Are you feeling under pressure and like there’s too much to do? Do you find yourself procrastinating over tasks?
If you do, these are classic symptoms of overwhelm.
Feeling overwhelmed is a recipe for making everything complicated, and is a great way to keep you stuck.
Have you heard the saying ‘you can’t see the wood for the trees’?
If this is how you feel, the following 5 tips are for you.
1. Take Time Out
Taking time out and physically removing yourself from the situation will allow you the space and time needed to gain perspective on the situation.
It can be as simple as taking a walk, reading a magazine or watching TV – do something where your mind is completely taken off the tasks at hand.
You’ll quickly notice a shift and start to feel calmer. And as you do something different, your unconscious mind will be operating in the background, helping you to come up with great solutions.
2. Get Clarity
Write your thoughts down about feeling overwhelmed – don’t worry about censoring them, just let them flow. This will help you get all of the chatter out of your head and onto paper – freeing your mind for calmness.
It will also act as a filter to show you exactly what you’re thinking to yourself. Seeing it in black and white will help you reflect on what’s causing the overwhelm and gain some perspective on the situation.
By recognising why and where you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can start to work out a plan of action to move forward.
3. Write Lists
Put together lists from all the information you’ve written down. Use your preferred format whether that’s a to-do list or a mind map – the idea is to have something structured that you can refer to and organise later.
4. Say “No”
From your list, identifying the items, you can say “no” to – this exercise alone will free up your time and headspace dramatically.
Consider the following:
– What are you doing because you feel you should, rather than what you want to do?
– Which tasks have been on your list forever and have never been finished – are these ever going to get done?
Go through and cross off anything that no longer needs to be there – it will reduce the pressure and allow you to focus on what’s important.
5. Decide Your First Step
Once you’re feeling calm, decide on your first step. Focusing on this will help you move forward quickly because you’re not trying to do everything at once.
There’s an expression ‘You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time’. So, chunk projects down into manageable, bite-sized steps and start working your way through them, one at a time.
Before long, you’ll be back to operating in a calm and productive way.
If you’re struggling with overwhelm, contact us and find out how we can help you.