Overwhelm is one of those feelings that we have sometimes. It seems that a whole lot of things need to get done and all at the same time. I used to ‘do’ overwhelm in the workplace. I used to look at all the work I needed to get done, thought that it was all too much, didn’t know where to start, OMG what will I do now!!!??? ARRGGHHH
I tried to use time management strategies – yuk! – too boring
block time on the calendar to get tasks done (then something “urgent” would pop up)
send the phone to voicemail and turn off email (still had to find time to deal with that later)
I tried to write out a ’to do’ list – got too OVERWHELMED again!!!! COS IT WAS TOO LONG!!!
What to do????
Overwhelm is an emotion, an emotion that we can CHOOSE to have. Yes, that’s right – we choose it. The way I got around the feelings of overwhelm was to find my strategy for doing that emotion.
We all have a strategy for anything we do and any emotion we feel. I suppose it may help if you think about it like brushing your teeth. Oh yes, we all have a strategy for brushing teeth. Mine is a bit like this:
go into the bathroom,
go over to the hand-basin,
pick up the toothbrush,
pick up the toothpaste
flick open the lid,………………
Got the idea?
So, in dealing with overwhelm, think about the latest time you felt overwhelmed.
- Remember where you were…………………
- what it was that you were doing just before the overwhelm occurred?.
- what were you seeing?…………………………….
- what were you hearing?…………………………..
- what were you telling yourself?…………………
If you have a close look at your strategy for overwhelm you can learn to deal with it. It’s all well and good to try and find ways of developing strategies to break the work down, or de-clutter etc but our emotions are not usually experienced consciously.
Approximately 95% of our actions are governed by the unconscious mind. Developing a way to diffuse that emotion will be helpful in being able to think more clearly and find a solution. The road ahead will be easier to see (I really wanted an excuse the insert the following pic LOL)
“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”
So, do one thing at a time. Uncover your strategy for overwhelm, one step at a time.
I trust that in the next 3 days you will feel overwhelm. When you do, acknowledge that feeling, and then ask your-self the 4 WHAT questions.
Oh, and by the way, please tell me how you went – I’d love to hear about it
- “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” (bloomanyway.wordpress.com)