Overwhelm seems to be the disease of the 21st century – everyone experiences it at one time or another. It seems to be a default setting that we flick into especially when our resistance is low.
So what is overwhelm? According to the dictionary it is to load with too great an amount, to defeat completely, to overcome and to make helpless.
So what can we do to remove this sense of helplessness and return to a state of feeling empowered once again. Here are some ideas…
1. Let the lists go. I am a great advocate for getting things out of our heads and down on paper however there comes a point when we have so much down on paper it can feel like there is just too much to do. So without looking at your lists choose one thing to focus and take action on right now that feels right for you. Put everything else to the side until that is completed.
2. Finish all your unfinished business. Take on no new projects until you have some completed some or all of the projects that are incomplete. There is a lot to be said for multi tasking however in reality often we are more effective when we focus on one thing at a time, so choose that one thing that will make the biggest difference for you right now.
3. Clear your desk. When we are in overwhelm we will usually have lots of “stuff” scattered on our desks or around our work space. Attend to everything on your desk or in box by filing it an organised way that makes sense to you. I tend to create a project folder to capture all the thoughts and bits of paper or documents lying around so it is all in one place when I do sit down to focus my attention on that topic.
4. Do it now. When in overwhelm I often think of an admin assistant I know who will always deal with stuff there and then when she can. She is a great role model for efficiency. I have a tendency to put things to the side with the intention of coming back to them however it can be difficult to find the time to come back – it can be much easier to deal with something straight away when it is in your hand – so get into the habit of making the decision there and then about what needs to happen with that email or document and do it straight away when possible.
5. Stop beating yourself up for being in overwhelm. Everyone experiences overwhelm and we all come out of it again, usually much quicker when we start to talk to ourselves in a much kinder and gentle way. Reach out for support to regain a healthy perspective – talking it through with someone can give you the clarity you need to shift it and if overwhelm is a constant companion consider working with a coach to completely change this habit.
6. Use the Bach Flower Essence for overwhelm – Elm can be purchased at a health food store, is completely natural, easy to take and very effective when you need some extra support.