how to deal with overwhelm

We’ve all been there at some point.

There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. We feel weighed down by the enormity of everything we need to do. It feels suffocating.

Suddenly even the easy tasks feel hard and you’re unsure how you will ever get back in control.

This, my friend, is trying to manage overwhelm.

If it sounds familiar, I’ve got some simple tips to help you regain control today. And the good news is, it’s easier than you think.

Update your to-do list

Get everything that’s on your mind, down on paper. Use these questions as prompts:

  • What’s on your to-do list?
  • Is there anything you’ve been meaning to sort out but haven’t gotten to yet?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Do you have any unfinished tasks?
  • What’s draining your energy?
  • Is there anything or anyone you are angry with? And if so, why?

Now consider these questions for each of item and update your list accordingly:

  • Does this relate to the past, present or future? Remember you can only control the present and worrying about the past or future just drains your energy.
  • Can you control the outcome of this? If you can’t, take it off your list.
  • Is this actually important? Sounds like a silly question I know, but you’d be surprised how often we focus on unimportant things. If not important, take it off your list.
  • Can I outsource or delegate this? If so, to who?

Prioritise & focus

Here’s the thing, multi-tasking doesn’t work. So stop trying to do it.

By simplifying your focus, you’ll amplify your results.

Using your updated list, get clear on what your most important priority is. If you’re unsure consider this – what, if resolved/completed, would free you up the most?

That should be your focus.

Get some quick wins

Once you’ve got traction with key focus, go for some quick wins.

Set aside an hour and aim to accomplish as many ’10 minutes or less’ tasks as possible.

By getting some ‘quick wins’ under your belt, you’ll create some momentum for success.

Set up a practice or ritual that will support you

It might be getting up 30 minutes earlier or it could be not looking at your phone first thing in the morning as Mel Robbins suggests. This will be different for each of us but consider, what one practice will give you more focus or more time to work on the important things. Then incorporate that one idea into your daily practice.

Now, avoid the temptation to create a ‘whizz-bang’ ritual for yourself because if it’s complex you’ll be less likely to see long-term success and more like to create fatigue, and you guessed it, more overwhelm. So pick one simple and easy to implement practice and adopt it for 30 days. From there you can always add another practice once you’ve embedded the first.

Remember the big picture

When you can feel the sense of overwhelm or panic setting in, stop and ask yourself, how does this task fit into the overall big picture of my life?

By taking five minutes to consider what matters most, you’ll be able to let go of some of the trivial tasks and focus on the meaningful stuff.

Do you know someone who might benefit from these tips? Then be sure to share this article with them!