How To Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed
It happens all the time. Anyone of us can be the victim of it. In today’s busy world, it is much too easy for us to start to feel overwhelmed with all of the things that we need to handle in a given day. As we put more and more responsibility on ourselves, we need to learn how to manage that responsibility in our minds in order not to get burnt out. The feeling of being overwhelmed can come from family, work, or just the every day. It doesn’t really matter the source of where it comes from or what the problems are. If you do not have proper methods of managing all the different categories of responsibility that you have, then overwhelming burnout in imminent.
Here we aim to give you the tools necessary to manage all the responsibilities that we have in the modern day. In order to do this, we must first understand the mental traps that we put ourselves through that result in us feeling overwhelmed and not accomplishing what we set out to do. Once we understand these biases that we have, we can overcome them and get rid of any feeling against our progress. So the question remains, what do we do that makes us feel so overwhelmed?
We Detract from the Main Problem
We have all heard before that it is not a good idea to try and multitask to get things done. It is extremely unproductive and results in our head swimming as we try to gain footing as to what to do next. Even though we know this concept, we all still try to tackle multiple projects/tasks at once. We are set under this false belief that if we work on these multiple things, then we will have so much of what we set out to do done when we are finished. We think that we are taking out 3 to 4 tasks at once, but in reality we end up not really gaining any ground on any of them.
There is an unbelievable amount of value in focusing on just one and only one task at a time. When we are able to accept only doing one thing at a time, we are able to set 100% of our focus to achieving that one task. The problem with multitasking is that our focus is split up in multiple directions. This makes the tasks seem much more difficult than they really are because we are not using our full brain power towards them. When we do use our full potential focus on one thing, we start to realize that the task was not so difficult or as hard as we thought it would be. Getting things done starts to feel like a winning process rather than a series of difficult tasks that you just can’t wait to be over with.
We focus on the Unnecessary
Ask yourself this question: Is what you are focusing on really deserving of your full attention?
So many of us are plagued with disrupting thoughts that do not add any benefit to our fulfillment. This gives us a negative relationship with the problems in our lives. Problems are not meant to be negative things at all. We are not supposed to wish problems away.
Problems are our goals. Problems are our wishes in life. We should set out to achieve great problems because when we do we are left with great results. Solving great problems takes us to another level in life and happiness.
The issue arises when we start to focus on problems that do not warrant our attention. Whether it be the daily dramas, insecurities, or unworthy issues, ask yourself: What will this problem bring me? Is this problem serving me? Is this problem helping me set high goals for myself and taking me to better places?
If you find that the things that you are focusing on do not and have not proved beneficial by giving them your focus, then drop them immediately. If you are not excited to jump into solving a problem, then it is most likely not worth the effort. If the problem is not in line with your goals for your family, friends, business, or self, then why is it important?
We Lose Track of what to Focus On
If you are reading this article, then I bet you are a big fan of the to do list. You have a notepad or planner that has bullet points of what you are meant to do today, this week, and this month. Don’t worry, you can keep your to do list But there might be a simple tip to help you use them better.
Having a to do list with 13 different tasks set for you to complete in one day can really start to feel overwhelming. The problem is that even looking at the to do list makes us weary of starting it. What’s happening is that we are not just focusing on the next task that we have to do when we are doing it. When we are doing one thing, we start to dread the 12 other things on the list that come after it. We start to feel the weight of every single item on that list. You start thinking about the time it will take to do each one. You start wondering if you have enough time at all. You start wondering if you are even capable of doing some of the things on the list. Starting to feel overwhelmed? Yeah, I would, too.
Here is the simple trick. Take or leave the trick itself, but at the very least remember the reason.
Trick: it’s really simple. Instead of bullet points, use numbers. That’s it. Number every task that you have to do starting with one for the first thing you are going to do that day. Don’t number them as you go. Number all of them at the beginning of the day, week, or whatever cycle you have.
The Reason: when we number the tasks and problems that we need to solve, we do not move past them until they are done. I repeat, do not move past a task until it is either done. It is so easy for us to size up a task, start to do it, then shy away to another task on the list once the task that you are currently working on starts to feel a bit too much for you. Then we only do the easy and quick tasks, leaving the most important things to be rushed or left for another day. Then we have to sleep on the fact that we did not accomplish what we needed to. This also just makes the task that we skipped feel so much more of a burden than it actually is.
