Productivity Technology

4 Steps to Regaining Control Whenever You Feel Overwhelmed

4 Steps to Regaining Control Whenever You Feel Overwhelmed

Because the world we reside in continues to get busier, it’s simpler than ever to end up feeling overwhelmed by every thing you’ve gotten to do. That is extraordinarily harmful, as overwhelm is a serious supply of stress which may lead to nervousness and burnout. However what can you actually do about it? Typically we really feel overwhelmed as a result of we’ve misplaced a way of management, however we do not know how to get it again. On this submit, we’re going to present you what contributes to that feeling of overwhelm and offer you some sensible ideas for a way to escape it.

What’s overwhelm?

Let’s begin by defining the issue we’re making an attempt to remedy. The dictionary definition of overwhelm is as follows:

bury or drown beneath an enormous mass; defeat utterly.

For those who’ve struggled with overwhelm prior to now like I’ve, then you realize precisely what this seems like. You know the nervousness that may come from having an excessive amount of to do and never sufficient time to do it in. You really feel exhausted earlier than you even begin your day. You go from one pressing duty to one other simply making an attempt to hold your head above water.

Your solely aim: survival.

David Allen, writer of the landmark productiveness e-book Getting Issues Achieved, calls this Emergency Scan Modality. When you’re caught in Emergency Scan Modality, you’re continually scanning the horizon for the subsequent hearth to put out. You might not see it but, however you already know it gained’t be lengthy till there can be an emergency for you to cope with. There’s a few vital issues with this strategy:

  1. The work you’re making an attempt to do suffers
  2. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy (you assume issues will break, in order that they do)
  3. It’s extraordinarily hectic

Why can we get overwhelmed?

The quantity of data on the earth right now is staggering. And all this knowledge impacts the best way we reside and work. In accordance to a analysis research achieved by Domo, each minute:

  • 154,200 calls are made on Skype
  • 456,00zero tweets are revealed on Twitter
  • three,607,080 searches are made on Google
  • 4,146,400 movies are seen on YouTube
  • 103,447,520 emails are despatched

The web results of all this info is a situation referred to as FOMO, or the Worry of Lacking Out. FOMO is the nervousness that an thrilling or fascinating occasion might presently be occurring elsewhere. It’s the driving force behind the compulsion to verify social media or see what different individuals are up to. FOMO feeds on the endless stream of probably essential info that’s given to us by our computer systems, tablets, and smartphones. However sooner or later, we have now to be happy with the truth that it’s simply not attainable to sustain with every little thing.

Typically when individuals are coping with FOMO, the answer they attempt for “work/life balance.” However that’s a unicorn they will by no means catch. Making an attempt to obtain work/life stability simply leads to frustration. They chase some obscure type of their very best future, not realizing that the entire concept of labor/life stability is definitely a fantasy.

You see, the work/life stability fable assumes there are very clear distinctions between your private and professional lives. Whereas that could be true for some individuals, know-how has blurred these strains to the purpose the place most of us can barely acknowledge them anymore. And it assumes that you’ve a limiteless provide of time and power so as to do all of the issues you will have to do.

However in actuality, there isn’t any work/life distinction. There’s simply “life,” and it’s up to you to handle it properly. You should determine the place “work” stops and “life” begins.

Awhile again, Thanh wrote a terrific article about utilizing the Covey Quadrant minimize out the pressing and concentrate on the essential. We’ll offer you some ideas to do that shortly, however for now, you want to perceive that in the event you’re coping with overwhelm, it’s not your fault. The deck is stacked towards you. You have an countless provide of different individuals’s calls for on your time masquerading as “urgent and important.” That’s the dangerous information. However the excellent news is that you’ve the power to take management and alter issues in your favor.

4 Steps to Escaping Overwhelm

Now that we perceive what overwhelm is and the way we obtained right here, it’s necessary to word that it didn’t occur in a single day. The state of affairs you end up in at present is the product of the alternatives you’ve made. However that’s truly GREAT information! It signifies that we will undertake a methods considering mindset to manipulate the equipment in our lives and produce the outcomes we would like. On this case, we would like to make some modifications to our processes and inputs to get rid of overwhelm and create area or margin in our lives. We would like to allocate time for the issues which are necessary to us and be happy with delegating or deleting the issues that aren’t.

Listed here are 4 issues you are able to do proper now to provide help to get on the trail to escaping overwhelm as soon as and for all.

#1: Determine your roles & obligations.

Each three months, I take a day without work for what I name my “Personal Retreat.” I drive up to a cabin up north and spend a whole day simply desirous about what I would like to accomplish in the course of the subsequent three months. I don’t see or speak to anybody – I simply assume.

