3 steps to turning off your lizard brain when you’re overwhelmed

by | May 7, 2020 | Planning, Strategy, Time Management | 0 comments

Every human alive has felt it – the paralysis of overwhelm.


When there’s too much in front of us and we’re tempted to do anything to stop feeling that way.

We might make a drastic decision to just try to fix it. Or procrastinate. Or go down a research black hole to try to find someone else to give us the answer.

Here’s a simple tool you can use to shut off those impulses and make the right decision:

It was created by Mike Michalowicz and is called the 10-10-10 rule.

First, write down the decision you could make that would give you relief 10 minutes from now.

Then, write down what that decision would mean 10 months from now.

Finally, think about 10 YEARS from now. What kind of impact does a string of decisions like this one have on where you’ll be then?

When you complete this exercise, you’ll be able to see which decisions might give you relief today but have long-term outcomes that you don’t want. It’s a simple tool, but will give you the objective view you need to make the right decision.

And it’ll be easier to see the decisions that might be hard today but are moving you in the right direction.

I’ll use myself as an example.

When the coronavirus started to shut things down, even though I knew that Fix This Next is more valuable than ever in helping business owners survive, I was tempted to stop marketing it.

It felt weird and fraught and overwhelming.

Stopping marketing would feel great ten minutes from now. I could go comfortably along in tweaking my offer, and making great resources no one would ever see, and making plans for how I would do marketing someday.

But ten months from now? I’d be starting from scratch, afraid for our financial future and maybe even struggling to keep the doors open.

Ten years from now, a pause back in 2020 probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference, but that tendency to shy away from marketing when it gets hard? A settled habit like that could decide whether A Squared is the wonderful business I envision it to be… or doesn’t exist at all.

On the other hand, leaning into marketing and learning how to meet people where they are can have incredible positive impacts in our future as a company, even when they’re hard today and take a while to bear fruit.

I’d love to hear from you – what decisions could you make today that might be difficult but will have a great impact in the long run?