Amazing thing, overwhelm!
You don't usually see it coming. It just kind of creeps up on you, doesn't it?
Even those of us who love juggling a million projects at a time get overwhelmed once in a while. And if you're happiest with just a couple projects on your plate? You might be looking at overwhelm a bit more often.
No matter how we like to work, I'd be willing to bet that all of us have been there at least a couple of times. And that we didn't much enjoy it....
So today I'll be sharing some practical ways to get out of overwhelm - fast - next time you're right smack in middle of it.
SO WHAT, EXACTLY, IS OVERWHELM?
Overwhelm is not having too many projects on your plate. It's not getting a really tough assignment. It's not having to juggle several things at once. Overwhelm is not being uncertain about where to head next.
Overwhelm isn't about "what." It's about you.
No matter how many, or how crazy projects you're working on, they're only a problem when you feel out of control ... or overwhelmed.
So what happens when you're overwhelmed? It's a bit different for everyone, of course. But overwhelm does come with some fairly common side effects.
Take a minute to think of last time you felt overwhelmed. Which of following did you experience:
• Physical reaction: upset stomach, headache, tiredness, sleeplessness, lack of energy, wired, etc.
• Mental activity: lots of ideas, pros and cons, worries, plans, possibilities, etc. bouncing around in your head
• Emotional reaction: upset, angry, sad, worried, irritable, detached, needy, etc.
However different our physical, mental, or emotional reactions to overwhelm, we usually end up in one place: stuck!
Which brings us to next part of this article...
ONCE YOU'RE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF OVERWHELM, HOW THE HECK DO YOU GET OUT OF IT?
Well, there's no easy answer to this one.
I think best strategy is to have lots of strategies. Then, when you're totally stuck, you can hopefully reach out and find something that'll work for you!
So here goes....
1 - Do something! Anything.
Find one thing that you can do, right away, to get one of projects moving - and do it.
The key here is that It doesn't have to be a big thing, or an important thing. Just take one small step, right away.
Choose pen you'll write that article with. Turn on your computer. Fill your water pitcher. Anything you do will help get you out of overwhelm, and into action
2 - Stop at three
I love to have lots of things on my plate. So one of ways I used to get overwhelmed was to start too many projects at once.
Now (well, most of time...) I've learned to limit myself to a maximum of three big projects at a time.