Life is always a rollercoaster! Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the key activities that are in my life. It doesn’t help that I have a heightened sense of urgency. I like to get things done. It’s my favorite mode. Come up with a strategy, a plan to execute and just go!

But, how do we deal with the overwhelm? First, let’s define what Overwhelm is. I like to define it as ‘treading water’. You’re doing everything just to keep afloat. We’ve all experienced this feeling. It's just hard to see the forest from the trees. It’s just hard to see the plan/ where you’re going, the ultimate goal. 

The truth is the chaos that you’re feeling, is coming from inside. Yup, we have lots of things going on in our heads. We need to find a way to take a breath, prioritize and break them into smaller chunks of activities. It does sound way too easy. But I’m here to take the complexity out of it.

Here are a few strategies:

  1. ELEPHANT: First, we need to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Acknowledge that you are overwhelmed. That’s always the first step.
  2. UNDERSTAND: Why do you feel overwhelmed? Too much to do? Too much to focus on immediately? Too many backs to back appointments/meetings? Not being able to say No?  
  3. BREATHE: Take a big breathe and recognize that everything is fixable and solvable. We just need to figure out our options. 
  4. BRAIN DUMP: Write down everything on a list. Just get it all down on paper. Just keep listing things. Whatever is on your mind, just get it out of your head and onto paper. One centralizes list. 
  5. NOW: What are the biggest priorities? What are the immediate items that you need to right now?  Not just now, but NOW NOW. When I was working in South Africa, they had three (3) definitions for Now. There was just now, which meant within the immediate future. Then, there was Now, which meant within the hour or so. Then, there was NOW NOW, which meant, drop everything and focus on it now. So, what do you need to do NOW NOW.
  6. ACTION: Are there items that you could outsource/automate/not do/eliminate/delegate? I’m a fan of the not-to-do list. My sister is great at this, she looks at her calendar for the week/month and highlights the days that she will need help with the kids. She gets proactive so that she can plan. The other day, I was struggling for time to do the grocery shopping/making a deadline and doing pickups.  So, I got food delivered and decided to grocery shop online for delivery. Boom! #NailedIt! Next….
  7. POWER OF NO: There is a way to say no and it really provides you a way to take control. We often feel guilty for saying NO, but we shouldn’t. We are not saying NO forever, but saying NO for the immediate future. I wrote a blog about HOW TO SAY NO ELEGANTLY. It is often hard to say No, but people will thank you for being honest and managing expectations. 

We need to recognize that being ‘Superman’ or ‘Superwoman’ is not about taking on so much.  It’s about leveraging the people & resources around you to drive towards a goal/a vision. 

 

Here are a few resources: 

BLOG:  HOW TO SAY NO ELEGANTLY

PODCAST EPISODE: I did a podcast episode (E110) with Mr.Productivity himself – E 110: Overcome roadblocks by becoming more productive every day with Mr. Productivity, Mark Stuczewski

ARTICLES: Overwhelmed? These 6 strategies may help

 

Thank you again for your time and I really hope these tips help you. It has definitely helped me more times than I can count! Feel free to share with your friends or others that are struggling.   We all need help and friendly reminders, that we are not alone in feeling this way.


Best Always,
Sapna

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