When you’re overwhelmed at work, it can be easy to feel like you’re drowning in your to-do-list. It is very challenging to be on your A game. When you’re overwhelmed, you’re barely surviving day-to-day.
It’s really hard to be creative and think critically when you’re submerged with all the responsibilities of day-to-day life. You tend to make bad decisions when you are inundated. Not to mention, your attitude is not great.
Doug was a senior executive with 3 small kids. His wife was also an executive and they shared the responsibilities of raising the children, taking care of the home, and caring for her elderly parents. One of their sons started playing baseball. He never thought that his son’s involvement would be so demanding. During the first baseball season, the family spent every weekend going to games and baseball practice several days a week. Doug also had a part-time real estate company. His plate was stacked up with so many responsibilities.
For Doug and his wife, they couldn’t wait until baseball season was over. Unfortunately, his work on his job started to suffer. He wanted to be there for his son and attend every game and practice, but there just wasn’t enough time in the day. Doug started to get further behind at work. Finally, Doug’s boss called him to a meeting and told him to “step it up”. Then, Doug shifted his priorities to catch up at work. He was so stressed out. Plus, he felt guilty because he was no longer available to take his son to baseball practice.
Many busy professionals find themselves in this situation where there are just so many things to do and not enough time and energy to do them.
Next time you’re not sure where to start with your to-do list, try these strategies below.
- Create a plan of attack
When the work starts to pile up, stop and take time to get organized and create a plan of attack. Sorting and prioritizing your work load is a great way to break it down.
Write down what you need to do. Getting your list out of your head and onto paper, is a great start. Why? Thinking about all you have to do is exhausting when you have a lot to accomplish in a small window of time. At least if you write it down, you can give your brain a break and then you can put a plan together to actually start getting things done.
- Get out
When you are submerged, interrupt your mental thought patterns by taking a break. Go for a walk. You will be much more effective if you get your body moving. Make sure you’re taking deep breaths. Being in the office can quickly become the worst place to be when you are stressed and your adrenaline is high.
If you have the liberty, take your laptop and go somewhere calm and peaceful.
- Talk it out
Depending on your personality type, talking about your feeling of being overwhelmed might be a great solution to mentally decomposing your work load. Sometimes you just need someone to listen and your brain starts to work to figure out how to get your list done.
- Get some rest
It’s really easy to be overwhelmed if you’re sleep deprived. Do your very best to get enough rest at night. If you are having trouble sleeping check out this animated video. .
- Work on the weekend or holiday
If you need to get something done and it’s making you stressed, crave out some time on an off day. If you work on a project and finish it, maybe you can get ahead and avoid the continuous pattern of being under the gun. I don’t recommend always working on your off days. You should have balance and enjoy life.
Finally, remember—it will all get done. Work these tips. Try to start early and refrain from procrastinating.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?