Why You Don’t Need To Feel Overwhelmed

ImageIt’s not uncommon for me to write a blog post and then just delete the whole thing.

Usually I do it because I can’t put my thoughts together in anything remotely resembling a coherent fashion. When even I can’t figure out what the heck I’m talking about, I know it’s time to throw in the towel on that one.

I just scrapped a post two seconds ago. However this time, it wasn’t because it wasn’t good or because it wasn’t making any sense. On the contrary, I think it was a helpful post and I’m sure I’ll hit on the subject again soon.

The reason I tossed this post out for today was more of a “feeling” that it might overwhelm somebody today. And I’d prefer to write about why you don’t need to feel overwhelmed.

It’s No Hurry

One of the dangers of working online is that you can’t easily control the information that comes at you. The best you can do is try and find sources and voices you identify with and follow them. Things like email subscriptions, RSS feeds, and social media help you fine-tune the information you receive a little bit.

But even with people you trust and know, you sometimes get more information than you can handle in a reasonable amount of time. Especially since you do have a life!

One of the things Kim and I have learned working online for a few years now is that the “to-do” list for an online business doesn’t behave like one in the real world. Online, it seems like for everything you mark off your list as completed, ten more things are added “to-do”.

That’s a really tough list to complete!

The fact is that if you listen to every bit of advice you get from everyone you’re listening to, you’ll never get finished. You’ll always feel behind.

Try not to let that happen to you.

The best cure I know for this is faith. A little faith in yourself. A little faith in your dreams. A little, or a lot, of faith in something (someone) much bigger than you and your little business.

Faith that somewhere beyond where you can see, beyond where you can control, things are working together for your good and toward the realization of your dreams. Right now!

Just keep a picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish and try to stay focused on that. When you start to feel overwhelmed, just take a step back and take a few deep breaths.

You don’t have to get it all right today. You’re surviving. You’re fine.

It’s no hurry.

Just a thought. I hope it helps.

What about you? How do you fight that overwhelmed feeling? We’d love to here your tips in the comments.

~ Tim


  1. says

    This post is exactly what I needed today. I have felt overwhelmed, so much so that I just shut down, cannot work, creative mode is gone. This post told me it is ok, to slow down and go at my own pace.

  2. says

    Hi Tim… Loved the reminder you sent to us today. Though it is quite sad that a reminder is necessary when it comes to approaching our online businesses in a sensible manner.

    I was a Realtor in a previous life… at the whim of a pager that constantly demanded my attention… a cell phone… and a land phone that never stopped ringing. I was on call 24/7 as at one time carried over 60 listings. I didn’t get my real estate license until I was 50 and was dedicated to my clients for almost 18 years.
    When I retired, I ditched the pager and pitched my cell phone. I also put the land line on my retired husband’s desk.

    Of course… I got bored. I knit mitts for Salvation Army missions around the world. I hooked rugs. I knit socks and designed jewelry. I opened an online jewelry shop at Etsy but didn’t have a clue what I was doing… photography was a huge challenge (very different from shooting home interiors/exteriors). I didn’t know about Facebook and Twitter. Hadn’t a clue what a blog was. I was a quick study and though the first shop was a dismal failure which led me to many other venues when I left Etsy. I learned so much from so many people.

    I came back to Etsy in August 2011… a seasoned shopkeeper who discovered success was not in selling of my handmade jewelry but with supplying jewelry designers with what they needed to create their own exquisite designs. BaubleBinBeads has taken off like a rocket. Customer service is a major part of becoming a player.

    Which brings me full circle and back on topic. At the age of 71 I have learned to pace myself. I have learned to connect links (Google+, FB, & Twitter) so that I post and promote on Google+ promoting my supplies and other Etsy shops with an automatic like to the other 2 social networks. One posting covers 3 networks so I don’t spend hours and hours having to be a social butterfly.

    My pager is obsolete. I still don’t own a mobile/cell phone and my land line seldom rings. I go online and work each day but make sure that I really have carved out some quality time for me… my family… and my new puppy. I love how my days unfold and have time to think about what you are and Kim are writing about.
    Time management is an excellent topic for today.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kindest regards,
    BaubleBinBeads & SlicKnits
    (oh yes, I knit socks for fun and have just opened a second shop on Etsy to list the socks that aren’t grabbed by friends and family.)

    • Tim Layton says

      Hi Faye!

      I just got back around to read your wonderful comment. You are very inspiring!

      Your story is helpful for Kim and I and so many others who will read this. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.


    • says

      Faye, this is a very insightful comment. Thank you for sharing! i was drawn to this post because i AM VERY overwhelmed… somehow your post really inspired me. and i can’t wait for your grand opening on Etsy.

  3. Tim Layton says

    Hi Darleen,

    I’m glad to hear this post was the little pick-me-up you needed today. Keep on keeping on. You’ll be back in a groove before you know it!


  4. Karen hornsten says

    2nd day in a row you have hit the nail on the head. This morning I was overwhelmed with information….how do you get your etsy shop on facebook, how do you promote, view my stats, like other people’s stuff, etc. etc. etc. and then find time to work on an etsy order, then work on a future listing, then go shopping. My garden awaits me and the grass needs cutting. I literally have not been out in my garden for a few weeks and that used to be a place of peace. Sooo, overwhelmed, but I still love what I do.

  5. says

    Wow, you read my thoughts! I’ve been particularly overwhelmed recently and needed to hear your words today. Thank you!

  6. says

    I, too needed that reminder, step back and take the time to let all the info we are exposed to every day, sink in, since so much info is overwhelming.

    As always, thank you so much, you must be a mind reader reading from the above posts, hitting the nail on the head so to speak, just when we need it.

    I look forward to your e-mail in my inbox every day. It’s like my friend saying hello to me.

    Thank you.


  7. says

    This is exactly why I signed up for the daily tips!

    I have been working hard on trying to figure out the best way to connect with the public and have been feeling a bit frustrated not knowing if I’m doing the right thing. It can be overwhelming indeed!

    Looking for direction, I feel I’ve made a good decision by following your advice. I signed up at just the right time! Even though I’m a few days late on this one, it made me realize that it is okay to take a step back.


    Please let me add, that I really enjoy reading Tim’s articles. Professional writer perhaps? Or extremely gifted? I look forward to them every day.

  8. says

    This is good to hear today. I was up at 3:00, tossing in my bed over all of the things I need to get done, and what I will check off today. Then, I just realized going through the first page of pending e-mails in my inbox, that sit there until I can check them off, that I missed an open house with a local boutique, that I was invited to as a local vendor. Just sent that apology.

    Business has really picked up for me this year, and I am finding myself feeling very overwhelmed, but excited, and ready to do more at the same time. I am editing things down for myself as much as possible, and the Shop Marketing Helper that you suggested is a huge help! Any other time saving tools like that would be great to know about. How about an i-robot to do all of my household chores while I’m sewing?!;)