3 Effective Strategies To Use When You’re Overwhelmed

Apr 22, 2024 | Business, Mindset

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to come up with an effective strategy to help you get past that state. Overwhelm causes paralysis, which in turn makes you feel even worse for not getting anything done. It’s a vicious cycle. Today we’ll talk about three different ways to break that cycle and gain control. Let’s dive right in.

Break It Down Into Baby Steps

The first thing I like to do whenever I feel overwhelmed is to break the task or problem down into baby steps. Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what’s one little thing you can do to move in the right direction. Maybe it’s picking up the dirty laundry in a mess room. Maybe it’s writing the subject line of that email you’ve been putting off. Maybe it’s as simple as opening your email or picking up the phone. Once you do that, what’s your next step? And the next.

When you’re facing a long or complicated project and are feeling overwhelmed before you even get started, it helps to write it down and then break it into baby steps. You may choose to start by breaking it into major sections first and then going smaller and smaller until you are down to easy to-do tasks or baby steps. After that it’s simply a matter of working through that list one step at a time. You can do this!

Put It Off For A While

Yes, you read that right. Even though taking action is a very effective strategy for dealing with overwhelm, sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. This strategy works best when you’ve been at it for a while. You’ve tried taking action, but nothing is working. You need to clear your head and gain a little perspective. Walk away and give yourself that space.

I’m sure you can think of a time when you couldn’t make something work. Maybe it was figuring out why the numbers in your report weren’t adding up, or why that piece of furniture wouldn’t come together. You walked away for a little while and when you came back, the solution that eluded you earlier was right in front of you.

There are two reasons why walking away or putting something off for a bit works. The first is that it allows you to clear your head. Just as important though is the fact that while you’re off doing something else, your subconscious is still working the problem. That’s why the solution will often come to you when you get back. And if it doesn’t, at least you have the mental and physical energy to try again.

Can You Delegate It?

Last but not least, ask yourself if the task that’s overwhelming you can be outsourced to someone else. Taxes are a perfect example here. Yes, you can do them yourself. Depending on your situation and how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with the process, it’s well worth spending a little money to get someone else to do them.

Or how about cleaning up the garage. If you feel overwhelmed, put the kids to work. Give them guidelines on what to keep, what to toss, and what to donate. You can supervise, check in, or simply check the piles after the kids are done.

What kind of tasks and projects can you think of that are overwhelming you right now. Maybe it’s simple stuff, just too much of it. Who could you delegate it to? At work, at home, even in your free-time or volunteer work.

The beautiful thing about delegating is that it allows you to focus on the important stuff or the things you’re passionate about.

Don’t forget about these three strategies the next time you feel overwhelmed. Break it down, put it off, or delegate it.

Hi there, I'm Jennifer.


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