Feeling overwhelmed can be . . . well, overwhelming! Whether it stems from taking on too much, having unrealistic expectations, lack of planning, or being unable to relinquish control – the feeling of overwhelm can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Overall, it inhibits your ability to get anything done and makes you feel even more overwhelmed than ever!
If you’re feeling this way now, we get it. We feel you. All of us struggle with too much to do, too little time, and worry that we will never catch up. But just because you feel overwhelmed doesn’t mean you have to stay overwhelmed.
You may have a lot on your plate – but there are specific things you can do to ensure that you aren’t feeling the pressure of doing it all and doing it all at once.
To get started, take a look at the big picture. It’s important to get into the right mindset before you make a shift in how you’re approaching your life and each day. Check in by asking yourself: How am I spending my time? How am I organizing my life? How well am I focusing on my priorities?
Then, follow our five-step strategy to overcome overwhelm each and every day:
1. Focus on what needs to get done today
Remind yourself that you’re human and you can’t do it all all of the time . . . and you certainly can’t do it all in the next 24 hours. Prioritize what needs to get done today.
A helpful strategy is to reflect on why you’re doing any of this to begin with. Think back to your personal goals and why you chose them. It might motivate you, or it might show you what needs to get removed from your list.
So now, if you had to pick three things to get done today, what would they be? Those are your top priorities. Write them in your planner! (The signature daily page in our Flagship Planner has a prompt for your “top three” each day.)
Everything else is just icing on the cake! Create a realistic to-do list for the day that includes these additional items.
2. Identify and schedule key tasks
We all know what happens when we don’t make a plan! But a commonly forgotten tactic is to actually schedule your to-dos. We often fill our daily schedule with meetings, appointments, and events – but where do our key tasks fit in?
If you know that you need to spend an hour brainstorming next month’s marketing plan or responding to all of the emails that came in while you were out of the office for a few days, then you need to block that time in your planner.
So be sure to identify your key tasks AND schedule them!
3. Delegate or delay less urgent tasks
Just as important as what you need to do is what you need to delegate, delete, or delay. This is one of the key strategies shared by productivity experts everywhere . . . because it works!
Be honest with yourself about what can only be done by you; what can (and probably should) be done by your partner, a coworker, or a friend; and what you can just strike from the list. That big ol’ list weighing you down? Only a part of it needs to be done by you. Make sure you know what’s yours to carry – and where you need to let go.
4. Take breaks that allow your mind to reset
No matter how much you have to do, you will continue to feel overwhelmed if you don’t create space for yourself. While it may seem like you don’t have enough time, that’s exactly the problem – you likely haven’t made time for yourself. Time to breathe, and time to reflect on what you’re grateful for. This is your life, remember? Be sure to make space for yourself in it.
Don’t forget: Scrolling social media and catching up on the news don’t count as mental breaks! Your mind needs to truly reset.
5. Ask for help – you are not alone!
No matter what you’re struggling with, talking to your partner, close friends and family members, your boss, or even a life coach is helpful.
Honestly, so many of us struggle with feeling overwhelmed! You are definitely not alone. In talking with others or asking for help, solutions and new ways to look at the problem will start flowing! Sometimes even just accepting a simple favor or a listening ear is precisely what you need.
Are you ready to get started? Let us know in the comments below!