Advertising
Advertising

5 Things You Can Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

5 Things You Can Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Someone takes acknowledgment for your idea. You’re not invited to that important meeting. You have more work than you know what to do with. You can’t seem to get any help, let alone consideration.

We’ve all been there. We all feel this way at some point. Where we can’t see a path ahead, and we’re not sure how to get from where we are now, to where we want to be.

Like a GPS, if you want to travel across the country, you have to take the first step. The same goes for when you’re overwhelmed. Success is never a straight line.

1. Don’t Do Anything Brash

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to get frustrated, annoyed and be generally on-edge. Especially if things in your everyday life all start losing synergy. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep or haven’t had time to confront your concerns. When that happens, it’s easy to lose your cool.

Instead of choosing that instant gratification and possibly jeopardizing everything you’ve worked for, just stop.

Advertising

Unless you’re calm, rational and serious, no one is going to take you serious. Breathe, just breathe.

2. Get Some Perspective

As much as you’re going to want to fester in the details and keep thinking about everything, it’s really important to do the exact opposite. Find ways to take a breather so you see the situation from different perspectives.

Especially if your decision means approaching your boss or partner about a big concern. Make sure you’ve taken the time to see things from their personal perspective. What are they going through? Do they know the full picture? Could talking to them help solve the issue?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

To get some much needed perspective, it’s important to disconnect from the situation and re-group. The fastest path to this is often by doing something completely different from your regular routine. Take a new walking route. Read a different style of book. Watch a video series or documentary you’ve been putting off. You can de-clutter your desk or home, which may help you feel more in control. My go to happy places are my Audible app, Bible app and Lynda.com. I use those resources, because there’s less of a chance I’ll get distracted like I do on YouTube.

Advertising

3. Acceptance

Don’t feel bad about being overwhelmed. It happens to everyone.

“I AM OVERWHELMED!” – Oprah

Despite the fact that you’re a rock star, doesn’t mean you can do everything. Even Superman had to choose between people to save, with his super hearing.
Sometimes we question why we can’t do everything when we should be questioning why we’re so keen on doing everything. Since we can’t change time, the only thing we can do is change ourselves. What if we better utilized our own super human talents?

As hard as it is, there’s always something worse that can happen or someone out there close to you going through much harder times. When you feel your emotions spike, remember all the things you can be grateful for.

Once you’re able to shift your mindset from victim to fighter, you can turn those obstacles into opportunities.

Advertising

4. Take Action or Else

As soon as you speak up and take action, it’s out into the world, and there’s nothing more you can do. Relief!

“The significant problems we face in life can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

So book that overdue meeting with the colleague you’ve been having problems with. Take some time to bring aside a loved one for the talk. Set aside time to prioritize your life. Do it. Do it now!

When you do, take your time with it. As soon as you’re past the point of bottling things up, snapping and exploding, you can move onto being a constructive so there can be a positive outcome. That’s the ultimate point right?

Second chances aren’t always an option. Sometimes you only get the one. So be courageous, honest and methodical.

Advertising

5. Pay Better Attention to How You Feel

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made is letting things bottle up until I burst, instead of aiming towards a positive outcome. No one likes a bully. If only I listened to my inner dialogue that told me to stop talking, think about the bigger picture and to wait for a better time to get my point across.

Being overwhelmed isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually the biggest sign that something isn’t going right, and you’re overdue for a change.

“Where focus goes, energy flows” – Jim Carrey

Embrace the fear and failure in the situation, and release it in the most constructive way you can at the time.  Feel it. Cry it out. Write it out. Paint it out. Or, talk to someone you trust. Don’t ignore your well being.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

More by this author

5 Ways to Get out of a Funk Feeling overwhelmed? 5 Things You Can Do When You Feel Overwhelmed Positive music Top 5 Benefits of Listening to Positive Music How To Avoid Gaining Weight When Traveling

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Get the Best Deep Sleep (And Why It’s Important) 2 How to Practice Meditation for Anxiety and Stress Relief 3 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 4 12 Sad Things That You Should Learn to Be Grateful For Instead 5 7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

Advertising

  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

Advertising

Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

Advertising

As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

Advertising

9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

Read Next