How to Reduce Stress and Feelings of Overwhelm (even when there is still lots to do)

Welcome to Episode 17 of Learn Share Grow where today I will be teaching you how to reduce your stress levels through ensuring you're doing those big ticket items, over simply doing more for more sakes. I have a few activities that I share with you at the end of the episode and you can even download a great worksheet to help you with the 'Reverse 168' exercise I mention.

If you're constantly having feelings of overwhelm, time running out, and a lack of control....this is the perfect episode for you.


Download The Worksheet

Reverse 168 Exercise

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Full Transcription Below:

This is Episode 17 and today we’re still talking about time management. We’re talking about how to reduce stress and those feelings of overwhelm even when there’s a lot to do. We all know those feelings, when our diaries are piling up and there’s appointment on appointment and there’s still the washing to be done, or you need to cook meals. There’s always a ton of stuff that we feel need to get done but it just seems like we’re always running out of time. In this video I’m going to show you how to take back some of that time and really concentrate on the tasks that are important to you.


Basically, where does stress stem from? In today’s video we’re not going to talk about where it deeply comes from but we’ll stay on the surface, you know, the feelings of stress, overwhelm, that lack of time, the feelings of self doubt that I know we all have, that no control, and also that feeling of spinning our wheels and not really getting anywhere no matter how much effort we put in. But why do we get those feelings? Basically, it’s from a feeling of lack of control so as soon as we can take that control back and put a plan into action, we can start to realise that these tasks are achievable and if we break them down we can actually start to achieve the end result which is what we want. Once we have an awareness of stress and what a stressful situation is – I spoke to a good mentor of mine, Craig Harper, a couple of weeks ago and he was giving me this analogy of there are actually no stressful situations and I’m going to take you in because I’ve done a little drawing here. My drawing here is of an emergency room and this is what Craig told me, the analogy he gave me. On the left hand side you’ve got a stressed out situation. You can see the patient down here, bleeding quite heavily. The doctor over here is yelling out and the nurse and the anaesthetist is saying help me. In that situation would you want stress to creep in? Do you think that’s exactly how a surgery room or emergency theatre would be? Or do you think it would be more like this with soothing music, everything’s under control and our patient down there is connected to the drip and the nurse and anaesthetist are congratulating him. So as you can see by these elaborate drawings, or if you’re just listening, you can check out that picture on my web site, but there are no stressful situations, it’s how we manage that stress and how we can put plans into action and realise that there’s enough time to get everything done – it’s just making sure we’re putting out time into the right blocks. Yesterday I gave you an exercise which will help you realise where you should be putting your time and where you should be delegating and what you should not be doing. So you if can check it out - it’s available on my website .


Today we’re going to be talking about a few strategies – I’ve got three to share with you which can help you allocate time in the right areas and make sure that you are managing your stress so you can achieve the most and get the critical tasks done. So, as you can see here, I’ve got what I call the vital three. That’s your diet, your exercise and your sleep. Sleep we’re finding is very, very important. There are people out there who are talking about the hustle and the grind and they’re working from 5.00am to 12.00am at night and not getting any sleep – that’s great in the early stages, but once you realise that it might not necessarily have to be that bad and if we put our time into the right areas we can achieve a much better result much faster. So I want you look at how much sleep you’re getting. The average is 8 hours sleep, maybe you need 7, maybe your need 9. Look at how you’re performing, because I can tell you from experience, when you only get 5 or 6 hours sleep, our brain shuts off the glucose and blood sugar receptors, so even if we try to have caffeine or something sugary to pike us up, the receptors are closed, so not even caffeine or sugary treats and drinks will increase our energy so the only thing that helps us is more sleep so I want you to get your sleep in order. The next thing is that you should be exercising – at least 30 minutes at a time, 3 times, 5, 6 or even 7 times a week – go for a walk, get in the gym, pump some weights, do some cardio – there’s a bunch of strategies I could share with you around that. The last thing is to get your diet in check, so only eat healthy, nutritious foods – you know the deal, this isn’t about that. This is about getting the vital three in place so you can have more time and be a more efficient person and actually achieve what you want to achieve in the right timeframes.


