Overwhelmed By Too Much To Do?

Overwhelmed By Too Much To Do?

It’s okay: you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. It’s not your fault that there seems to be so much to do. The reality is though that nothing will change unless you do.

Next time you feel overwhelmed, try this:

Close your eyes and think about that familiar sense of overwhelm.

Notice where you feel it in your body. Is it tension? Is there a colour? Is there a shape?  What feeling or fear lives in that space?

Recall the earliest time you can remember having that feeling. 

Come back to your current age and looking back at that earliest age, what would you tell that self to help her/him deal better with it?

Next, move forward in time to when you are 90 years old. Have that 90 year old help you and coach you as you are now. 

Coaching yourself can work with some people who can ‘time-travel’ and provide themselves the wisdom which we all have. For others, to change you either need to re-frame how you see things or adapt your personal leadership practices.

I’m focusing now on the latter.

I notice that a lot of people who feel overwhelmed a lot get so confused they don’t have a clear plan of action. Everything is important. Everything has to get done. And less gets done than is added to the to-do list!

What are you trying to prove by trying to do so much?

Here are proven practices that you can implement to start getting more control over your workload.

    1. Write down the 3-6 most important tasks for the day in order of importance. Most important could be deadline driven eg you promised a client some work by tomorrow, or it could be impactful eg a set of articles for your PLR store that you can offer for sale. You need to be discerning. If you can’t, any 3-6 will do! Just write them down – but stop at 6!
    2. Start the first task on the list and work on it uninterrupted until it is done.
    3. When task 1 is finished, move to task 2 and complete that uninterrupted
    4. Continue through each item on the list. If you underestimated the time it would take to finish a task, either break down the task further or let your list bleed over to the next day. Any incomplete tasks are transferred to tomorrow’s list or you decide they are not as important.

This sounds simple yet for chronic overwhelmers this is challenging!

  • Do not second-guess yourself once you have written your list.
  • Do not change priorities mid-stream.
  • Stick to the task you started until completion or until a natural break.
  • Beware of distractions, interruptions and time-wasters – make a note of when they happen then go straight back to the task. This is about retraining yourself to stay focused!
  • If you find you can’t proceed on a task because you need more info, stop working on it and add the new task to tomorrow’s list.

When are you going to start?



9 thoughts on “Overwhelmed By Too Much To Do?

  1. Thanks for the slight meditation or time travel 🙂 Thanks also for the tips…. I haven’t been feeling overwhelmed lately.. it’s something I’ve been working on.. to breathe and go with the flow. It’s a wonderful state of being.

    However I have been getting too relaxed… and I should probably start back with my goal writing lists… it will probably just smooth everything out even more. 🙂

    Thank you so so much for this again.

  2. Using a To Do List really helps – but like Cynthia said, there are times when you just need to walk away, take a breather. Then hopefully you can come back fully refreshed and ready to take action 🙂

    1. Sure can. When it becomes a perpetual problem, deeper action might be needed. A to-do list at least provides some control.

  3. All good tips Mel. What’s challenging is learning to put them into action. I find when I’m overwhelmed it’s best to just walk away or take the day off. I know that can’t we done when you have clients.

    There will always be a to do list, but as you’ve stated, knowing how to prioritize is the key to getting things done without pulling your hair out. : )

    1. Walking away and having a breather is good and gives momentary relief. Longer term resolution comes from implementing strategies. It’s all about what works for each individual – just don’t tear your hair out!

  4. More excellent tips, Mel. I feel overwhelmed this week, but a lot of that is my new training and there is just so much to take in. I like to just get up and dance around the house like a complete nut-job for five minutes. It just gives me time to focus on anything but what I should, and my whole body relaxes. Then I go back and do as you suggest, focus on the important tasks.

    1. Ha Ha! I love the idea of that! Pump up the music and reset the brain.

      When you take on something new like you have you may need to compensate and adjust the expectations of what you can get done until you get a new routine going.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. I’m working on my first big product launch. At the same time I overbooked on work for clients. I was so stressed I spent half a day getting nothing done. Then I sat down and made a plan.

    I quickly outlined what needed to be done for clients and made a list of all of it. I decided all work on the launch was on hold until I finished the client work over the next 3 days. After that I’ll be taking on no client work until the launch so I can focus 100% on setting up my new weight loss PLR membership site and recruiting affiliates.

    Sometimes you just need to stop yourself for a few minutes and get your thoughts in order. If you panic you’ll never get done!

    1. Yep. When you feel the wheels spinning it’s time to take stock and re-group. Prioritising what’s important and staying focused on the important task gets it done. Nice job there, Amanda – and you’ll have a happy client who gets their work done on time 🙂

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