Overwhelm is often defined as “very strong” and “in great amount.” Overwhelming situations typically produce an emotional response – positive or negative. A less than desirable overwhelming feeling is one that stops a person in his or her tracks, inhibiting their ability to think or move. This heavy “stuck” feeling is a massive road block to well-being and work-place productivity.
Overwhelm, like most undesirable conditions, must be recognized and then managed.
How to Recognize
We can live and work in a dominant state of overwhelm without giving it much consideration—until one day, we feel like we’ve hit a brick wall. When this happens, we’re given an opportunity to evaluate another way to work and live. There is no need to wait until we are completely blocked to find a new way. We can do it right now.
Living and working in a state of overwhelm is unproductive, unhealthy, and exhausting. Common signs are dread, anxiety, indecision, avoidance, procrastination, and inability to focus. Any and all of these steal joy and satisfaction.
How to Manage
Ask yourself, “What is the single most important, valuable, or pressing task on my list?”
(Go with your gut.)
Then ask, “What is the one, smallest possible step I can take right now?”
Then — and this is the important part — DO THAT STEP.
Once that small step is done, do another single, small step.
Do this 5 times, or 30 minutes — whichever comes first.
After 30 minutes, step away from your desk. Regroup. Then, repeat the process.
You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish with a series of single, smallest possible steps.
With a new perspective and these mindful strategies, you can get unstuck and out of overwhelm.
It all starts with one, small step.