Overwhelm rears it’s ugly head when you allow yourself to dwell on ALL the things that happen to you that you cannot control. It can make you feel helpless.
The solution is to FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.
…and to have the discipline to keep your focus to only what you can control while you take action tackling only the most important next step, one step at a time.
Are YOU “waiting to just…
Get on top of this.
Find the right person… or program.
Or the right time.
…and then you’ll be able to (insert massive action taking and life-changing result here)” Crap-o-la! We always imagine we’ll have more time, energy, discipline, support, money – WHATEVER – in the future! When really that’s never the case… AND…
You will never get it all done.
(so there’s no reason to wait!)
That isn’t meant to be doom & gloom disheartening!
It’s actually incredibly freeing.
Once you recognize that you’ll never get it all done then it simply becomes a matter of taking these simple steps to get over overwhelm:
#1. Prioritise what DOES get done.
=> To be effective do your prioritizing the night before. With YOUR goals in mind (rather than other people’s goals when you’re at the mercy of seemingly Urgent yet mostly UNimportant inbox the next morning!)
=> Set time guidelines for each action. (this creates a sense of urgency as well as a certain comfort in knowing you’re only at it for a set period of time).
=> Set a timer when completing each action the following day.
#2. Make time for the big rocks that keep you functioning effectively.
=> sleep (I need 7 hours and can get by on 6 if I make it up later in the week)
How many hours sleep do you need to function at your most effective and efficient?
=> exercise (6 days on and 1 rest day works for my body)
What works for your body? Honestly.
=> meal preparation
I recommend 80% of your meals are planned and on Goal.
So by that I mean one ingredient, nutritious fat burning foods that give your body the nutrients and energy it needs. << I’ve got you covered here
#3. Make time for the big rocks that keep you smiling!
Truth. If you’re not going to get it all done – and you recognize its not about waiting till (insert that perfect time in ‘the future’) to occur… then, its vital to enjoy every. single. day.
What do you need to make time for each day to feel Happy, Satisfied, Calm, Energized and to Live Congruent with your values? << I cover Values here.
=> Friends? Family? Your relationship? Meditation? Your training?! Reading?
#4. Focus on 1 day at a time.
That’s all that is ever required. You can choose to get ahead of yourself, stress about future obstacles that may never even happen and encourage overwhelm OR you can simply focus your energy on achieving your top tasks for today.
If you dig this info and would love some help putting it into practice check out my monthly MEMBERSHIP, The Body Gain Lifestyle:
#5. Do a weekly dump to get everything out of your head.
All this entails is a clean sheet of paper onto which you release everything that is swimming around in your head. No limits. You can relegate or delegate or ditch (!) it to it’s proper place in your list of priorities once its out of your head.
#6. Find the systems that make tracking and remembering what needs to get done as easy as possible for you.
Whatever you don’t record is going to be floating around in your head – taking up energy & contributing to overwhelm. Once you set up a system you trust, you get to slot each thought into the system and let it go!
=> I like paper for brain storming and goals/tasks so I go with A4 ical print-outs for monthly and weekly goals… and a separate daily goals template.
=> I like a ‘to Implement’ and ‘to Buy’ and ‘to Research’ monthly note on my iphone for those impromptu thoughts/ideas that get emailed (to me!) as necessary and transferred on the above paper format at the end of each week.
The key is to find the system that makes is as easy, natural and friction-free as possible for you to track the important stuff.
So, now you’ve got the steps let’s take the behind the scenes mindset side of this whole overwhelm thing for a spin…
I’ve been talking about what you choose to focus on which presupposes overwhelm is something you ‘do’ as opposed to something that ‘happens to you’. That is my belief, because when you ‘do’ something – YOU CAN CHANGE IT FOR THE BETTER – you’re in control.
So, given overwhelm doesn’t just turn up, what do you do to get an outcome of overwhelm?
(remember back to the last time you felt overwhelmed – what were you focusing just before those feelings of overwhelm showed up?)
And when you focus on those things… does it always work to get you that outcome of overwhelm?
How is that working for you? …is doing that (focusing on those things that lead to you feeling overwhelm) is it getting you the result you’re looking for?
(I’m hearing you telling me “NO Kate, of course it’s not getting me the result I’m looking for – I hate feeling overwhelmed!!!”)
However, I’m going to put it to you that on some level it is working for you.
On some level it does something for you, gets you something you wouldn’t necessarily get or prevents you from having to deal with something that you would have had to deal with.
(yep, that’s secondary gain right there!)
Awareness of what your overwhelm is giving you is half the battle.
Next up you need to find a resourceful way to meet that need…
Perhaps ‘doing overwhelm’ allows you to receive support from other people? So, what are some of the numerous preferable ways to connect with other people?
Alternatively ‘doing overwhelm’ could allow you to avoid dealing with a certain fear? Well, now you have that awareness it’s time to stop hiding behind overwhelm and tackle that fear.
Fear, I think I’ve found my next blog post (!) before I get distracted I’ll leave you with one last tool to tackle overwhelm.
It’s one of my favourite fix all tools: The REFRAME.
Next time you’re tempted to describe how you’re feeling as that old ‘O’ word…
“I’m sort of curious to know if instead this might be an opportunity to absolutely step up and really stretch yourself?”
If you liked this you’ll also like: My Best Advice For Out-Smarting Overwhelm
I’d love to hear your thoughts – Does overwhelm give you an excuse to avoid committing as much time and energy as you say you’d like to, to your health?