Updated: Aug 23
It's just a feeling.
A feeling triggered by a thought.
That thought could be as simple as "I have too much to do" or depending on the pitch of your mental drama at the time, be conflagrated into an existential crisis.
The result is always the same - inaction.
Here are 3 very simple things to get moving and taking action - quickly
Stop the melodrama and write a list.
Yes write a list. It's that simple. Your brain has enough to do without trying to hold a list of all the things you have to do. This only adds to the feeling of.... yes you've guessed it - OVERWHELM, which is usually followed by a cascade of other negative, unhelpful emotions. Get the noise out of your head and onto to a sheet of paper - write a list, and stop the drama at the intro creepy music stage.
Yes, just start. Pick one thing on your list and do it. If you're feeling courageous 'Eat the frog' and pick the biggest task on the list. Conversely, go the other route .... pick the low hanging fruit and plough through the easiest tasks. The satisfaction that comes from accomplishment and crossing items off your list is a great way to build momentum and stay motivated. Don't over complicate things. Just choose one thing and start somewhere.
3. Keep going
Hopefully at this stage you are feeling better about yourself because you are doing, taking action and making progress. Before you finish for the day, pick your next task or activity and schedule it in your diary / calendar. That way you
a) already know what you you will be doing next and when (no drama next time),
b) have started to build the habit of planning and scheduling without getting bogged down in complicated techniques, post it's and coloured pens (they come later when you become a planning ninja)
c) begin to build the muscle of accountability - to yourself
Overwhelm is just a feeling.
A feeling is triggered by a thought.
Which in turn drives an action or inaction.
You get to choose what to think and can change a thought at any time.
Ergo overwhelm is a choice. And you change your mind at any point.
Remember that the next time the feeling comes up.
You can more support on dealing with overwhelm on my free training on this and other related topics in the Creating the Career and Life Community Facebook Group.
Find more free resources to support you in your wellbeing and career here