You wake up in the morning, look at your to-do list, and find that you have 27 things on it. Then throughout the day, somehow projects just keep unfolding and expanding in front of you. No matter how much coffee you drink or deep breathing you do in order to focus, you just feel totally overwhelmed by it all and don’t know where to start. 

Sound familiar? It’s an experience almost all of us can relate to, and these feelings of being overwhelmed can take even the best of us down.

Today Sarah shares her three best tips for how to focus and regain clarity when you’re in the fog of overwhelm, so that you can keep going and get your most important work done.

Having clear priorities, using quarterly and monthly planning, and getting a good nights’ sleep are all great tools for planning and mapping out your time—but as a parent? Yeah, that’s harder. Invariably, as a mother and a worker, unexpected projects and challenges will constantly get thrown in your lap. So how do you handle those days when you just can’t seem to get ahold of your to-do list or even figure out how to get started when so much is being asked of you?

If you are feeling swamped, or you’re back in that place where it’s hard to focus and you don’t know what to do, listen in. This one’s a good one.

  • The three tools Sarah uses when—despite her planning and best of intentions—she ends up feeling overwhelmed.
  • The danger of prioritizing little wins and counting on that momentum to guide you through the day.
  • How many big projects Sarah believes people can truly prioritize at any given moment.
  • What “Yak Shaving” means and how to stop yourself once you realize you’ve gotten off course.
  • Why, intense metaphors aside, working moms need to not just “kill their darlings” but “stab their YouTube dreams in the eye.”
  • How to use your calendar to prevent overwhelm and account for even the smallest tasks.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #123

  • “I have a clear focus, clear priorities. I use my quarterly planning and my monthly planning to figure out what I’m going to do. But then, invariably, I end up getting overwhelmed because more projects and more inputs come in than I had planned for.”
  • “I run out of the ability to stop, pause, say no, and I get overwhelmed. I need really useful strategies to prioritize and say no effectively. That’s what I want to talk about in today’s episode.”
  • “If you are feeling swamped, or you’re back in that place where it’s hard to focus and you don’t know what to do, listen in. This one’s a good one.”
  • “It is not something I love thinking about, because I want to believe that I can do it all and I can have it all and I can figure it out if I just find a better way.”
  • “One of the problems with the myth of work-life balance is that we are selling people the idea that if they just have the right structure, or the right priorities, or the right system or tools, that they will somehow be able to squeeze it all in.”
  • “The reality is that we do not have enough structural, systemic or social support in what we’re doing.”
  • “I told my husband this morning. I was like, ‘I got to stab my YouTube dreams at the eye.’ He was like, ‘Your metaphors right now are intense.’ I was like, ‘That’s what it feels like on the inside. You actually have to do these things.’ I hope you’re laughing. If you are around children, I hope they are not scared of this podcast. If you’re around your husband or partner and they are looking at you with shock and bewilderment, because this is the podcast you listen to, hi, welcome. This is a great place to be.”

We are launching the first course in our Startup Pregnant School, The Art of Asking. It’s all about asking for what you want and getting more of it. You can find it at or go to to see what we are building. If you struggle with asking or you want to become a better negotiator, either in your business life or in your personal life or both, go check it out.


If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything fireside chat with Sarah. For Patreon supporters only, get access to a new podcast episode every month AND the chance to ask Sarah any question you want about life, business, and parenting. She will honor everything honestly. Patreon supporters who become sponsors at $7 a month get exclusive access to these episodes that aren’t published anywhere else. Head to to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.

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