Overwhelm! Yep – I know this one reeeeaaaal good.
I seem to spend my life feeling overwhelmed and if I’m not I soon add more stuff – like adding in a relationship course, developing a Stop Procrastinating Course, studying nutrition and learning all about the psychology of weight loss, AND learning about the marketing to be able to sell it all.
So I’ve learnt a few tricks over the last few weeks to really Overcome Overwhelm and I’d like to share them with you.
- Write stuff down. And I don’t mean endless lists of “to do’s”. “To do’s” create more overwhelm. Write down what your priorities are. And have them somewhere very visible so you don’t lose track of what’s the most important. I do mine on squares of paper. That way I can shift them around til it feels right with what is actually the priority. And when I’ve finished one thing I can throw the paper square away. I love the look of the empty space where it’s been.
- Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise. Ok this is a “to do” list. If you’re crazy like me and take on too much at times then you’re going to be addicted to “to do’s”. This “to do” however is helpful. Here are the steps: Write your “to do” list. Go through and label each “to do” as A’s (must be done/high priority); B’s (be best if they got done today); and C’s (could possibly wait til tomorrow). Then go through and number the A’s from 1 most important to least important. Do the A’s first starting at 1 then 2 etc. Finish each “to do” before moving onto the next. Surprisingly you get more done cos you’re not sitting there thinking “what will I do next”.
- Try not to go crazy at your partner/friends/family. Not often mentioned in Time Management books but one to pay special attention to. I recommend scheduling some quiet time each day to unwind so you’re not snappy & stabby with people around you. Remember: people first, other things second. Look after your relationships.
- Say no to unnecessary stuff. You’ll probably only be overwhelmed for a little while so in that time say no to stuff that doesn’t contribute to your wellbeing or your projects. Dance classes kept me sane so they were a definite yes. Rearranging the garage was a definite ‘can wait’.
- Bright shiny objects. This is somewhat related to ‘say no to unnecessary stuff’. It’s easy when you’re overwhelmed to be distracted by things that look prettier and more fun and less pressured than what you’re doing now. BUT…….be warned – they are not prettier or more fun or less pressured. They will usually just add to your overwhelm cos they’ll be one more thing to do.
- Admit you’re not superhuman. This is the hardest one for me. But also the best lesson. Sometimes you can’t do it all. Or maybe you just can’t do it all to the standard you expect of yourself. Sometimes you just gotta lower your expectations and be ‘good enough’ instead of perfect.
- Remember that this will end. Do I need to say more?
- Avoid taking on too much in the future. Again one I have difficulties with. A curious and creative mind like mine likes lots of things going on. Somewhere inside there will be a little voice saying “this is too much. You don’t have time for this” Listen to it. It’s usually the very wise you. If only mine would talk louder. I reckon I’d listen to it more then. J