5 Warning Signs You Create Your Overwhelm
Insane isn’t it?
How busy you’ve become. Life used to move at a manageable pace, but not anymore. You’re constantly struggling to keep up. Always feeling a little behind. And that’s horrible, particularly for someone like you.
Someone who’s usually so together and organized. Someone who loves to meet, or even exceed, a deadline. More and more you find yourself overwhelmed and out of control. Unable to manage the sheer volume of work. You’ve been working long hours, and working harder, and it’s just not cutting it. But here’s the thing that no one will tell you.
You might be contributing to the problem. Yep, this mess might just be your own fault. There are five warning signs that you’re creating your overwhelm. Manage them, and you’ll get things back in order. So let’s get to know these beasts, shall we? After all, when you can name your demons, you can tame your demons.
1. Being Too Action-Oriented
People who ‘don’t have time’ to file, or organize, or plan are creating problems for themselves. They think they’re too busy, so they just jump in and start doing things.
These people are great at taking action, and getting the ball rolling. But unfortunately, they can spend a lot of time searching for things, because they’re not organized. Sometimes they also waste time doing things in the wrong order, or worse still, doing things that don’t need to be done.
Jumping in at the start often results in delays later on, which isn’t efficient. So all that effort and energy go to waste. If you make this mistake, you need to start taking the time to get organized. You must discipline yourself to store important files, and plan your work.
If you don’t you end up looking like a hamster, running on a wheel. You’re using a lot of energy, but ultimately making no progress. And you’ll get burnt out doing it.
2. Being A Go-To Person
Go-To people are great, but you don’t want to be one.
You might be a Go-To person if you take responsibility seriously and have high standards. Go-To people want to do the right thing, and they want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
No matter how busy they are, Go-To people don’t let others down. They get the thing done. Unfortunately, this reputation keeps them busy. It keeps extra tasks and extra responsibilities coming in the door.
If you’re a Go-To person, try changing your habits. Instead of doing things for others, offer to show them how to do it themselves. It will take longer in the short term, but they’ll become more self-sufficient, and soon there will be fewer people asking for your help.
3. Falling For False Hustle
Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I was really busy today, but I don’t seem to have achieved a lot”?
We all have days like that, but if they’re happening frequently you could be experiencing False Hustle.
Maybe you’re trying to keep your in-tray clear, trying to answer all your emails, or maybe you’re devoted to other time consuming, but ultimately fruitless tasks.
The solution is to stop trying to get everything done and just spend time on things that are important. Important to you, or important to the work of your team, or important to the organization.
How do you tell if something is important?
Well, important things are generally things that have been committed to, by you or by someone else in the organization.
a. If you’ve committed to being at your daughter’s athletics carnival, then that’s important.
b. If you or someone else in your organization have committed to producing results in a certain area, then it’s important.
c. If no one has committed to the action, then it’s probably not important.
By focusing most on important tasks, you’re being strategic, and working smarter, not harder.
4. Refusing to Refuse
You’re interested in everything, and you love to please. Whether it’s at work, or at home, you love being involved.
a. If the local community wants you to deliver neighborhood newsletters or your boss wants to start a new project, you’re there.
b. If the school wants your help fundraising, they can rely on you.
c. If this sounds like you I have to ask, are you thinking straight? How often do you consider your availability before you jump in so enthusiastically?
d. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should not be saying ‘yes’ to anything else.
Start flexing that ‘no’ muscle so you can get your life back in control. If ‘no’ is too hard, you can try something softer like, “I’d like to help, but I don’t have time right now.” Once you’ve tried it once, I guarantee you’ll love the power that comes from having control over your life. That in itself will make you happier.
5. Living In The Future
If you’re living in the future, you’re overwhelmed by what’s coming. You’re not sure if you’re going to be able to handle the enormity of the task or project when it comes to fruition. The trick is not to think about tomorrow, but just focus on what you can achieve today.
So, let’s say you decide you want to run a marathon, but then you start to feel daunted by the enormity of it all.
You worry about your knees, and your back, and your asthma. You start getting all freaked out “because-it’s-so-much-work-how-will-I-ever-get-there …..”
It’s overwhelming. So you wonder if you should stop before you ever really got started.
Instead, you need to think, “Right now I don’t have to run a marathon. Right now I just need to be able to walk around the block without getting puffed out.” You need to focus on the immediate, small steps (pardon the pun) that you need to take now. The things you CAN achieve. Focus on the piece of the project that you can achieve now, and have faith that you’ll be ready for each day as it arrives.
The Cold Hard Truth About Overwhelm
The truth is that your life is not uncontrollable. You don’t have to be swept up in a tidal wave of demands.
a. You can side-step the tsunami of inefficiency.
b. You can refuse requests for help.
c. You can make strategic decisions, and sweep aside stress by living in the moment.
d. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed ever again.
e. You just have to make a simple choice.
f. You can live your life at the mercy of everyone else, or take control and live the life you want.
It’s your choice – what’s it going to be?