Reducing feelings of overwhelm

Have you ever looked at your ‘To Do’ list and thought that your head would explode? The list is so long it covers at least two sheets of paper and you are in a state where you are not functioning because your brain has decided that it can’t cope and is turning you into a gibbering wreck.

I know I have been in that position, and it doesn’t feel very good at all. In fact, all I wanted to do was rip up the list and go on holiday.

But there are tips I can share with you so that you can reduce your feelings of overwhelm and actually move forward with your life without feeling like a huge failure, which you are not.

The very first thing to do is to stop, breathe and look at the big picture. Get up from whatever it is you are doing, break your state of mind. Go for a walk, play a game of golf, go to an exercise class. What you do doesn’t matter, changing what you are doing does.

Have a little chat with yourself. Tell yourself it is perfectly normal to be feeling overwhelmed but this is only a passing thing. This time is not great, so what! That’s life. This state of mind is not interminable, it is just your current state. Very soon you will be back to your normal self and getting so much more done than you can today.

Write down everything you have to do in great detail. Everything, including the dripping tap in the kitchen, the shopping – everything that is competing for your attention.

Once you have done that and can see your enormous list of tasks, put on your ‘Best Friend’ hat. Imagine you are your own best friend. What would you advise your best friend to cross off, delegate, delay or put to the top of the list? Cross off those things that you know have been on your list for weeks and are very unlikely to get done. If they have been on the list for that long, do they really need doing?

Focus on the bigger picture. What is your intention behind any task? Is the task getting you closer to or further away from your intention? Ditch, delegate, delay or change the task accordingly.

Look at the stuff that is left on your list now, what can you give to someone else to do? A staff member, a friend, a family member? Of course they probably won’t do it as well as you, but currently you aren’t doing anything. So ask for help.

What tasks can you ditch? Which tasks can you delay? Which tasks must be done today?

Your list will be much shorter now, more easily managed. Prioritise, give each task a grade. A = has to happen today. B = Brilliant if I could get it done today, but not essential. C = We’ll see if we get to it today.

Now make yourself a cup of tea/coffee. Self explanatory.

It’s time to start with
Tick each one off as you accomplish them and celebrate. Give yourself acknowledgement and accolades for as long as you can maintain your state. You have reduced you feelings of overwhelm.

  • A1. Do it, must be done today.
  • A2. Do it, would like it done today.
  • A3 Do it if you can today, if not add it to your to do list for tomorrow.

It is then crucial after your emotionally challenging day that you take time to unwind. A bath, a film, a meal. Whatever it takes to get you to a place where you will sleep well. It’s not about time management, it’s about energy management, so your small investment at the end of a big day pays huge dividends for the rest of the week.

If you need help with any of the above, I will be delighted to hear from you, please contact me .

I am helping people to become the very best version of themselves and would love to work with you too.

Maggie Currie

Professional Transformational Coach, ConsultantFounder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

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