Handling Stress & Overwhelm
Feeling overwhelmed lately? Feel like you have more things to do than there is time to do it? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Getting and staying in a place of overwhelm will end up leading to paralysis, which only increases anxiety, fear, and fatigue. Over the last 10 years of starting and running my first company, I developed and refined some techniques to overcome overwhelm. If I didn’t find a better way, I would have stayed stuck and sabotaged my success.
My first go to Overcome Overwhelm technique is to shut everything down and off. No laptop, no phone, no music, no TV, no sneaky multitasking. If you work from a home office as I do, tell anyone else in your home to zip it for a bit, employees included (my team is mostly introverted techies, so my workspace stays zen). If you work in an office setting go somewhere away from people, empty conference room, your car, bathroom stall (yes I’ve done this more than once). Breakout your journal or a clean notepad,📝 take a deep breath and ask yourself “(insert name) what do you need right now? No limitations.” Whatever your answer is, promise yourself that will honor that need. You may need a nap but you can’t exactly take one at work, so you honor your need by canceling any evening plans and drive straight home for an early relaxing night. My point is, you may not be able to fulfill that request at this moment, but you can still honor it by making a clean plan to honor it ASAP. By honoring your need, you are honoring yourself above all else.
Part 2: On a new piece of paper titled “Great Stuff,” “Smart Shit” or some other positive fun way to say “to do list,” list your absolute have-tos for today. Things with deadlines or high consequences only. Then on another sheet, do the same have-tos for tomorrow. You can keep going until you have everything listed that’s in your high-achieving brain. I tend to only do 2 days at a time, as that’s more than enough for me to digest. Plus, these lists shouldn’t be long, as they are have-tos.
The technique here is to make these lists achievable and manageable. So that you can actually cross each thing off for the day, and feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.