Community Futures Meridian

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Overcome the Overwhelm

  • July 3, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Often, we get a feeling of being overwhelmed; of having too much to do and not enough time to accomplish everything we need to do. Here are five ideas that may help you overcome the overwhelm.

Are we really busy or does it just feel that way? Have you ever felt overwhelmed and then when you stepped back and made a list of what needed to be done, realized that you weren’t as busy as you thought? Sometimes, simply making a list of what you feel needs to be done and what deadlines are involved allows you to find it less daunting. This is not always the case of course, but at least the process of making a list allows you some perspective and the ability to focus on what’s important.

This leads us to my second point: Do what you can do. What’s the most important thing you need to focus on? What’s the priority? When confronted with the feeling of being overwhelmed, it’s good to figure out what needs to get done first, to prioritize the activities you need to do and start to work on them. Sometimes it’s too easy to freeze and do nothing when what you need to do is to start chipping away at the list and focus on the most important things.

Being mindful of what you are doing. Does this have to get done? What would happen if you don’t do it? It’s important to look at your activities and realize what’s getting in the way. Being mindful of distractions, or activities that do not really matter, helps us move forward.

How can you make the most of meetings? Too often meetings are part of the overwhelm, either there’s too many or they’re too time consuming. It’s important for us to look at each meeting and ask some questions. What is important about this meeting? Do I need to attend it or can someone else attend in my place? What will I accomplish from being at it? How long does it need to be?

Who can help you with this? When feeling overwhelmed, you need to get support. Sometimes just verbalizing the sense of overwhelm to colleagues or others will shift the feeling from feeling you are alone to having others help in some way. That help may include others sharing the burden and taking some things off your plate, or it may be a case of delegating certain tasks to others.

Being overwhelmed happens to all of us, it’s how you handle that overwhelm that gets you through.

“Sometimes when you're overwhelmed by a situation - when you're in the darkest of darkness - that's when your priorities are reordered.” - Phoebe Snow, musician

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach

Motivated Coaching