Feeling overwhelmed? Well, you’re not alone. Everyone feels overwhelmed, at least some of the time, when a stressful situation gets to be just too much for us to handle. Fortunately, you can do something about it. Linda Prescott shares some strategies to help you in 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed.
Schedule the Most Important Tasks First.
Sometimes we can get overwhelmed when we try to do everything at the same time or think that everything on our list has the same priority. But think about it… why would you work on less important tasks when there are truly important items that are more critical to your work or personal life? To stop feeling overwhelmed, you need to first, make a list. Prioritise the items based on importance and value. Once you’ve done that, tackle the items on your list one-by-one. That way, you will not only feel more organised but you will be able to focus better on one thing at a time.
Ask Yourself, “Is This Really Necessary?”
Look, nothing is set in stone. You can actually challenge your basic assumptions about your regular habits. Do you really need to spend a whole hour replying to emails or can you do it in between other tasks? Do you need to get that proposal out this very minute or can you actually take care of a more pressing item? In many cases you don’t, but you do anyway simply because that’s what you’ve always done, right? What you need to do is eliminate as many “nice to do” tasks as possible and follow that list you have made based on priority. Not only will you have more time, you’ll also have more time to focus on what really matters – you!
Learn to Say “No.”
Saying yes can really open you up to new opportunities, but realistically, you can’t say yes to everything and not everything you say yes to can be done sometimes. So believe it or not, sometimes you simply need to say no. Other times you can say, “No, unless…” and add stipulations. The same is true with yes: Saying, “Yes, but only if…” creates guidelines. Before saying yes next time, always consider the effect of a request on your most important goals. Will saying yes to something take time away from completing a super urgent report? Or will saying yes to attending an event mean that you will be rushing for a doctor’s appointment? These are the things that you need to consider no matter how you love to assist people around you.
Re-imagine A New Schedule.
If you made your health and happiness a priority, what would your day look like? Would having a nice cup of tea and listening to music before work help kick off a beautiful day? Would brisk walking between work and dinner time help you feel more rejuvenated and happier? Or do you prefer short hourly breaks to stretch your legs? Whatever it is, let your new schedule inspire you and be a natural guide for what you prefer to experience each day. Imagine a new lifestyle, from scratch. You can make it happen.
Challenge Your Perfectionism.
While it’s good to focus on quality, perfectionism can lead us to make projects bigger than they need to be. Perfectionism can also lead to procrastination and psychological distress and as things pile up, the sense of overwhelm grows. To avoid that, challenge your perfectionism. Focus on completing the task first and when you have time, you can go back and take a second look to improve it. As Sheryl Sandberg famously said, “Done is better than perfect.” Know when “good” is “good enough” and your life will change!