Are you one of those people who can’t seem to stop “doing?”
I am yet to meet anyone who hasn’t felt overwhelmed in life from time to time at some point. Since it tends to feel uncomfortable, if not downright unpleasant, we tend to view it as negative and as a weakness. We don’t dare to admit we are overwhelmed or dare to talk about it, which can leave us feeling isolated and alone which only further exacerbates the feeling. We often deny we are overwhelmed because we do not know how to stop the frenetic behavior that leads to this feeling. So we do nothing. Our employers, colleagues or friends often do not help support us to stop overworking.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Primarily, this syndrome occurs in our work life but it can carry over to our personal and family life, and it sadly often does. Focusing on projects often begins with good intentions but we can quickly and easily be overwhelmed if we do not have a plan to minimize and balance our work. Getting the project ready for your team, writing that content for your website, designing the new sales brochure or completing the 90-day marketing plan are always extremely important. But! Having a balanced, healthy life is just as equally important too! This stressful pattern is telling you to change your life! Once you understand this message, it will be easier for you to identify the steps you need to take to shift out of this ongoing behavior quickly.
Following these helpful strategies will over time begin to help you feel less overwhelmed so you can then refocus and begin to make some constructive work, life balance decisions.
1. Stop what you are doing for a few minutes and take a break. Go for a short walk, sit outside under a tree, meditate, breathe deeply, go to a movie, call a friend to have coffee and share what is going on.
2. Get a piece of paper and make two columns. In one column, list urgent things you need to do this week. In the other column, list those projects that you can delegate, hire or barter to be done.
3. Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Unsubscribe to unnecessary e-mail, organise your desk and office to help decrease clutter, stop attending meetings, get off committees and decrease volunteering at fundraisers unless you have a total passion for the organisation and the cause.
4. Do not spend time with people whom you do not like! Assess your friends and business colleagues. Do they support, respect and honour who you are? If they are negative, put you down (even when it may seem as though they're helping) and don’t share your vision for your dreams, don’t spend another minute with them. You are not obligated to do so!
5. Decide what is most important in your life. If you want a balanced life, you will have to make changes in your life to allow this to happen. That takes some time and planning but it will be well worth the improvement in your life!
6. Take an action step today to make change in your life! Call a friend who will support you, take a class to get organised, or work with a therapist who will support and motivate you to have a more balanced life.