13: Avoiding Overwhelm with Margin

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As you’ve managed your never-ending to-do list and the constant demands of being a mother, partner, business owner, and friend, it is likely that you have found yourself in a period of immense overwhelm. In today’s third and final episode in a series on overwhelm, I am wrapping up the conversation by talking about how to reduce the likelihood of finding yourself buried deep in the future. I’m discussing how to create margin in your calendar by protecting your ‘yes’ and doing less. 

The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

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This episode is brought to you by my Sustainability Guide Freebie, where I’m walking you through 10 steps to a sustainable business. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, this guide will help you review the different facets of your business and clarify whether or not you’re set up for long-term sustainable success.

Review the Show Notes:

Creating margin by protecting your yeses (1:30)

Examples of protecting your yes (2:25)

Consider the costs (3:17)

Action steps to reduce overwhelm (4:45)

Doing less (6:20)

Mentioned in this Episode:

10 Steps to a Sustainable Business Freebie

Sabrina is launching a brand new course in late 2022. Get on the waitlist HERE.

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Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gebhardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life. myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

Welcome back to the shooters straight podcast. So this week is part three in the final part in a series about overwhelm. So in part one, we talked about overwhelm and why we are overwhelmed. And in last week’s episode, we talked about what to do when you find yourself in a period of overwhelm. Today, I want to wrap up the series talking about how to avoid overwhelm in the future. And let me go ahead and back up and say, overwhelm is not completely avoidable. It just isn’t. The lives we live today are fast and busy. We are balancing life as mothers, partners, friends, business owners, we are constantly getting bombarded by to do lists and social media and text and email, overwhelm will happen. But there is something you can do that will greatly reduce the risk of finding yourself in deep overwhelm in the future. And that is creating margin in your calendar by protecting your yeses. Okay, what do I mean by that? Simply put, your yeses should be sacred, you should be willing to say no to anything and anyone that is not aligned with your priorities. And that’s going to look different to everyone, your family dynamic, your health, your business, your dreams, everything factors into that. I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before, but it’s worth saying it over and over again. When we say yes to something, we are saying no to something else.

Let me give you a few examples. When you say yes to a last minute inquiry, or booking or client call, you are saying no to your time, whatever else you had, or could have planned your family working on a project or even whitespace. Here’s another example. When you say yes to a weekly volunteer commitment at your child’s school, you’re saying no to the other things that you may need to use that time for, again, you’re saying no to time, and to things that you need to do. So in both of these examples, there’s nothing obviously wrong with either, yes, additional income from clients is good. Volunteering is good. But it’s so important to always ask yourself, what cost does this yes have? What will I be saying no to if I commit to this thing, to bring it back to how we can try and stay out of overwhelm in the future. We, as female creative entrepreneurs as a whole, we’re giving away too many yeses without considering the cost. We aren’t protecting our boundaries. We’re too worried about people pleasing, we’re too concerned about what people will think of us.

To make it even more clear, our priorities have kind of gotten out of whack. Now you might be thinking, Whoa, Sabrina, my priorities are just fine. My family comes first or my health or whatever. And I agree with you to a point in emergencies or in moments that really when we are really put to the test, most of us would have our priorities in the right place in that situation. But what about in the minutiae of the day to day? Do the yeses we give out align with our priorities. Are they really taking your family, your health and your values into consideration? Or is it possible? Is it possible that we are giving away yes is without considering the costs. If you want to stay out of overwhelm as much as possible, you have to have margin in your calendar margin in your schedule. And that means taking on less responsibilities. That means protecting your yeses for things that really matter. So I want to give you a couple of action steps that I will leave you with today. The first thing is to review your calendar and commitments with a very critical eye.

What things do you see popping up that need to go Make a list. These things might be a team or a group, you’ve joined a volunteer commitment. Or maybe you’re just taking on too many clients every month. When you are calling your calendar, the stuff that doesn’t align with your priorities needs to go, even if it’s good stuff, okay? Ask yourself what is the cost of keeping it, and then ask yourself what matters more. The second thing I want you to do is to make a plan to get those things off your calendar indefinitely. If you have too many sessions or client consultations, you need to lower your capacity. If you know you need to back out of a group or commitment, then start drafting the email. And then number three, I want you to trust your gut. I know that the thought of backing out of things, or even lowering your capacity for clients probably makes you cringe. But also know that if you are listening to this episode, you are probably either currently overwhelmed or have battled overwhelmed before and you don’t want to be there again. Are these clients and commitments more important than your mental health and wellness? Are they more important than your family? You know the answer. Stay strong. Trust your gut and call your calendar.

The key to staying out of overwhelm is doing less. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. I know we all wish we could be but it simply isn’t possible. We all have very different lives and priorities and businesses and dreams. Our yeses will all be different. And that’s okay. Focus on your own life and commitments. Trust your intuition and be willing to protect your yeses and be generous with your nose. Okay, that is it. For this week’s episode. It was short and sweet and to the point and I would love to know what you think. Send me a DM on Instagram, write a review. Let me know how this episode landed for you. And I have a freebie it is 10 Steps to a sustainable business. You can grab that at the link in the show notes. And I will see you next week when we take this chat about overwhelm of that further.

And it’s going to be an awesome one. See you then. Then thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gebhardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight.


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