It's the weekend and all I want to do is relax but as I look all around me i can tell that relaxing is a bad idea. There are dishes in the sink, folded clothes on the couch that need to be put away, food to be made, laundry to be done and a 2 year old running around everywhere leaving a trail behind him as he goes.... But I still want to relax!
The load now feels way too heavy to bare and so my bodies natural response is to stay on the couch. I then think to myself "Whoa D, you have to make a YouTube video because it's been a while, you also need to sit down and draft up your future business plan, and what about your blog? You haven't committed to your weekly postings" This discouragement makes my body weigh like an extra 40 lbs now making it impossible for me to get up. I am officially overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar at all? Maybe not that exact scenario but the feeling. If so, chances are you are overwhelmed too.
It's been a busy time for me both in life and at work and so a lot of my responsibilities and extra curricular have taken a backseat (which I'm unhappy about). I just can't find the time to get things done. In some cases when I have the time I just don't want to. I don't have it in me, leaving me feeling defeated. So I took a moment to think it through and hopefully what I came up with is helpful to you too.
First you need to identify that you are overwhelmed. It's hard to work on something when you don't think you have anything to work on. In addition we're often told to just deal with it "Just get things done!" they say. Well depending on the person; because we all deal differently to different stresses; this maybe easier said than done, I may not be able to "to get this done" and you need to identify that I'm overwhelmed by what needs to be done. This doesn't make you weak but instead is setting you up to work on your emotions which will help you get things done. You with me?
So back to why you are overwhelmed.
Do you have trouble making decisions? Can you distinguish your priorities? (You can't see me but I'm totally raising my hand right now) If you struggle in these areas you will have a hard time weeding out what is necessary to get done now and in turn everything will seem like they need to be handled right away. The key is to (and I did this) write down what you have to get done and prioritize what needs to get done now vs. later. Give them dates if you have to. I wrote them down, you can do it differently but by being able to visualize your tasks and assigning dates for yourself you will give yourself some relief.
Resisting what needs to be done.
I'm totally guilty of this. I mentioned this before and so I'm not going to linger here too much but basically ignoring your tasks won't make them go away. Asses, prioritize and get on it!
Taking on too much.
Sometimes we think we are super humans and struggle with saying "No" or "I can't" as if it makes us less than. I'm here to tell you that that is FALSE. It's okay to be unable to do something at a particular time. You may not even be the right person to do the task. Stop trying to live under a false pretense of perfection. I'm telling you that facade right there is overwhelming all by itself. Again, remember it's about priorities. Can it wait? Is it important to you? Should you be doing it? I know, we all want to please but at what cost? I chose my sanity. Allow your self to embrace help and your permission to say "no" (you'll see it wont kill you, I promise).
You are unrealistic
You want everything to be great and you want everyone to know you did a great job and in your mind you're like "I'm gonna be the best-est at everything ever!" And so you take on more work than you should and stuff begin to get pushed aside then your mind is like mentally exhausted with all these great plans and ideas you have so much of that you can't even do them because it's just too much! Give up control and the image of absolute perfection. You need to be realistic, prioritize, set some goals in order to really be as productive as you want to be. You can be a super human but that doesn't mean getting everything at the same time. If you burn yourself out trying to be supernatural well, you wont get anything done at all.
To sum it up, being overwhelmed is our body's natural way of telling us we need to press the pause button. It's its way of saying "Take some time to clear your mind" however you want to do that. When you do this it opens up space for you to think about how you can truly get things done in the most efficient ways possible. Do not ignore your body just like how I will not be ignoring the dishes in the sink tonight!