One of many issues I do each time is make an inventory of all of the issues I’m dedicated to. I write down all of my present roles and duties, based mostly on the commitments I’ve made. Then I re-evaluate each single one. I ask myself if I’m nonetheless happy with every dedication. Typically I discover that one thing I dedicated to has advanced into one thing I’m not snug with. If that’s the case, I circle that position or duty as one thing that I want to cease doing. Virtually all the time, I pressure myself to decommit to no less than one factor per quarter.

#2: Study to say “no.”

As soon as I do know what I shouldn’t be doing anymore, it’s time to have a (typically troublesome) dialog. It’s by no means straightforward to say that you could’t do one thing anymore (particularly in the event you’re a individuals pleaser like me), however that is important. In case you are feeling overwhelmed, you’ve to determine who you’d moderately disappoint:

  1. Your self
  2. The individuals closest to you
  3. The acquaintances who’ve requested you to do the factor that isn’t according to your objectives or values

You can’t please everybody. At greatest you’re randomizing who will get let down and at worst you disappoint all three. The tipping level for me was realizing that I might reduce the injury by taking management of the state of affairs. By overcoming my feeling of not wanting to disappoint somebody and selecting what I might say “no” to, I maximized the probabilities that the whole lot else I used to be dedicated to would truly achieve success. For instance, I would like to achieve success as a husband and a father first. So meaning I’ve to say “no” to an officer place for my native Toastmasters group. Although I really like Toastmasters and have grown tremendously from being concerned, it’s not as necessary to me as that additional time spent with my household.

#three: Get out of your e mail.

E mail is a todo listing that different individuals can write on. It’s additionally a one-sided communication medium, which makes it harder to say “no” within the second. You in all probability end up taking over duties which might be higher fitted to another person as a result of (you assume) it’s simpler to simply do it your self. Perhaps you simply don’t need to take the time and discover the best individual. Or perhaps you’re employed in a company tradition the place it’s simply anticipated that you simply do the duty as soon as the request is made.

No matter your particular state of affairs, your objective must be to shift the expectations round e-mail with the individuals you correspond with. Simply because everybody else responds inside 2 minutes of a message coming in doesn’t imply that you’ve to. I do know this may be extraordinarily troublesome, however search for any alternative you’ll be able to to be “bad at email.” Listed here are some issues you are able to do:

  • Flip off your unread badge. Seeing what number of messages are ready for you’ll simply stress you out. And until you’re intending to go into your e mail shopper, you actually can’t do something about it (besides fear and feed your FOMO).
  • Price range time for e-mail. A few of the most efficient individuals I do know solely spend 30 minutes per day in e mail. They do as a lot as they will, and after 30 minutes they only shut their e mail shopper. They’ve made the choice to be dangerous at e-mail to allow them to be good at one thing else.
  • Flip off notifications. You don’t want to hear that ding each time you get a bit of spam. It will do wonders in your capability to focus, and also you’ll immediately really feel extra in management and fewer overwhelmed.

However what when you’ve got a boss or another necessary person who expects you to reply instantly? In that case, perhaps you possibly can’t utterly flip off your notifications. You can nonetheless use one thing like SaneBox or VIP filters to solely get notified of necessary messages.

#4: Set up rituals.

When you’ve eradicated the belongings you shouldn’t be doing and brought management of your inbox, the subsequent step is to implement rituals. As soon as you realize what you have to be doing, creating rituals makes it extra environment friendly to prioritize the issues which might be essential (however not essentially pressing).

For instance, I’ve carried out a morning ritual which helps me be sure that I put myself first. It doesn’t take very lengthy, nevertheless it makes positive that I’m glowing inexperienced taking good care of myself first in order that I can pull others up extra successfully.

Right here’s what my present morning ritual appears like:

  • 6:00am: Get up and skim my Bible
  • 6:15am: Bathe
  • 6:25am: Stretch
  • 6:35am: Pray
  • 6:50am: Meditate

It solely takes an hour, however it makes every little thing else I do within the day simpler. My morning ritual places me in the absolute best place to have a profitable day.

Should you want slightly assist getting your morning ritual arrange, take a look at our Morning Ritual Starter Package. It’s a easy system to allow you to implement an efficient morning ritual, even in the event you’re not a morning individual otherwise you’ve by no means had one earlier than.


We all know how irritating it may be whenever you always really feel overwhelmed. We would like to assist you attain your full potential and create extra time for the issues which are necessary to you. We now have a number of specialists from quite a lot of backgrounds, and we’ve helped tens of hundreds of individuals in many various conditions to get unstuck with each our free and paid productiveness coaching materials.

If you’d like extra personalised assist, take a couple of minutes to full our Productiveness Quiz. In simply a few minutes of your time, we might help you determine the areas to give attention to for profitable again your time and offer you ideas and methods to make it easier to get unstuck and in your approach in the direction of your splendid future.

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