How to Manage Overwhelm as a Small Business Owner with ADHD

Overwhelm is a common struggle for many small business owners with ADHD. The combination of competing demands, endless to-do lists, and a brain wired for distraction can lead to a feeling of being constantly behind and struggling to keep up. However, by understanding the root causes of overwhelm and implementing the right strategies, you can manage overwhelm and achieve success in your small business. In this blog, we will discuss how to manage overwhelm as a small business owner with ADHD, including specific examples of how to implement these strategies.

  • Identify the Root Cause of Overwhelm

The first step in managing overwhelm is to identify the root cause of your feelings. This might be related to workload, lack of organization, or difficulty prioritizing tasks. By understanding why you are feeling overwhelmed, you can develop strategies to address the underlying issues. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed because of a heavy workload, you might work on delegating tasks or adjusting your schedule.

  • Prioritize Your Tasks

Prioritizing your tasks can help manage overwhelm by reducing the feeling of being constantly behind and allowing you to focus on what is most important. This might mean using a system like the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks into urgent and important, or setting specific goals for the day. For example, you might prioritize tasks based on their level of urgency or importance, or by identifying the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your business.

  • Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks

Breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks can help manage overwhelm by reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed by a large project. This might mean breaking a project into smaller tasks or setting a timer for short work intervals. For example, if you are overwhelmed by a large project, you might break it down into smaller tasks such as outlining, researching, and writing.

  • Use Time-Blocking to Stay on Track

Time-blocking is a powerful tool for managing overwhelm by helping you stay on track and manage your time effectively. This involves blocking out specific times of the day for specific tasks, such as marketing, email, and social media. For example, you might schedule a 90-minute block of time each morning for your most important tasks.

  • Create a Routine

Creating a routine can help manage overwhelm by establishing structure and consistency in your workday. This might include setting a specific time for waking up, exercising, and starting work. For example, you might start your workday by reviewing your to-do list and prioritizing your tasks.

  • Minimize Distractions

Minimizing distractions can help manage overwhelm by reducing the temptation to engage in non-work-related activities. This might mean turning off your phone during work hours, using a website blocker, or working in a quiet space. For example, you might use an app like Freedom to block distracting websites during work hours.

  • Use Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk can help manage overwhelm by reframing negative thoughts and beliefs. This might include using affirmations, visualization, or cognitive-behavioral techniques. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed because you don’t feel capable, you might use positive self-talk to remind yourself of your strengths and abilities.

  • Find an Accountability Partner

Finding an accountability partner can be a great way to manage overwhelm by providing support and motivation. This might be a friend, family member, or business coach who can help keep you on track and provide encouragement. For example, you might check in with your accountability partner once a week to discuss your progress.

  • Outsource Tasks

Outsourcing tasks can be a great way to manage overwhelm by delegating tasks to others who can help lighten your workload. This might include hiring a virtual assistant, a social media manager , or a bookkeeper. For example, you might outsource tasks like scheduling social media posts or managing your finances to free up time and reduce overwhelm.

  • Take Breaks

Taking breaks is essential for managing overwhelm by allowing your brain to rest and recharge. This might mean taking a short walk, meditating, or engaging in a hobby. For example, you might take a 10-minute break every hour to stretch, breathe, or simply relax.


In conclusion, overwhelm can be a major challenge for small business owners with ADHD, but it is possible to manage with the right strategies. By identifying the root cause of overwhelm, prioritizing tasks, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, using time-blocking, creating a routine, minimizing distractions, using positive self-talk, finding an accountability partner, outsourcing tasks, and taking breaks, you can manage overwhelm and achieve success in your small business. Remember to be patient, persistent, and kind to yourself as you navigate the challenges of overwhelm with ADHD. With the right mindset and tools, you can achieve your goals and take your small business to new heights.

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Corey Michael is a marketing and communication expert with over 10 years of experience. He specializes in creating custom brand-based marketing experiences that help businesses, non-profits, thought leaders, and authors build a cohesive image across all platforms. Corey helps his clients level up their online presence and achieve their unique goals with brand stories, multimedia, marketing trends, and sustainable systems for growth. He has also helped hundreds of businesses enhance their online presence and connect with their target audiences through top-quality, brand-driven content.

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