Feeling Overwhelmed? My 6 Tips for Dealing with Overwhelm Right Now

Feeling overwhelmed? Tips for dealing with overwhelm right now, managing your overwhelm, Overwhelmed feelings? How to manage overwhelm

I asked over 500 makers & designers what their biggest struggle is in their handmade business. 69% said that overwhelm was their biggest struggle. 

When I asked people about the specifics, they were struggling with overwhelm for one core reason - time. 

Simply put, the makers and designers that I asked couldn’t fit everything that they needed to do into the time they had. Some makers were saying they were swamped with orders - not a bad problem to have but it meant that they only just about had time to fulfil orders, but no time to work on their business as well.

If overwhelm is a problem you’re struggling with, here are 6 immediate actions that you can take to battle your overwhelm right away

Notebook and pen on a dark, wooden desk - How to manage overwhelm in a creative business

Write it out

Take 30 minutes out of your day, make a cup of tea and do the following task. Taking 30 minutes out of my day!? I know, it’s easier said than done if you’re struggling for time, but I promise this activity will help you get that time back and more.

First, write down everything that comes into your head that you need to do. Every little thing. You can create one list for business and another for ‘life’ if you like - as a handmade seller work and non-work life tend to be very closely intertwined anyway and when things get busy, often the 'life' jobs get pushed to the side.

Now, take a deep breath and engage your gut instinct - do you really need to do everything on that list? Take a pen and cross out anything that you can get off your list. For example do you really need to post to Instagram or order another batch of materials today - can it wait a day or two? There might even be things on your list that you can ditch all together - especially if it's something you hate doing and it doesn't bring much reward.

Next, look at the longer term solutions you could put in place, are there any actions in there which are fairly straightforward that someone else could do like packaging up orders? Is there part of your process that you could outsource? Equally are there are things you’re doing every day that you could be doing less frequently, rather than going to the post office every day could you let your customers know that you post out orders twice a week, perhaps a Monday and a Thursday? These actions should start to help you save more time in the future.

Notebooks and pens on a wooden desk with a jar of threads - manage your overwhelm

Put your prices up

Are you in the camp that has so many orders you can only just about fulfil them before you pass out at the end of the day? If so, this should be something you can do immediately. It doesn’t have to be a huge jump, start at 5% or 10% increases and see how things go.

I often hear from makers that putting their prices up makes no difference to the volume of sales they get. But, by putting your prices up you don’t need to sell as many products to make the same amount of profit which should start to help you free up some more of your time. If you need a hand with pricing, check out my free money and pricing workbook

Record all of your ideas and thoughts

When I feel overwhelmed, I constantly get jobs popping into my head and an anxious feeling that I should be working on them right now.  Use a notebook, posits, a voice recorder or something like Google docs to write down what these jobs and ideas are so they're captured. Once you’ve got them written down, it should help your mind to relax and concentrate on the job in hand.

Notebooks, writing lists on a desk with measuring tape and threads - managing overwhelm

Put your blinkers on

This is an analogy I use when I just need to focus on one thing. Sometimes I find it useful to put all distractions away and write that one thing I need to do on a piece of paper and put it next to where I'm working. Each time I reach for my phone or lose focus that note is there to remind me what that one thing is that I need to be doing.

Close your online shop for a week

If you’re really struggling to fulfil the orders you’ve got, be brave and close your online shop for a week while you catch up. This should give you the head space you need to get up to date with your orders. If you want to give people advance warning you can send an email and post on your social media to say that your order books are getting full and to place any orders before X-day if they want them delivered within the next two weeks, for example.

Be kind to yourself

Last but not least and in fact the most important point I have on this subject is to be kind to yourself. When you’ve got the bits done that you 100% need to do right now, schedule yourself a break. It’s really important that you take time off to recharge.


  • If you’re struggling with overwhelm at the moment, I feel for you! I hope you’ve seen a couple of actions in this post that you can take right now to battle your overwhelm.
  • Take those actions that you think will help you beat your overwhelm right now - don't wait. 
  • Don't forget, that last one, be kind to yourself is the most important point.
How to deal with overwhelm in your creative business - my 6 tips, managing overwhelm, creative business productivity tips, Planning tips for creative business