While some tasks might be more difficult than others, it is important not to prioritize them by their difficulty. We will almost always be finding ourselves prioritizing the most difficult, and intern important, tasks for last.
Focus on the one task at hand and do not move to the next or any other task until that one is done. It will also get the momentum of success rolling as you accomplish every task set in your path. It will also get the momentum of success rolling as you accomplish every task set in your path. When you shy away from difficult tasks, it leaves you with a feeling of defeat that carries on to every task. Do not leave a task in defeat. Get it done and leave successful and get the ball rolling.
We Make More Problems to Distract Us From The Original
This phenomenon happens most often when we are faced with a task that requires a difficult decision. All we really need to do is choose our next steps, but we are unsure of which path to take. When we become frozen indecision, we very often start creating more problems off of that one decision that we put ourselves under the illusion we need to solve before moving on to the main problem. We tell ourselves that we can’t even start to think about the main problem until we situate manufactured problems x, y, and z.
Suddenly, instead of being faced with one decision, we are now faced with six problems to solve and a daunting decision for later. We need to keep it simple. Sometimes not everything is perfect. The conditions are not always in sync. The stars do not align. We need to be able to make difficult decisions and move on with the results even when we are unsure.
This is not saying to make rash decisions without thinking it through. This is more of a precaution for us not to become paralyzed by indecision and stack more unnecessary problems in front of what is already difficult. We need to stay on task and remind ourselves what the core problem is whenever we become distracted with unneeded baggage.
We’d say, “Should I buy a red shirt or a blue shirt?”. And when we can’t decide, we don’t want to create problems such as:
Does anyone else in my family have red shirts? We have a family picture soon! I have to know about camera lighting before I even think about buying a certain color. What if blue doesn’t look when with the photographer? Which camera do most photographers use? Should I schedule with a different photographer to be safe?
Suddenly you are researching nine different photography studios before you can decide which color shirt to buy. It’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but I hope it gives you an idea to stay focused on the main decision.
We Make the Wrong Decision
This is not talking about dealing with the consequences of making a real bad decision. This is not for the results of which color shirt you decide to buy. This is mostly about procrastination. All procrastination is, is a series of wrong decisions that lead to no progress in your goals. Sitting down and doing the not so pleasant thing for a positive result may not be the most appealing action, but you have to decide to do it in order for your betterment. We have to make the conscious decision not to put off what is important for later just because it might be difficult to do it right now or at all. We have to decide not to wait any longer. Decide not to give up. Decide to keep going. When it gets hard, decide to keep going again. Decide to keep going and to not give up as many times as it takes until what you set out to do is done. That is what I mean by making correct decisions.
We Doubt Our Ability
What good does it do you to not believe in yourself? And don’t reluctantly say, “Nooooothing…”. Seriously, what is the good that you were getting out of not believing in yourself? For example, if I wanted to make the best wooden chair to decorate my house with, but I did not believe in my ability to do so, then I do not need to forgo the possible pain of realizing I am not very good at woodwork. That is the benefit I get out of not believing in myself. By not making the chair, I do not have to risk the chance of realizing that making chairs is not a talent of mine. If I was to believe in myself and make a mediocre chair, I would be super disheartened to learn that I am not great at the thing I wanted to do the most. So I don’t believe in myself, and I don’t have to learn.
Here’s the problem with that. If I don’t make the chair, the desire to do so doesn’t go anywhere. I just risk something much worse than a letdown. I risk lifelong regret. I risk for ever wondering my ability and chair making. At least I risk for ever wondering my ability and chair making. At least when I figure out that I am not that great at making wooden chairs, I am able to realize that fact and move on. I can either choose something else to work on or start to focus on improving my abilities. I would be able to do neither of those if I never tried to begin with.
This is not one of those things to tell you to believe in yourself because you’re so amazing and you deserve everything in the world including all the hugs and kisses that you desire. This is saying to stop doubting yourself on the simple fact that it is not efficient. Doubting yourself is not productive. It is better to stupidly believe in your ability than to intelligently doubt yourself.