Who doesn’t experience overwhelm sometimes? Although it doesn’t happen to me often, when it does, it is as though I am driving in first gear, without my Satnav and only brain fog for company. It is a sign I have left things too long and I need to start taking control now, if not sooner. Is this something you recognise in your life?
If only we could have demands, duties and deadlines flow in at exactly our preferred work rate. Enough to keep us engaged and feeling productive. But not so much that the stress of it damages our results and sense of worth.
But this is the real world. We can rarely control the amount of work and demands we experience, but we can control our response to them so that we feel more productive, more empowered and less stressed. In this article, I share my top ten: ones I use with my clients and also on myself when overwhelm strikes.
Link to Insomnia
Newsreader Tom Brady has been off sick with chronic insomnia. The cause has not been announced. But in my experience, overwhelm is often a factor. The mind keeps whirring around with unfinished business, beating yourself up for what you haven’t yet achieved, worrying about what might happen and endless guilt to add spice to the debilitating mixture. Most of my clients could either enjoy a better night’s sleep or to wake up feeling more refreshed. The reasons vary but are always within the 5 Dimensions ™ which is our whole philosophy to help people like you.
Ten Tips to Overcome Overwhelm
But for now, here are my top ten tips to help you with overwhelm:
- Be clear about your key result areas and make sure you focus your attention on those.
- Each day, decide on your top two priorities for the day, preferably linked to your key result areas. It increases your focus, your pace of work and your ability to achieve. It is likely you will be able to achieve a lot more, but focus on these two first and foremost.
- Invest some time now to get organised: a file for each project and a good system that saves you a lot of time looking for what you need to get things done or to know the status of something. I like Smartsheet for this. You may say that you don’t have time for this, but you don’t have time not to do this. You will be amazed at how much mental energy will be freed up from just half an hour getting organised.
- Learn to distinguish between ‘noise’ and those things which are going to have the biggest impact on your results. Too many people spend time on things which don’t matter to their results and have no time for those things that matter. No wonder they feel overwhelmed.
- Set clear boundaries. If you haven’t the capacity (or it isn’t your job) to do something. Say so. There is a direct correlation between people-pleasing and overwhelm.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. If you always over-promise you will always be overwhelmed. And often disappoint. And frequently feel guilty. Best to exaggerate the amount of time something will take so it gives you buffer time to deal with the unexpected.
- Keep your inbox to below 50. This requires a whole article on its own. It requires a lot of discipline but will make a huge difference to your productivity and reduce your stress levels too.
- Learn to hire, manage and delegate well. If you hire in haste you just spend a lot of time managing situations rather than results. Likewise, delegation should be a good experience for everyone but there is an art to doing it well.
- Take time away from technology: turn off notifications for a period of time each day and especially when you need to focus on something important. Our addiction to technology really fuels our feelings of overwhelm and reduces our ability to concentrate.
- Take time out. The busier you are, the more important this is. I do this whenever I get overwhelmed and it gives me renewed perspective, insights and energy. A 20 minute dog-walk is a miracle-worker for me and the productivity gained far outweighs the time spent away from my desk. Even a performance car needs a rest to function at its best. You do too.
Of course sometimes when you are very overwhelmed, what you really need is support. If you want to find out how the A-HEAD for Success 5D Coaching can help you, call 0345 130 0854 for a no obligation chat.
5D Coaching is Trademarked
I have been developing my integrative approach to performance and productivity over the last 20 years. It has been a lot of work but the results really pay off. My approach is multi-dimensional because you are. And sometimes the best way of getting results for you is not through conventional coaching questions but addressing those factors which can give you the biggest impact. So the 5D Coaching Model was designed and, I am thrilled to announce, has now been trademarked.
5D Coaching and Overwhelm
An example of how the model can help you with overwhelm and to help you feel empowered could be in any of the 5 Dimensions: Clarity (of goals, priorities, next steps, etc); Skillset (making sure that you have the right skills to make things happen – either within yourself or within your team); Mindset (so you are motivated, confident and solution-oriented), Stress-Resilient (so you bounce back from setbacks, stronger and wiser for them); and finally Health and Energy (so you are functioning at your best – able to deal with life’s challenges and life’s positives much more easily.
Want to Chat?
As always, if you have any questions, do feel free to call on 0345 130 0854.