Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! It’s a natural response to the ever-increasing demands on our time. Even with all of the great technology and time management tools we have, 24-hours can still seem like not enough time to get a day’s work done. When you feel you are drowning in a sea of too many commitments and not enough time to honor them, remember to keep these thoughts in mind:
1. Everything will be okay. As overwhelming as this moment may feel, everything will work out eventually. Perhaps the end result will not be what you hoped or imagined, but you will be okay. What you are feeling now won’t be how you will always feel. Ask yourself if what you’re fretting over will be important one year from now, five years from now, or even ten years from now.
2. Remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. It can be tempting to procrastinate or want to give up, but think about the bigger picture. This can help if you tend to get bogged down in the smaller, more insignificant details. Think about the end result that you want to achieve and use that as motivation to keep going despite your feelings of uncertainty or inadequacy in handling certain steps of the process.
3. Believe in yourself. When you’re overwhelmed, it’s easy to get down on yourself or start to doubt your own abilities. But studies have shown that thinking positively actually leads to more creativity (meaning your brain is able to come up with more possibilities and solutions). Instead of using what little reserves of energy you have concentrating on why you think you are inadequate, use that energy to believe that you can do it. Visualize your success when you begin to doubt.
4. Taking a break may be just what you need. When you’re up against a deadline, it can seem counterproductive to take a break — but if you’re overwhelmed, it may be just what you need to re-energize yourself and put a renewed, fresher effort into what you are doing. Sometimes doing something unrelated to what is your most pressing task can actually help to give you some perspective and make it better.
5. Ask for help if you need it. A lot of times we feel overwhelmed because we may have overestimated our ability to handle something. Let go of your pride and ask for assistance — whether that means extending a deadline or having someone take over the some of the simpler, yet time consuming tasks of your project. There’s nothing wrong with delegating; in fact, that’s the sign of a great leader.
Remember that feeling overwhelmed is normal when you care a lot about the outcome of something or have a lot on your plate. But try to stay calm, breathe, and know that giving your best is all that you can do. Keep your resources in mind and use them to help you manage your projects. Be proactive, take initiative, and ask for help if you need it.
Image Credit: Helga Weber / Flickr
Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies — especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at http://www.erikaoglesby.com.