IGTV Crossover Post
I recently did in my Instagram stories asking you which topic would be more interesting… mastering delegation or dealing with overwhelm.
I truly didn’t know which would be the crowd favorite or what I’m actually getting at… the biggest pain point. But overwhelm won by and large!
Below is the IGTV if you want to hear the whole story. If you are just here for the 5 coping tips, hop to the bottom! 👇🏻
5 Actionable Steps to Cope with Overwhelm
Some of these may resonate. Some may feel out of reach or not for you and that’s okay. Take what serves you, don’t be afraid to try something new and give yourself a break.
1 - Do a brain dump of everything you think you need, have and want to do.
This week, this month… whatever you can think of. Getting it down on paper is going to make you feel prepared. Then go through your list and prioritize it. I like to do this by thinking of consequences. What would happen if I didn’t get this thing done by today, this week, next week, etc. This allows the *actually* important things to rise to the top. Then you can go as far as plan them on your calendar if you’re into that sort of thing.
2 - Limit your to-do list to 3 things. Yes, only 3 things.
You can also take the approach or hack of limiting your to-do list to what can fit on a standard square post-it note. Narrowing your focus for each day will allow you to not overflow your day with task after task making you feel busy but not actually moving anything forward. When you get more specific it allows you to really zoom in on those three things and when they are complete you tend to feel satisfied and accomplished. Anything extra you get to after those 3 things feels like a bonus.
3 - Implement the 2 minute rule.
I learned this from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. Where he really works with top leaders to understand what’s getting in their way and where are they wasting time and efforts. The main principle of this rule is if you can get it done in 2 minutes, take care of it and move on. If it’s going to take longer, somehow notate the request, to-do, ask or need and evluate it later. If it needs your brainpower, come back to it when you’re ready and keep your focus on what you are currently doing.
4 - Rethink Your Timelines
Oftentimes we let things overwhelm us because there’s too much space around an idea, concept or timeline. If there isn’t a bit of urgency or time scarcity around what you need to do, most of us will let that work expand to fill whatever time we give it to be completed. For instance, if you have 5 days to do something, it will take you 5 days. If you have 5 hours to complete something, it will take you 5 hours. It’s science and it’s called Parkinson’s Law if you want to look into it more.
So if you want to boost productivity around a certain task or get something off your to-do list more swiftly to feel less pressure and overwhelm… move up the due date (even if you are just tricking yourself) and that will give you a healthy sense of urgency allowing you to get even more done.
5 - Get plenty of sleep, rest and play.
I am certainly not going to be the first person to tell you that sleep is good and necessary for you. There’s a billion people more qualified to give you that data, so just trust, you need a solid sleep schedule to feel your best and bring your best self to work and the people in your life. But what I don’t hear being preached as loudly is the idea of rest and play. This is downtime you are doing things unrelated to the work side of your brain allowing yourself to properly recharge. Working 16 hour days will not make you more successful. It will make you more tired and you will make more mistakes. Sure there may be times where you need to push yourself but that recovery period is just as important as the work you are doing.
Allowing yourself to truly recharge will help keep those feelings of overwhelm at bay. You’ll be able to rationalize those feelings as passing thoughts cause you are well rested and thinking clearly.
I hope these help. I'd love to hear what you're trying or what you do that's not on this list. Find me over on Instagram and shoot me a DM. Let's keep this conversation going!