
Congratulate yourself for everything you have completed.
You can start working on the rest another day.
Step Six: Have time away
It’s important to know when to step away from the computer and take a break.
If I’m getting worked up with overwhelm and nothing is working, a short walk helps me a lot.
As does listening to music. I currently love listening to Happy (Pharrell Williams) or Eye of the Tiger, when I’m feeling down about blogging whether that’s because of overwhelm or something else.
It’s definitely worth the ten minutes away from my blog to get my mind right again.
Work out what activities could help you in a similar way.
Sometimes you may need to take a few days away or even longer if you are getting burnt out.
Like I said above, remember your why.
If your why wasn’t to be working all the time, feeling burnt out and overwhelmed, and the steps above are not helping, take some decent time away.
What to do if even this post is too overwhelming
If even this tutorial is overwhelming you and you want something to help you RIGHT NOW and fast, click here to download my Beating The Overwhelm RIGHT NOW Cheat Sheet.
It walks you through some quick steps you can do to help right now.
I highly recommend you come back and do the steps listed above when you can though as they will be better at addressing the root cause of your overwhelm to help stop it from coming back.
Tips from other bloggers
Want some different perspectives about beating blogging overwhelm? Here’s what some of my Build Blog Freedom students have to say…
The best way is to focus on one thing, and don’t have too many things on the to do list! For example, I used to create content for a lot more social media networks but now I have narrowed it down to two, and a third one that runs pretty much on auto pilot and brings some traffic in too. Social Media takes so much time and organically pays off quite poorly. Focus on one thing, see if it works, if it does do more of it, if it doesn’t, move on! – Carolin
For me, the blog overwhelm comes when I don’t have clear, focused goals. It is too easy to get sucked down the rabbit holes of all newest and greatest “I’ll teach you how to be successful” webinars, courses and guides out there. But if you have clear goals to begin with, it is easy to put the blind sliders on and say “I can look more into this after I’ve mastered my first goal” For example, my primary goal right now is SEO optimization. While it’s hard to not also try to make social media top notch or have a newsletter, landing pages, etc I just have to remind myself that is not my goal right now – Leanna
Overwhelm is certainly a struggle for me, not only in blogging, but in life. As a mom of three trying to homeschool, run my household, help my husband in his business, and start an online business, I’d say overwhelm defines my past year. One area that causes particular struggle for me, and I suspect other bloggers, is that we are always connected and therefore, really never take “time off” in the same way we would if we worked a 9-5 or even as a business owner.
Recently, on the advice of both my spouse and other seasoned bloggers, I found that a vital key to avoiding overwhelm is to schedule your time to work. Make reasonable goals for each work block and stick to those tasks. Utilizing this method has really begun to help me feel a sense of accomplishment and progress in my blogging. It is also allowing me the freedom to enjoy my time away without feeling like I should be “working”.
While it is a constant battle to fight the temptation to “do just one more thing”, I think keeping a task list and organizing your time in chunks is really key to avoiding overwhelm. If the time to work is over, move that “one more thing” to the next work block and go live your life. Isn’t that why we are blogging in the first place? To find freedom to live our lives the way we choose? – Amanda
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed as a blogger. There are 101 things to do every day and they all feel urgent. My top 3 tips for beating overwhelm would be to
1. Work backwards. Think of what the key goal is for the quarter / month / week and what action can help you move closer to that goal. Watch out for setting goals that are not in your direct control. E.g. Increasing traffic by x% is not directly under your control, but ‘writing a post’ or ‘building 3 links’ are. The latter are much more effective goals as your actions will directly determine whether you achieve them or not.
2. Use the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s principle). What is the 20% of effort that’s going to get you 80% of the result? Let’s say you want to build blog traffic but you’ve only got an hour a week to do this. You have an option to write a new post or add links to an old post to help it rank. Go for the latter – it’s quicker, and more likely to result in the outcome you want. That’s not to say you shouldn’t write new posts, but consider if you’re using your time in the most effective way possible.
3. Get in the right state – when you’re panicking or stressed you’re less likely to make effective decisions. A good way to beat this is to look at the past week or month and notice the progress you’ve made. When you focus on your progress it gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation – the perfect state to get the most from your working time. When you’re ready to start work pick 1 thing you’re going to do and give yourself a set time in which to work on it. (For example I’ll give myself 45 minutes to build 3 links). Put your blinkers on and just focus on that task for the time you’ve set – Karen
I can honestly say that the way I have been able to beat blog overwhelm has been to stay organized with my goals. I took Sharon’s advice and broke my blogging goals down into monthly goals. I then wrote tasks that needed to be completed for each week of the month to reach the goals. This has helped me to stay focused on tasks that needed to get done. While it also allowed me to be able to pick and chose from my list of tasks depending on my energy level and mood at the moment when I had time to work on my blog – Jill
I like the Pomodoro technique. Set aside one 25 min period per day to work on something related to your site. It’s amazing what you can get done when you focus… and you often want to keep going afterwards! The hardest thing is just starting – Simon
To beat blog overwhelm I find time away from the computer and getting outdoors or immersing myself in a good book helps. Sometimes I just need to remove myself from the computer screen and empty my mind of all the things blog related for a few hours or even a day or two. Then I’m usually raring to go again! – Carolyn
Cut it down into manageable chunks and plan ahead. Be ruthless at cutting out unnecessary/unprofitable time-wasters – for me the first thing to go was sharing threads – Marianne
As a working mom of two (almost three) kids, the best tip I can give to avoid blogger overwhelm is to give yourself short, achievable, daily tasks. That way you don’t feel defeated if you can’t complete the list. You will also feel more motivated if you are able to complete everything on the list with extra time to add another task. Don’t forget to reward yourself for jobs completed – Amanda
Blogging overwhelm is a very unpleasant aspect of blogging and one that you definitely do not have to endure!
I hope the tips above help you combat your own sense of overwhelm and I would love to hear any tips for others or what works for you in the comments below!
Find more posts on getting more blog traffic here.