In just about every conversation I have with potential clients, they describe themselves as being overwhelmed. The sense of being overwhelmed can introduce an unhealthy level of stress in your life.
Here are 7 tips on how to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Next month I’ll give you 7 more.
1. If you’re feeling this way, take a minute to understand why. Are you trying to be everything to everyone? Are you not being realistic about how much time it takes to do a task? Are you scheduling too much? Do you need to learn how to say “no” when people ask for your time? Do you not have the expertise needed to accomplish the job at hand? Being aware of what’s causing you to be overwhelmed is key.
Notice how all the things I mentioned above are choices we make? Granted, there are times when we have less control over our lives but we can always control how we react in those situations.
2. Admit you can’t do it all; no one can. Even if from the outside it looks like someone is doing it all; they’re not. They’re giving up something. Maybe its sleep or time to work out or socialize but they are giving up something.
3. Set goals. Pick just 1 or 2 goals for each month; if the goals are “big picture” goals then 2 or 3 per year may be all you take on. If you complete them, you can always add another one later. Set yourself up to succeed by being realistic.
4. Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Getting things out of your head and on paper or an app can make the list seem so much more doable. It also eliminates the worry that you’ll forget something. Visit my blog How to Create an Effective To Do Lists.
5. Set priorities. What’s most important right now? Number the items on that list in order of priority. Now rank them in order of urgency. Something can be a priority but not urgent. For example painting your kitchen may be a top priority but it’s not urgent. However, if you don’t get that permission slip filled out and sent back to school your child won’t be allowed to go on the field trip next week, that’s important and urgent.
6. Focus on the tasks needed to accomplish your most important and urgent goal. Whenever you are faced with a choice about what task you should work on next, ask yourself if it’s helping you accomplish your goal? If the answer is no, don’t do that task.
7. Be realistic about how long it takes, from start to finish, to accomplish a task. Most of us assume that tasks take much less time than they actually do. If the task involves leaving your home, factor in the drive time for how long it will take to accomplish the task. A simple rule to follow is whatever you think a task will take, double it. If you finish earlier than expected you can relax -imagine that- or start working on another task.
Look for next months issue of Quick Tips for the next 7 steps to help you reduce your sense of overwhelm.