3 Steps to Reduce Overwhelm
We can almost all say that daily stress has gotten the best of us at one time or another. Chronic stress is becoming a larger health issue across the world. We are increasingly becoming overwhelmed by our work and personal lives that we often feel lost and even hopeless. A recent study out of the UK found that 74 percent of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
This past week I fit this description perfectly. I was feeling suffocated by overwhelm. I didn’t know how to get myself out of my current situation and escape the negative emotions. As a business owner, I have so many moving parts that sometimes I find it difficult to handle them all. I stretch myself too thin and overfill my plate with responsibilities and expectations. To put it mildly, I wasn’t organized or in a place where I could succeed. I was only feeding my overwhelm.
Does that happen to you too? Where you feel surrounded by stress and things to do that you become lazy? It’s easier to not start or not face the reality of the situation, so I just want to lay in bed or scroll on my phone for hours. But this only exacerbates the problem and the overwhelm continues to grow.
This lead to my breakdown last week. I was meeting with my financial coach and everything just hit a peak. All the tasks and to-do lists facing me finally became too much. After a few minutes of conversation and maybe a few tears, I was ready to pick myself back up and make a decision. This is step #1.
I was ready to face what was in front of me and say no to overwhelm. Enough is enough. This stress, worry, and anxiety weren’t going to control me any longer. I made a conscious decision at that moment that I was done feeling overwhelmed. Verbalizing this thought is critical to start hurdling over the situation and the emotion holding you back.
Step #2 involves being able to identify what area of your life is the most overwhelming? For me, it was my business, but for you, it could be school, sports, pageantry, a personal relationship, car trouble, and the list goes on. But it is critical to be able to notice and isolate the most glaring source of stress in your life.
From there, you need to pinpoint and map out what specific parts in this area of your life are causing friction or turbulence. How can you leapfrog from point A to point B? What little steps are necessary to get past this obstacle and overcome the overwhelm?
Lastly, step #3 — start blocking your calendar. This isn’t something that I always used to do, but when I follow through with it, it makes my life a whole lot easier. Open up your Google Calendar, or if you prefer an actual paper planner, more power to ya! Look at today and the next seven days. Now, plan out your day by every hour. I know that sounds intimidating, but it really simplifies everything. Block out each hour or hours with what you need to do during that day. Include as much detail as possible.
6:00 AM – 6:30 AM [Wake Up / Brush Teeth / Get Dressed]
6:30 AM – 7:30 AM [Read my Bible & Journal]
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM [Gym Workout]
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM [XYZ Tasks]
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM [ABC Tasks]
And so on and so forth….
I have found that doing this helps keep me more productive, less overwhelmed, and held accountable for my actions. Put everything in your calendar. From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. Have every hour accounted for. Include the time for work activities, the time for personal activities, time for spiritual activities, and please don’t forget to plan breaks! This is essential to any successful time block schedule. Our brains need a break, so schedule it.
So to recap…
Step #1 — Make a Decision
Step #2 — Identify the Most Overwhelming Area of Life
Step #3 — Block Your Calendar
Hoping and praying that today is the day you can start saying goodbye to the overwhelm 🙂