Life is constantly rushing at us from every side. There are always things that need to be completed, checked off or started. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s going on whether that be in your work or personal life.
When you find yourself overwhelmed, it becomes easy to simply shut down and avoid everything. You start to develop the mindset that you can’t possibly deal with all of these things at once so avoiding them all becomes the solution. Doing this will put you into a nasty cycle. Things will continue to build up and you will just get more and more overwhelmed. So break the habit now.
You can’t change the fact that there will always be things to do but you can learn how to stop being overwhelmed and get things done. Here we’ve laid out 2 key elements to help you be more productive and prevent a total shutdown.
Write It All Down
The only way you can get everything done and stop being overwhelmed is to know what actually needs to be done. Start by making a list. Even though you might think that writing everything down on paper would make it seem overwhelming, it will do just the opposite. Seeing everything on paper will prevent you from forgetting anything (which could become a source of stress later if you do.) It will also help you gain some perspective. After you write all of your tasks down, there are a few other steps to start managing your list.
It isn’t enough to merely create your list and do nothing about it. You need to decide which things are more important and need to be done first. For example, if you are creating a to-do list for your business, creating a marketing strategy should be more of a priority than choosing office décor. To make your prioritizing more effective, mark what absolutely has to be done, what should be done, and what could be done (if everything else works out.) Doing so will help you stop being overwhelmed and actually start getting things done.
Ditch, Delegate, Delay
This tool comes straight from pickthebrain.com and is handy for organizing all the tasks you need to do. The idea is to look at your list and mark each task with the word ditch, delegate, or delay. The concept is simple. If there’s something that absolutely doesn’t need to be done, ditch it. Forget about it and move on. If there’s something that you can delegate to someone else, ask that person to handle that task. (This is especially useful in business.) Finally, if you can put off a task until another day, do it and focus on the ones that need done immediately.
Manage Your Health
Having too many tasks to complete can lead to you feeling overwhelmed, but mismanaging your health can do the same thing. There are many aspects that go into keeping yourself healthy and your brain sane, but two of the most important are sleep and exercise.
When people get busy, they tend to forego sleep as a means of getting more done. This is a terrible idea. In fact, the CDC referred to America’s sleep problems as a “public health epidemic” in 2014. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night but less than 40% actually get that. Getting enough sleep is key to preventing yourself from getting overwhelmed because:
- It Makes You Happier: Things never seem as bad when you are in a good mood.
- It Prevents Headaches: You won’t be able to complete tasks if you are in pain.
- You’ll Make Fewer Mistakes: This way, you won’t have to go back and redo tasks that you thought were already finished.
- You’ll Be More Productive: You have to be productive if you want to get things done and if you are tired, it just won’t happen.
Exercise is another key component if you want to avoid being overwhelmed, but like sleep, too many people let it go when they are busy. Exercising often has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, which are two potential causes for feeling overwhelmed. Don’t take exercise out of your daily schedule when you feel you have too much to do. Instead, protect it and make sure you make time for it. Not only does it have physical and mental benefits, but you also might just find new ways to accomplish difficult tasks at the same time.
Stop Being Overwhelmed
There will always be tasks that need to be completed but don’t let that prevent you from being successful and getting things done. The next time you feel overwhelmed at work or home, ask yourself if you are writing everything down and managing your health. Staying on top of these simple ideas will help you stop being overwhelmed and start getting things done.
What other tips do you use when you feel overwhelmed?