The second exercise I want you to do here is what I call the Reverse 168. We have 168 hours every week and believe it or not, we can actually find times within our life that we didn’t even know really existed and times when you sit on the phone for half an hour can be used in other productive areas. I’m not saying you don’t have to go on your phone but we find specific areas where you can improve time and still do the things that you want to do, whether that be checking facebook or watching the latest TV series. I’m not here to guru you on not doing that, or to hustle down. I’m here to help you achieve more time to do what you actually want to do, whether that be as I said watching a TV show, of maybe it’s going to the beach with your family rather than doing those extra reports at night. Maybe you need to think what are those reports for. That’s what I’m trying to get out of you.


So the first thing that you need to do with the Reverse 168 is – yesterday I shared a worksheet with you, and you can download that – and it’s about what tasks we are actually doing. What tasks do we really need to get done every single week and we categorise these into three columns - what really needs to be done 100%; what we can delegate; and what we shouldn’t be doing. With the first column I want you to do – and you can download this new worksheet on my website – and down below in the comments when this video is finished – it’s a timetable. I want you to go in here and fill out everywhere you do something. If you’re exercising at 5.00am in the morning or doing a morning miracle routine, which I’m a big fan of, you put that there on the 5 o’clock column, and then you might decide that you want to have lunch between 12 and 12.30 every day, so put that there. Then input all the other essential tasks that you have to get done and start plonking them in. Maybe you’ve got clients in one area, maybe you want to spend Wednesday evenings with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and start to look for the gaps – we can see the white space everywhere and start to make appointments with yourself – you might want to use that time for reading and levelling up. You might want to keep 2 o’clock free so you can start watching more of my videos. You’ll start to realise how much time we really do have and even when we have a 40 or 50 hour job you can still find time within your routine – as long as we’re aware of where we’re at in our situation and how we can make time for the things that we actually want to get done. That’s why it’s really important that we do the first task first so we can realise what we should and shouldn’t be doing and where can we put it in our diary.


The last strategy I want to take you through is that there are a bunch of meditation apps. Meditation was traditionally a bit woo woo and people really weren’t realising the benefits of meditation. I’ve just recently started to get into it and I can tell you my stress levels and the effectiveness that I’ve been able to implement is through the roof because I’m more calm, I’m more relaxed. When situations arise I’m able to see them more strategically and look at them from a different point of view rather than always being in a rush and a mess and having those stress levels because they’re terrible for productivity.


So there are a couple of recommendations I have. There’s one is called ‘Calm’ which is the one I use. There’s also one called ‘Headspace’ and I haven’t used but it has excellent reports by guys like Tim Ferris. But I haven’t used that so I can’t vouch for that one. But ‘Calm’ is excellent, I’m on a very small subscription and it’s got a ton of different programs that you can look into so grab that, I’m sure it’s on the android store and also on the iTunes store. Another recommendation that’s worked really well for me – YouTube has a bunch of clips that you can have – if you sleep with your phone in your room which I’m not a big advocate of, but obviously baby steps, but you can have nice soothing waves playing in the background, you can search for rainforest sounds, rain on a tin roof, or maybe you just want nature sounds. You can use these sounds to help you relax at night time and I find, I have magnesium just before bed, I find that magnesium, plus lying down and having these soothing sounds has helped reduce my stress levels so I wake up every morning refreshed and ready to go, and my stress levels are greatly reduced. I get to sleep faster because I have this routine and the meditation and the rainforest sounds in my head and I can just tune out and that starts to build routines so I have more time to do the things that I want to do.


So I hope this helps. I’m going to have the worksheets down below for you. If you have any questions please send them to . Otherwise if these videos help you or you think someone could start to use their time better or you know a friend who’s stressed please share this video with them, I’m sure they could benefit from the worksheets or the information I’ve shared. Otherwise I will talk to you all again tomorrow when we talk more about time management.