{overly inspired}

The real title to this post is much too long to fit on that single line of space that I have: How to stop being overwhelmed and start being inspired. 


I’m sure we all feel this way every once in a while; we get overwhelmed with the overabundance of inspiration and ideas out there. It happens to me every once in a while {read: all the time}, which is both a blessing and a curse. I have so many ideas, but sometimes I just get too stressed trying to think about everything at once.  Here are a few things I haven’t been able to stop thinking about:

Starting a vintage furniture and decor collection that I can rent out to clients
That sweet office that I'll have downtown someday
Finishing my book {always, always a source of frustration}
Starting work on the branding and social media for my mom's store
The full color brochure that I want to design and print
The marketing piece I want to put together to send to vendors in my area
A photo shoot for September

In addition to all of this fun stuff, I'm constantly bombarded with ideas and inspiration from Pinterest and blogs and on Facebook. At best, it makes me feel inspired. At worst, it makes me feel frustrated and annoyed and not-at-all good enough. But it always makes me feel overwhelmed. 

I felt this way recently, and I didn't stop seeking out inspiration at first. In those first few stages, finding good inspiration always leads me wanting more. It's like an addiction. But I finally pulled myself away from the computer and took a walk. And then I realized what I needed to do. So, here are my steps to stop being overwhelmed and start being inspired. 


Star the things you want to read for later, step away from the computer, and take a walk. Clear your mind. Think about your to do list for the day or what you're going to make for dinner. Then come back to your desk and think. 


Evernote is my best friend. In fact, I wrote this post in Evernote before I even published it. I use it for a lot of things, but mainly to keep my ideas and goals in one space. I have running lists of thoughts and ideas that come to me and my ongoing projects. I use Evernote because I can take notes anywhere: on my iPad, my phone, or my computer. I'm constantly moving between lists, and free writing my ideas. It's like a brain dump...I try to put it all down on paper, and stop thinking about it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it definitely makes me feel better knowing that I have it all in one place. 


One of my favorite quotes goes like this:

How far you can go

I actually have that quote taped up to the mirror in my bedroom. As soon as I start feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, I like to take a step back and make a list of all the things that I've accomplished recently, and how long it's taken to get there. Seeing it all in one place always makes me feel better, and makes me realize that I didn't get to where I am overnight. It takes time and planning and a lot of hard work to get from point A to point B. So I better start planning and stop feeling so overwhelmed about all there is to do. I don't have to get it all done right away. 


It's nearly impossible for me to work on a project if I don't know exactly what I need to do. So, before I start any work on it at all, I write down the steps I need to take to get there. I can change things eventually, but writing it down helps me envision what I need to do next and how long it will take for me to get there.


One of my very favorite techniques that I've come up with is to prioritize everything. I have a general prioritized list for my life:

My marriage
My family
My friends
My home
My business/blog
My book
My job

But then I come up with individual lists that are prioritized according to project or value. I prioritize ALL of my to do lists, including my personal to do lists. I also prioritize the projects I need to work on. For example:

1. Work on the branding and social media for my mom's store
2. Design the photo shoot for next month
3. Create and print the full color brochure for ACO
4. Put together the marketing piece to send to vendors

I have a lot of work to do for my mom's store, and they have a deadline, so I'll start on that first. Even with that, I'll still have time to work on the shoot scheduled for next month, so that comes in second. I have marketing materials already that I can use for now, so that doesn't need to be so high on my list. But I do need to get that brochure done before I put together the package to send to vendors in the area.

I’m feeling a lot better today, though I definitely have no shortage of ideas or projects I want to get started on. I just need to slow down every once in a while and take a deep breath.

What techniques do you use to fight the stress?


Lindsey said...

Prioritizing is a really good idea! I always make lists and notes, but none of it ever seems to get done. Thanks for the post; this was really helpful and interesting to read. I like how organized you are!

Et tu, tutu?

Treasure Tromp said...

truly loving this post! For some reason I can't get really get into suing Evernote effectively. any more tips?

Jenny said...

Good advice for sure! I always forget to look at all the stuff I've gotten done because I'm too busy looking ahead at all there's still left to do.

On another note, we worked with a wedding planner/designer who rented out lots lovely vintage furniture in Portland a few weeks back. LOVED it. It made me want to do the same too and use it for photo shoots. Or at least to justify buying things by saying that's what I'm going to do with them!

Kate said...

Oh my, I so needed this today! I have so many ideas floating around my head, but I can't seem to tackle them... I think I need to step away from the computer and sit down with a pad of paper! Thanks Joelle!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

i agree- sometimes i feel totally overloaded with inspiration...pitnerest and blogs can be great but also overwhelming!

Mandy DeTurk said...

Thank you so much for this post, needed it today.

Simply Splendid LOVE said...

Wow, you have a lot on your plate girl! I actually agree with you...often I feel overwhelmed by looking for inspiration. It either makes me feel more overwhelmed or frustrated because I could never do anything that good. Ha. Your tips are great. Good luck getting everything done!! Don't wear yourself out!

Kristen @ KV's Confessions said...

I alwaysss feel this way girl... it's constantly overwhelming for me. I love how you came up with a solution for it in this post. Just know I think you are one of the best bloggers out there and you are doing amazing things!!