It’s 3pm on Monday as I write this and overwhelm has already struck (and to think I normally love Monday). Does that sound familiar? Along with all the usual work and home stuff I’ve signed up for two online programs for work, I’ve got a growing list of books I want to read, I’m developing a new program for my clients, running a test group for it, running an existing group, organising a mastermind group and have had a couple of things crop up that will take me out of the office for at least a day and have involved phone calls and organising.
Even writing all that out is making me feel stressed!
In today’s world where there is so much information available to us it’s easy to find there’s more that we want to get involved with than we really have time for.
Reduce your overwhelm in minutes:
- Stop and breathe. Sounds daft right but when we get stressed we take short, shallow breaths and, because we aren’t getting enough oxygen, that creates even more stress. So take three deep breaths right now. Doesn’t that feel better already? I know, I’ve just done it!
- Have a quick skim through the things you’ve got lined up. Can you find just one thing that you know in your heart of hearts that you’re not going to get round to, that really doesn’t need to be done (right now)? Then admit that to yourself and cross it off the NOW list and let people know if appropriate. Unsubscribe from emails, erase it from your world or put it on a ‘long term’ list.
- Look around you. Is your environment conducive to feeling calm and getting things done? Ideally take the time to tidy/clear and get yourself organised. If the task ahead is too big though or there’s too much external pressure for that then just 15 minutes to instill a sense of order to your surroundings will make you feel much better. Commit to doing this each day until you have created a zone for optimal calm and productivity.
It’s now nearly 7pm and I’ve used all these techniques to reduce my overwhelm and feel so much better for it. I’ve decided not to do one of the programs I’d signed up for and have tidied my office a little and organised my bookmarks in my internet browser. Now I know that the latter itself hasn’t helped but the act of organising really helped me to feel more in control.