I don’t think there would a better time for me to examine the “protocol” to overcoming that horrid feeling of being overwhelmed then NOW!
I am completely overwhelmed with state of my pantry and I need to approach this systematically or I might just give up.
I think the very first question to ask yourself is
Are you overwhelmed or burnt out?
If the task on hand is too much to handle, then you are probably overwhelmed but if everything is bothering you and you can’t seen anything done, then you are more likely burnt out.
The difference is simple. For burn out, you need to take a complete break from everything to ground yourself again before taking the steps overcome your frustrations.
Before we get into all the different ways to overcome the feelings you are experiencing, it’s important to understand that these feelings can manifest in different reactions from different people.
So, how would you describe your overwhelm?
Here are a few possibilities, to help you identify what you are feeling.
You’re not enjoying what you are doing
- You are no longer enjoying what you are doing.
- Your mind is preoccupied, busy thinking about other tasks that need doing as well
- You are finding it difficult to concentrate
- You can’t make the best decisions
- Your anxiety levels are soaring.
- Your life is unbalanced, as a result of spending too much time in one area.
- You are continuously feeling stressed, sometimes you don’t even know what’s going on with you.
Alright! I guess you have established that you are feeling overwhelmed.
There are actually two forms of overwhelm.
Firstly, you can feel overwhelmed by the physical aspect of the task(s) or alternatively, you might have too much contradictory information and are unable to figure out the right solution or answer. Either way, you will find the solutions similar.
Step 1 – Take a step back
Similarly to an argument, you want to take a step back. Physically moving yourself back, is a subconscious cue to evaluate the situation. You become a spectator to the scene and this always provides clarity.
Step 2 – Breathe
Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. You can even consider closing your eyes while breathing for a deeper cleanse of the negative feelings.
Step 3 – Think about the emotions
Instead of repeatedly doing the same task, and getting increasingly frustrated, it is best to stop, breathe and then think about what is causing all these negative emotions.
It could be
- There is too much to do
- Time constraints and deadlines
- There are too many distractions
- Unable to let something go, this usually happens when you get fixated on a particular detail.
- You are aiming for perfection
- Unrealistic goals
There could be other reasons as well, of course, but this is a good time to lay your emotions on the table and be honest with yourself. This is a very positive step towards eliminating the stressor.
Step 4 – Do a Brain Dump
Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done, within a single task or in general. Then prioritise them. A written guide of the sequence of steps you will be taking will make it a lot easier than ineffectively doing the tasks randomly.
Step 5 – the ODD Method
Once you have a written, detailed list of everything that needs doing, you can use the ODD Method to further simplify or lessen your burden.
If there is any task in there that you find overlapping or unnecessary (especially if it is to attain a higher level than absolutely necessary), then consider omitting inconsequential these tasks. You will feel an instant sense of relief to know there are tasks You no longer need to do.
Another possibility to consider, is to organise the list, so you can actually delay some tasks. Taking those tasks out of your current work load, will again bring you more relief and therefore, less overwhelm.
For now, let go! Let someone else do those tasks that you don’t need to do personally. Do not let the “it has to be done in a particular way” prevent you from moving forward. If it is that important, then you can consider explaining your vision or anticipated results to someone else.
Delegating is a very important part of homemaking we often overlook or just ignore. Team work is a very effective way to get things done and out of the way.
Step 5 – Make a Plan
Having a plan is always the way to move forward. Your list is now hopefully shorter, you have taken the steps to organise your tasks in order of priority, so it is time to create a realistic plan with realistic goals and resume your task or project.
Have the confidence that you can do this and you will!!
I’m going to resume working on my pantry and I wish you the best in conquering your project.