How To STOP Feeling OVERWHELMED and Get Things Done

We all feel #overwhelmed at times. By following these steps you can conquer your overwhelming feelings and become #productive again.  These #productivityhacks will get you started on the right track.  

Welcome, and thanks so much for stopping by.  I don’t know about you, but the holidays tend to make me feel overwhelmed.  There is so much to do and so little time to do it.  But there is hope.  I will show you things that you can do to reduce your stress and stop feeling overwhelmed.  While we are at it, I will show you steps that you can take to prioritize your life and get things done.

Recognize that your Overwhelming feeling is normal.

The first step is to recognize that your reaction is normal.  We all get that overwhelming feeling at times.  So, stop beating yourself up about it. In fact, set a timer for 10 minutes.  For the next 10 minutes, you can do whatever you want.  You can stare out a window, surf the Internet, or even try meditation.  The goal is to get the anxiety out of your system.

Take a Few Deep Breathes – To reduce Overwhelming feeling

I first learned this trick in the military.  They use tactical breathing when faced with crises.  How do you use this technique?  You breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a four-count, then breathe out for a four-count.  Then repeat this step.  After you complete the above two steps, you should be feeling less stressed and overwhelmed.

Write Down EVERYTHING You Must Do.

I want to share with you a secret that works for me.  First, I handwrite everything down that I must accomplish by writing down my to-do list and seeing my penmanship on a piece of paper less threatening.  In fact, just the act of writing by hand has been proven to have stress-relieving properties and helps you feel less overwhelmed.   This is a major reason why I don’t use a To-Do List application.

We are trying to get everything that needs to be done down on paper at this point.  This can be a mixture of work and home life.  Just get it out of your head and on that sheet of paper.

Prioritize the List

Now that you have written down everything, it is time to prioritize the list.  Start with prioritizing by deadlines.  If you have a task that shares a deadline, then order them by magnitude.  You want to put the bigger items on top.  Once you prioritize the list, take a step back and see if the list gives you a sense of order and direction.  If you are still having a hard time getting motivated, pick the task you want to do.  It is better to do something than to do nothing.

Start with the Easy Stuff

Take a look at your to-do list. Are there items that you can complete in 15 to 30 minutes?  For example, make phone calls or answer emails?  If so, start with those items first. By crossing off the small tasks helps to lower your anxiety and creates momentum for your mind.  Then move on to the larger tasks.

Use Timers To Stop Being Overwhelmed

Give yourself set periods of time to work.  Set a timer for 30 or 40 minutes to work on a task.  Now the timeframe is important because it provides you with a race against time to help you stay focused.  Focusing your attention will increase your motivating stress and decrease the overwhelming stress.  These contain timeframes that help give you a framework that will help you chip away at the important work.

Take a Break – Give Your Mind a Rest

There will be times when you need to get away from what you are doing.  This could be a short walk, a coffee break, quiet meditation, or a moment to read an unrelated article.  No matter what it is, you need to take some time to disengage your brain from the work you were doing.  When you feel refreshed, you bring more focus and brilliance to your huge list of tasks.

Stop Being Overwhelmed Summary

You may feel a bit awkward as you adjust to using a to-do list for a week or so.  But after using it for a while, you wonder how you ever lived without it.  You may want to consider setting up a schedule.  You respond to phone calls and emails when you first get into work.  Then again, after lunch and just before leaving work for the day.  A side benefit is that those annoying notifications when you receive a new email will not bother you.

Let me know by leaving a comment on what things you have found to help reduce the overwhelming feelings and be more productive. 

For more articles on productivity click here.