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What to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed with Your Workload

7 Tips for Managing Overwhelm and Finding Balance in Your Business

Have nagging thoughts of your growing to-do list ever kept you awake at night? 

Have you ever felt paralyzed by your workload? Have you had so many responsibilities on your schedule that you didn’t even know where to start? 

It’s inevitable to feel overwhelmed occasionally. Work piles on, life gets hectic, and anxiety builds. Trust me, I know the feeling! 

Being a copywriter is great because you have a lot of control of your workload. Still, I sometimes struggle with feeling like I’ve taken on more work than I can handle. This happened to me a lot when I first started my copywriting business. 

Over the years, I’ve gotten better at managing a crazy schedule, which is imperative for a sustainable copywriting career. These seven tips have helped me as a copywriter, but they apply for anyone that deals with a crazy workload from time to time.  

Here’s what you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload:

  1. Set an intention
  2. Log your hours
  3. Stay organized
  4. Take breaks
  5. Practice self-care
  6. Celebrate your progress
  7. Outsource if possible 

Let’s hash out this list in detail. If you’re currently feeling stressed with work, this may help you alleviate some of the pressure. If you’re still building your career, having these practices in place can help you prevent overwhelm as your workload starts to grow.  

1. Start Your Day with an Intention 

Have you ever been completely swamped with work and still found yourself wasting time scrolling on your phone? Or maybe, a tightly packed schedule made you want to crawl back into bed and shut the curtains? 

This is because when you’re overwhelmed, it can be hard to focus. You wake up feeling like there’s a million things to do and your mind bounces from one task to the next. Even though you really need to get some work done, you end up procrastinating and letting yourself get caught in repetitive thoughts about how busy you are!

One way to combat this is to set an intention at the beginning of each day. This has been important for me when it comes to managing an overwhelming workload because it requires me to take a breath and slow down.

I recommend setting an intention in the morning that will help you cultivate more mindfulness for the rest of the day. Your intention can be what you’d like to get done or how you’d like to feel. My intentions are often simple, and only a few words:

“I’ll be more grateful today.”

“I intend to slow down today”

“I intend to be patient with myself today.”

Set an intention that you can return to over and over again. Let it anchor you into the present moment when you feel like your head is swimming. Intention setting is a powerful practice that can help you feel less scattered and more grounded.   

2. Log Your Hours 

As a copywriter, it can be easy to bite off a little more than you can chew. When you’re first starting out, you are motivated to take on as much work as possible, but it takes some experience to know how long each project will take you. 

You may also underestimate how much a particular client will need you. What seemed to be a pretty straight forward project may turn into hours of back and forth. 

Logging your hours is one way to get a better handle on how your time is being spent. This can be helpful when it comes to figuring out how much more workload you can take on or how to charge for certain projects.  

You’ll see where you are spending too much time on less important tasks and if one client in particular is eating away the hours in your day. Take that information into consideration when it’s time to re-up that client’s contract or when you are considering raising your rates. 

Keeping track of your time is a good habit to have. Being informed about where your time is going will help you feel more in control of your schedule and less overwhelmed. 

3. Stay Organized

Everyone has a different style of organization, so hopefully you have an idea of what works best for you. For me, having a planner is crucial and I also use a task management software. 

Setting this up before the work starts to pile on can be really beneficial for preventing overwhelm, but if you’re already feeling stressed out about your workload, it’s not too late to get organized. You may start by writing out all your “to-do’s” in a word document or on a piece of paper. From there, you can prioritize what needs to be completed first. Break down big projects into smaller, more manageable chunks.

It can also be helpful to maintain a tidy and organized workspace. A cluttered desk is the last thing you want to deal with when you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Keep your inbox nice and clean as well. 

Staying organized can help you be much more productive. Efficiency is key when tackling demanding days and a massive workload. 

4. Take Breaks

As a copywriter, juggling all your daily tasks can be challenging, but the good news is that you have total autonomy when it comes to scheduling out your day. Since you make your own schedule, be sure to take breaks. This may seem counterintuitive if you’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s actually even more crucial when you’re busy. 

No one performs their best when they’re glued to a computer or phone all day. Mix your workday up a little by taking a midday walk in the sunshine or meeting a friend for lunch. 

A lot of us have the natural tendency to run on empty. When you are at your busiest, setting aside time for a break will help you fill your cup so that you can return to your workload with more focus. 

5. Practice Self-Care

An overwhelming workload can have detrimental effects on your mental health. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout. It can affect your sleep, your appetite, and your mood. 

That’s why taking intentional breaks throughout your workday is really important. It’s also important to make sure that when you’re “off the clock” you are practicing some form of self-care. 

This can look a little different for everyone. You may feel most rejuvenated after a long yoga session. You may journal as a form of stress relief. Other ideas for self-care are a long bath, a walk in nature, cooking a good meal, or meditation. Find something that makes you feel relaxed and do it consistently. 

Make time for your mental health and you’ll be able to approach even the biggest workload with a clear head and more calm. When you practice self-care, you’ll be a more creative copywriter and overall happier person. 

6. Outsource If Possible

If you are finding yourself constantly overwhelmed with your workload, it may be time to outsource. This means getting a little help so that you’re not spread so thin. 

Hiring someone to assist you with time-consuming tasks like bookkeeping or social media management can be a great investment in your business. Although spending the money may seem scary, think of it as an exciting time. It means your business is growing! 

Or, you may decide to get help in other areas so that you can spend time focusing on work. This may look like taking the kids to daycare a few times a week or hiring someone to clean your house. 

Keep in mind that outsourcing doesn’t always have to cost money. If you have a lot going on one week, ask your partner or roommate for a little extra help around the house or see if a friend will take your dog on a walk. Having someone take just a little off of your plate can be a lifesaver when you’re drowning in responsibility. 

7. Celebrate Your Progress

When your workload is heavy, scratching even one item off the to-do list is a big accomplishment. Finding ways to celebrate your progress can help you stay motivated. 

If you’ve just completed a huge project that you’ve been working on for weeks, treat yourself to a nice dinner. Get good feedback from a client? Why not schedule that massage session you’ve been thinking about! 

Rewarding yourself for even small accomplishments can make work more fun and prevent you from burning out. Even if you feel like you’re not tackling tasks as quickly as you’d like to, give yourself credit when it’s due and celebrate your forward momentum. You’ve got this!

Want to become a copywriter and have an AMAZING work-life balance? Enroll in the Copywriter’s Academy and join a supportive community of copywriters!

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