On overwhelm and what to do about it

There are two distinct versions of overwhelm.

Overwhelm from above

Taking too many things on. Being attracted by Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs).

New applications and software, new technology, new courses, new equipment, new techniques, new philosophies, new gurus (!).

You need to ask two serious questions before embracing the “new”:

  1. is this going to distract me from my stated focus?
  2. is this going to feed me or eat me?

I’m very lucky to have a business coach who constantly asks me those two questions, every time I excitedly show up with a BSO.

She persuades me to put down most of the BSOs and walk away.

Sonya Schofield Hamill sent me a simply brilliant blog post on this subject entitled “go deeper, not wider” – you can read it HERE. 

Overwhelm from below

Not delegating enough.

Trying to do too many things yourself, because you don’t trust the people who are there to support you (or because they won’t).

Back to basics here (I mentioned this yesterday), spending 80% of your time on your unique abilities and 20% leading the support team.

Kissing a lot of frogs until you get the right support team. Zero tolerance.

(note: leadership is creating an environment in which your support team are self-motivated to do the work that supports you)

Whichever version of overwhelm you are in, it’s your own fault. Do something about it.

Focus – Simplify – Lead – Delegate


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.