4 big ideas for you on how to avoid being overwhelmed:
Start your day organized. Randomness is the mother of overwhelm. Don’t just wake up and plunge into the inbox, which starts your day in reaction versus strategy. Wake, and before responding to anyone, plan the day ahead. Know what you will focus on and you’ll feel more purposeful.
Transition well. Take time to transition from one project to another. Create time in between things to reset and to set an intention and timeline for the next activity. No matter how awesome you are, your brain needs a break to bring back full focus and creativity. Take a nap, meditate or go on a short walk between major activities.
Catch up. At the end of each day, give yourself time to catch up on all the important things that need to be closed before bedtime. Try a 30-minute catchup period right before or after dinner and make that time law – no matter what that’s your time to catch up and your family should know about it.
Be more mindful. Develop the ability to deal with uncertainty and unforeseen chaos by meeting them with full awareness and choice to be the best you can be. Look, life doesn’t get any more peaceful if you don’t. Ask, “How can I meet the demands on my plate from a place of peace and enthusiasm? How can I be grateful for what is put before me because I know it’s helping me grow.”
Stick to these 4 things and the more you experience #TheChargedLife.
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How do you avoid becoming overwhelmed too often?
Now, as I teach you this one, I got 4 big ideas for you here. But I want to first clarify, there’s a little bit of difference between overwhelm and burnout.
Overwhelm: In the moment you feel kind of flooded with obligation in that moment where you feel like you just can’t handle everything.
Burnout is you’ve been handling everything for too long and now you’re just wasted away, exhausted.
Sometimes, it’s both but I want to let you know, I’ve got another episode on how to avoid burnout and that’s going to be a little different than today, how do you avoid overwhelm. That in-the-moment sense that you can’t handle it all. So, hopefully we can make sure you avoid a burnout and now we are in the moment.
Now, it’s like, “Okay, there’s a lot coming at you today. How do you go through the day without feeling completely overwhelmed by all the obligations that you got on your plate?”
I hope first and foremost, that you’ve been saying, “No”. You’ve been keeping your boundaries set. That you are only taking on things that you really want to take on. That you are managing your own life’s agenda. If any of that sounds foreign to you, please read my book, The Motivation Manifesto. Get your life back. Begin there. Get life back. Then, let’s talk about overwhelm in the moment.
First, I love to share that it’s necessary to start your day organized. A lot of overwhelm comes because all of a sudden, you’re distracted or you’re reacting to everybody. So, in the moment, you feel like, “I got to write this email. I got to take this call. I am doing these 3 projects. I don’t know when I’m going to do them today.” So, everything feels like, “Eh!”
If you block your time out well during the day and, most importantly, you begin that day knowing what the day is about, that will help you minimize daily overwhelm. Like, get up in the day. I like to get up in the day and I do my morning routines where I stretch or workout. I get lots of water. I write down everything I want to work through that day following my One Page Productivity Sheet. If you haven’t seen that just go online and type in, “One Page Productivity Sheet” with my name and it will pop up. And I organize my day so much.
It doesn’t mean that sometimes that day doesn’t get blown out of the water by some emergency but that’s very rare because I saw most of those emergencies come because I’m planning ahead. But starting the day on a place of just security and place of certainty, a place of, “This is what I want this day to be about” that will automatically help you deal with those moments of overwhelm because you will know what’s next.
That you’ll know what’s coming next in terms of your obligations or that next hour of block time to get things done. Trust me. Start the day organized. You will be so happy that you did that.
Also, to manage day by day overwhelm, here’s what I want you to do: Between your major projects or the major times you’ve blocked out to do things; in between, transition well. If you’re going from project A to project B during the day. Let’s say project A was you are replying to all your emails. Now, project B is you have to create a presentation. In between those, give yourself a time to reset. It’s very important. Give yourself a time to reset.
