Dec 3, 2023

Navigating Overwhelm: Three Actions to Simplify

“Did you finish your work?” 

Plopping on my friend’s soft grey couch, I told the group, “Ugh. Not yet. I have all the action steps, the events, and the rest, but I’m struggling with the opening.”

“What’s the leadership topic you’re writing about?”

As I began to describe simplicity, I giggled. I was falling into the trap many leaders do when feeling overwhelmed and stretched.

I was trying to make everything important. And Every. Single. Thing. its absolute best. Gifts for my clients, the financial workflow with my CPA, call the orthodontist about our insurance, the onboarding for a new role on my team, keeping all the holiday traditions, conversations with my teenagers, handling it all while my husband traveled, and launching a retreat

I was believing if I didn’t finish it all, things would fall apart. Like I was the one holding the whole thing together. 

Chuckling at myself, I said to my friends, “Y’all. I need to follow my own process.”

SIMPLE. I was overcomplicating in the midst of feeling pressure. I just needed to simplify. And this month, I’m imagining you’d like some simplicity, too.

patterned divider

Here are the three things you can use to simplify at work and in the rest of your life when you’re feeling the pull from all the directions.

(Cause you know what I’m going to say…you’re whole person living a whole life!)


Craig Groeschel talks about “Good Enough To Move On.” The perfectionist and idealist in you may have just revolted right now! Yet, perfectionism sends us into binary thinking — perfect or bad. And idealism can keep us from any progress. And our projects, work, and homes are more nuanced than either/or. We can get stuck in minuscule changes that suck more time, resources, and energy than the benefit they provide. So pause to consider, is this good enough? Will the energy and effort required bring a comparable return? Find your GETMO and simplify. As Grandma Dellario used to remind me, enough is as good as a feast.

2. Values

The riptide of December will take you under. Unwrapped gift for this charity. Treats for this event. Concert for this kiddo. MAGICAL™ holiday decorating. EOY planning deadline. Fiscal year forms. Everyone everywhere seems to need your time, attention, and money. Everything feels important. You literally cannot do it all, and neither can your team. To swim out of a riptide, you must align your swimming parallel to the shore. And your shore in life? Values. So when you have to choose, you align with your values. At the Joyosity Retreat, we’re clarifying those values and creating your Values Alignment Blueprint. So your values aren’t a vague horizon, but a solid shore to guide you when life pulls you all the places.

3. Stop Shoulding on Yourself

Expectations are up with the International Space Station right now, showing up as musts and shoulds invading nearly every thought. And you’re shoulding on yourself all over the place. The way out is to change your inner dialogue. Where does the should come from? Who told me that with their out loud words, or did I make an assumption? Your inner soundtrack determines your results. So find out if the shoulds are real or imagined expectations. This takes practice, and it is a vital tool for a healthy mindset (and another way we’ll revive your leadership mindset at the Joyosity Retreat.)

Woman in a tidal wave

Overfunctioning and overcomplicating fuel so much difficulty for you and your team. After a night visiting an adorable French wine bar in East Nashville, I came back to simpify. What’s GETMO for this email? What’s my highest value here? Who decided the opening should be a certain way?

This exact story is GETMO and supports my value of connection with you. And I’m the one who decides what the opening is…no need to should. Relief and ease followed. And rather than staring at a blank screen, the opening that you read (and this very paragraph) all started to flow in a matter of minutes.

So where are you overcomplicating and living in the fire of burning the candle at both ends? Do you even know? 

You don’t have to sacrifice your sanity and your very self to live your life. Which one of these three will you try?

I’d love to hear how it goes. Tell me in the comments.

Book Jenn Whitmer as your keynote speaker. Jenn speaks on creating positive culture with complex people. She can bring a powerhouse keynote or high-impact workshop on conflict resolution, communication, and more so that your organization gains profitability and retains engaged employees, and you and your people experience joy at work. Contact us to find out more.


  1. […] week, I shared three actions to help you to move through overwhelm by embracing a bit of […]


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