There is a simple technique that you can use when you are feeling overwhelmed.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed. We get all caught up in our mind about ALL the things we have yet to do. And we feel like we’ll never get on top of things. And often we end up doing nothing at all.
I know exactly the feeling.
I’ve lost count to the number of times in my life that I’ve felt overwhelmed. What I learnt from experience is that when I’m in overwhelm, I become inefficient.
It’s like a mind paralysis has taken over. You can’t think clearly, you loose track of priorities, heck you can’t even seem to know what you are meant to work on in the moment, anymore. It’s all a big heavy, impossible to overcome blurr.
Feeling overwhelmed impacts our ability to focus which means that it will mpacts on our ability to take action. Or in that case, not take action.
Overwhelm = no productivity.
It will keep you exactly where you are on the premise (aka lie) that there is just TOO much to do.
You’ll get all panicked. And suddenly you don’t know where to start and you can’t see the end of the tunnel.
What I learnt is that we start to feel overwhelmed when we go too far ahead of ourselves.
It means that your mind is projecting ALL the things that you have to do too far out into the future and when you start thinking of all these things, you like a powerless speck with an enormous-impossible-to-move weight on it.
Whenever you go into overwhelm, your mind is tripping, it’s trying to control everything and wanting to fix it all at the same time – things that have not happened yet by the way – and THAT is what is making the mind go crazy. Because it cannot figure out HOW and WHEN.
The easiest way to step out of a mind trip of overwhelm is to come back to what you are doing in this moment. NOW. That is the simplest and easiest way to let go of overwhelm.
It doesn’t matter what needs to be done. You WILL do it, but you can only do it one step at a time.
We don’t build walls blocks of bricks at a time. Walls are built one brick at a time.
And YES, in moments of overwhelm, it seems like you will never get on top of things but it’s not true. It’s your mind tripping.
What is true is that if you keep moving forward you WILL get there.
Here are the reasons when projecting into the future from overwhelm doesn’t work
- When you project into the future you are no longer focused onto what REALLY matters. Instead you are in your head about all the things you should and need to do which is not helpful. When you are focusing on all the things that are NOT done = You loose focus.
- When we project, we are no longer functioning from priority, we function from everything. Everything = nothing. You want to focus on ONE priority at a time. If you like a challenge then give yourself possibly 3 things at a time but anyting more is a sure way to overwhelm and to getting nothing done.
There are other ways that will help you feel less overwhelmed. The ones I use are:
+ writing my todo list daily (I highly recommend doing that).
+ working in increments (I like working in 30 minutes increments)
+ re-focusing on my priorities.
+ committing to one task at a time.
Overwhelm = focusing on too many things at the same time.
It doesn’t work, simply come back to that ONE thing, that matters. That one thing is the priority.
But like I said there is NOTHING that works more than stopping your mind from building momentum on the overwhelm and coming back to now.
When you are back in the moment, you are no longer going far ahead in front of you, trying to come up for solutions for problems that don’t exist yet.
When you are back in the moment you can start pouring all your energy INTO that task that needs to be done again. Rather than waste that same energy on your thoughts about how overwhelmed you feel and how you’ll never make it.
When you are back in the moment, you are no longer stressed about the future. There is no value in being overwhelmed.
Everytime you feel overwhelmed, know that it’s ok. You are ok.
You don’t need to fight it. And you don’t need to believe it.
Your overwhelm is your reminder that you have are required to re-focus on what you are doing in this moment.
It’s a reminder to focus on that small step you are taking, rather than all the steps you are still to take.
It’s also an opportunity to check if you are giving your attention to the most important tasks in that moment.
So next time you feel yourself going into overwhelm, remember,
to take a moment
And to remember that:
You’ve got it. No matter what, you’ve got it!
You just need to keep taking that step, however small.
Let me know if you found this post helpful down in the comments. And don’t hesitate to share it if you think someone might benefit from it.