It’s not uncommon to feel completely overwhelmed when you have a million things on your plate. Professional and social commitments are always around the corner and there never seems to be enough time. When there’s an abundance of opportunities or the fear of FOMO niggling at you to always say yes, it can be a very steep climb to hitting that overall feeling when you just don’t know how to focus and you can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. In short, you treading water.
What you need to do is take a step back for a second.
Put that overwhelm to the side. And sit down to really have a think about how you can change it.
Take it as creating a mini action plan to address and more importantly solve the overwhelm because the thing about feeling overwhelmed is, we kind of just push it to the back of our mind and then ‘hope’ for it to get better. But that’s just not realistic, it’s not going to go away until you take real action.
The good news is, it’s actually a lot more doable than you think. Following these tips and an hour of so brainstorming, will leave with actionable plan and more importantly, a weight lifted off your shoulders.
1. Start saying no.
Yes. This is obvious advice, but it’s actually also seriously overlooked. You may think you say no but really have a think about it. You are currently feeling overwhelmed, therefor at some point and unbeknownst to you, you have indeed taken too many things on board. Jot down briefly all the things that make you feel overwhelmed. Next to that pop a star next to the things you could have said no to. By seeing clearly the amount of things that weren’t urgent or that you said yes to because you felt had to, it begins to give you true perspective on how things have quickly spiralled out of control. Awareness and understanding is key here to combating getting overwhelmed again. So before you say yes, think back to the list and remember not everything is a priority. You can say no and also, give yourself permission to say no. There is nothing more liberating than owning your valuable time. It also tells others that you’re setting boundaries and that they need to respect it too.
2. Assess what you have on your plate.
It’s time to do an overhaul. Make a list of all the things that are making you feel overwhelmed in one column. On the next, write down an action that would resolve this and take off some of the pressure. Whether it be putting it on hold, outsourcing it or simply deciding that this is not something that you should be doing at all. With the tasks that are remaining to be actioned, prioritise them with with numbers, so that you begin with number one and don’t move on until the next one is complete. If needed, break down each task in the list into a mini to-do list. That way, you have really clear steps on how to complete it and can move on swiftly to the next one.
3. Dont be afraid to ask for help.
It’s ok to be overwhelmed and it’s ok to ask for help. In fact, this is going to take a huge load off you and make you feel a hundred times better in quite a short amount of time. So going off the list of overwhelming tasks what can you offload? Can you hire a VA to tackle some of the admin tasks? Can you speak to your boss and let them know where you’re at and that you need help? Or can you ask a partner or friend to chip in? Can you hire an intern? There are always solutions, some paid and some free, but they’re always there. Sometimes you just have to think a little creatively about how you can go about solving it.
What are your tips for banishing overwhelm?