If you go from/into one project into another one and you are smashing all your projects together during the day, you’re just going to be like, your brain is not having it’s time to break from one to start the other and your brain needs that silence in between those projects to bring full focus and creativity. Otherwise, your mind starts wandering between all the projects and you get overwhelmed. Does that makes sense? So, having a break in between projects helps.
For me personally, I do a 10 to 15 minute meditation between my major projects. So, for example: If we finish this video and I had to go create a PowerPoint or a keynote presentation, I’d finish this video, I’d go and I’d sit, close my eyes, I do a 15 minute Release Meditation Technique and then I begin.
If you haven’t studied my work on that, I’ve been blessed to train a million people on meditation now. Just type in my name and Release Meditation Technique. You can learn how to do that on YouTube. Very, very simple technique.
For you, it might be take a quick nap or take a walk around the block or around the office but give yourself a mental break between projects and that overlapping overwhelm will start to go away.
I think next, you know it’s about giving yourself the ability to catch up at the end of the day. I know if during the day, there’s so many things going on, I’m freaking out, I don’t worry about it because I’m going to give myself a block of time at the end of the day I just call “Catch Up Time”.
It’s every day before dinner for me. No matter what, before my dinner I take 30 minutes to sit down and catch up. I literally sit down and go, “Okay, what do I need to make sure I catch up on? I only have 30 minutes. What do I need to catch up on?”
- Is it replying to 3 or 4 emails specifically?
- Is it finishing those last 3 slides of the presentation?
- Is it making those 2 quick phone calls?
I give myself that time and I know it’s there every day. It’s like my safety zone. At the end of the day, right before dinner (it doesn’t matter), I’m going to take 30 minutes to catch up. So, even if I feel overwhelmed in the moment I go, “It is okay, I got the safety time. Tonight I will catch up on that.”
So, before I start to cook dinner or before we go out to dinner, I just take that 30 minutes and it’s like a religion for me. It’s like, just that time and it makes me throughout the day, so much more fluid and able to know that I will catch up.
And here’s the last one. Maybe, it’s not so strategic or routine based as these other ones but it’s very simple. You need to, at some point as a mature adult, someone who wants to reach that next level of consciousness in your life, you need to decide to bring a little bit more emotional piece, mindfulness, conscious will about the emotions you’re experiencing each day.
If you’re constantly finding yourself in a panic or freaking out about other things, it’s like, you need to decide that you want a character that’s stronger than that. You used to be a part of the conversation in character development.
You look back in the centuries of philosophy or human development, and people took pride in learning to be stoic or being calm amid the storm. To be the leader when everything is going chaotic that someone would stand strong and be there and purposely decide to deal with all the chaos from a good place.
Now, it’s like our culture celebrates victimhood or our culture celebrates the person who is the drama queen who freaks out about every little thing because it’s fun to watch on reality TV. But in real life, make it a goal to have character development. To meet:
- The demands of the time
- The demands of the moment
From a place of peace or strength or joy. From a good place and emotional state that’s going to serve in the situation that you have chosen versus being that person who just gets overwhelmed, “Oh my god …”
I think the world is so full of so many people trying to be drama queens to get attention versus people trying to be a role model and say, “Look, we can handle this” and that old sort of that old ethic that came from stoicism or that old ethic that came from just mastering your own mind, mastering your own attitude, we’ve lost a lot of that conversation. So, I’m always having that in these Charged Life episodes with you.
You are the commander of your own attitude. You get to choose the energy that you feel and bring into moments. You don’t have happiness. You don’t have joy. You choose to generate those things and the more you generate the emotional energy you need in a moment to serve or deal with:
- The complications,
- The difficulties,
- The overwhelm,
The more that you are the person who stands true and solid and purposeful in the moments that matter, not only do more people look to you to lead, not only do more people look to you with just; they look to you at a place of like respect but you start to respect yourself. You say, “I got this. I can handle this.” And the more you say that, the less you feel overwhelmed. And the more you experience #TheChargedLife.