Dealing With Overwhelm

Question from a reader: How do I deal with feeling overwhelmed? I want to paint but I don’t know where to start.

This is something we all deal with. My most unproductive days are when I feel overwhelmed (unless you count all the unfinished to-do lists).

The answer isn’t to eliminate it. We just need to mitigate it.

Here are a few tips:

– Reduce the number of inputs. There’s no shortage of information in the world. Many of us are drowning in it without knowing. There is a shortage of clarity and focus. What information don’t you need? What notifications can you turn off? What can you unsubscribe from?

– Clarify what you want to learn, where you want to go, and who you want to be. Feeling overwhelmed often stems from a lack of direction and purpose.

– Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy.

– Start each day without technology. Just a pen, notebook, and perhaps a cup of coffee. Write down the three most important tasks you want to get done. Then do them.

– Reflect on previous work and remind yourself why you started painting in the first place. This will help you narrow down on what you should be doing, and more importantly, what you should stop doing.

– Think about how much more you could achieve over the next year if you work with complete clarity, focus, and motivation. How many completed paintings would you have? What would they look like? How much more would you know about color, composition, drawing? Perhaps this will motivate you. It does for me.

It’s important to deal with this stuff. Don’t let that overwhelmed feeling become the norm. It’s a downward spiral if that happens.

Happy painting!

Kind regards

Dan Scott