Sarah is planning her parents’ 30th anniversary party, and she is STRESSED. She has to call the caterer, order the flowers and finally finish the invitations that should have been sent out a week ago. The overwhelming weight of it all feels crushing, and there’s nobody she can call for help. Suddenly, Sarah feels very sleepy, and the idea of cancelling the whole thing and hiding under the covers of her bed sounds really appealing.
Have you ever felt like this? Of course, we all face overwhelm from time to time. Responsibilities pile up until they reach the tipping point, and the brain just…shuts down. Then the most attractive option is to jettison everything and check out.
Fortunately, there are ways around this one. Here are 3 quick and easy strategies you can call upon the next time you’re facing full-scale overwhelm.
Take a deep breath…and read on.
1. Prioritise & Cluster
Look at your list and circle the top 3 most important things that only you can accomplish. Then pick the next 3, and put stars next to them. Then get to work on your number one item and move down the list. At the end of the day, if nothing else, at least you handled the important stuff.
2. Recruit & Delegate
Why is Sarah the only one planning this party? Didn’t her brother grow up with the same parents? Why does he get to just show up for the party while Sarah pulls her hair out?
Recruit help from the people around you…your kids, your partner, your siblings… and start handing out tasks. Get them up off the couch and put them to work on things that need to be done that doesn’t require your personal touch.
3. Take A Break
Overwhelm causes stress, which results in more overwhelm, which causes more stress…
It’s important to take regular breaks from your projects in order to refresh your brain. Whether you take a hot bath, grab a healthy snack, or simply step out for a walk around the block, time away allows you to regroup and recover, giving you new energy and fresh ideas when you return to your work.
Overwhelm-induced shutdown is one of the cleverest ways that procrastination shows up, because it feels so involuntary. However, with these few strategies and by allowing yourself some breathing room, you can overcome your overwhelm and become more productive that you imagined!
How will you work smarter today?
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