9 Great Ways to Get Over Being Overwhelmed

by | BiggerPockets.com

I’ll admit it. Despite the great time with the family over the holidays, the excitement of reflecting on the year’s achievements, and planning for an incredible 2010 with our real estate business, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed over the past few days.

I’m sure you can relate to the feeling. Those times where you feel there is just too much to do, you have a million thoughts running through your mind simultaneously, and you have this underlying sense of being “stuck”. It’s not a good feeling and it’s highly unproductive.

I thought I’d help by providing some quick tips on how you can get over that feeling of being overwhelmed. These are things that have helped me personally to go from “stuck” to moving forward in my real estate investing (and this can of course be useful outside of business):

  1. Put things in perspective (i.e. look at the brighter side of things). Take a moment to reflect and/or write down some of your accomplishments and what you’ve overcome – you’ll appreciate where you are and will also realize that in the grand scheme of things, this “endless to-do list” is not the end of the world! It can be tackled. You may even want to talk it out with a trusted friend or advisor who always helps you see the brighter side.
  2. Write it down. If you have a million thoughts running through your head, you’ll feel a great sense of relief when you can at least get them down on paper.
  3. Break it down. Once you’ve written down those thoughts and that seemingly endless list of things to do, categorize and prioritize.
  4. Take one step at a time and enjoy the experience of completion. Even after you break it down, you still may feel like its just too much to do. Remember that you can only do one thing at a time. Complete just one thing and you’ll be motivated to complete another. One step at a time.
  5. Delegate. Remember you don’t have to do it all. Divvy out tasks that can be done easily be others, even if your only affordable resource is a willing spouse or child.
  6. Set a timer. One of my fellow investor buddies shared this one with me. To ensure she can stay on target and not be distracted, she’ll set a timer to complete the task and stay focused on that one task during that specified time.
  7. Take short breaks and treat yourself for even your small accomplishments. This works wonders for me personally. I give myself a treat whenever I complete a few items on my prioritized to-do list. That treat can be whatever makes you happy – catching up on some reading, calling a friend, watching TV, etc, but the idea is to make it a short break (15-30 minutes) and then get back to work!
  8. Under promise and over deliver. You’ll feel much better and garner more goodwill with your clients/customers, employees, co-workers, etc. when you can promise only on what you know for sure you can do and then – if time and motivation level permits – work your tail off to give more.
  9. Learn how to say “No”. This doesn’t just apply to saying “No” to others…sometimes you need to say “No” to yourself!

Hope these tips help you to get over overwhelm and avoid complete burn out. They certainly help me!

Happy New Year everyone and wishing you a monumental 2010!

Image: Brett Baxter

About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. What an awesome article!! One step at a time is so important. It’s so easy to just feel an enormous amount of pressure when you look at everything you have to do but when you just tackle one thing at a time you slowly get through it all. It’s the old “how do you eat an elephant” thing!! 🙂

    And a timer is my secret…especially with social media. I set the timer and when it goes off I have to shut off Twitter, Facebook or whatever else I am “working” on at the moment.

    Nice one Shae!

  2. Great Stuff Shae!

    A great way to break down things and prioritize them is take what you want to make for the year, lets say it’s a measly $100k. You take that and divide it by 12, that amount by 4 and then by 7 to equal what you need to make each day to get you to $100k.

    The answer is $297 a day is what you need to make. When you put things into perspective, write things down, prioritize and delegate, ask yourself, is this going to make me my $297 today?

    That will keep you from doing useless tasks and focus on the important tasks because each day, you see your $100k slipping away. When you complete a big deal, say a $30k short sale flip, you double that amount and add it to your $100k for the year and re-divide to see what you need. Try slacking when those numbers keep getting higher and higher.

    At the end of the year, you’ll find that you made a boatload more than that little $100k you were hoping for.

  3. LeJon Ratchford on

    Great article Shae,

    It has become critical because for me to prioritize my business and my goals. My number goal is never to get discouraged. Your 9 steps will be included into my daily activities. Have a Safe New Year Everyone!

  4. Hi Shae,

    Nice advice!

    I practice point #2 myslef. I like to write down everything. Since I am a visual person, once it is written down, it makes things so much easier for me. If it is a task that I need to complete, I will write it down and leave it next to me at my desk. For instance, I am working on my laptop right now and I have 3 tasks that are written down on a piece of paper beside me.

    Also, I thought point #6 was awesome. That is something that I am going to try. Setting a timer is going to help me be more focused on completing some of my tasks, without distractions.

    Thanks for the great advice!

    Best Regards,
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..4 tips to novice real estate investors for The New Year =-.

  5. Saying ‘no’ is the hardest one for most people. You want to be helpful and pleasant and get your job done without ruffling feathers, but sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself and let someone know that you cant help them.

    .-= Tyler´s last blog ..oct_0179.jpg =-.

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