Tips to avoiding overwhelm

May 26, 2019 Sandra Dawes

We’ve all been there; we have a monstrous to-do list, lots of things on the go and everybody seems to need something  from us. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get half, never mind all of it done! Whenever clients to me about feeling overwhelmed there are some common causes that I’d like to discuss today. They are:

  • a lack of clear priorities
  • an inability to say no
  • poor time management

When we’re not clear on our priorities, everything sounds like a good idea. This is where the infamous shiny object syndrome kicks in. The Internet is a blessing and a curse. We have access to information in a way we never have before, but sometimes we get lost in all that information. There are so many things out there offering us a quick and easy way to do the things we want to do, we risk going broke investing in every product or program out there! The biggest consequence of not having clarity on our priorities is that we don’t have a foundation to set personal boundaries on.

Without personal boundaries, we don’t know what we should be saying yes to and what we should be saying no to. We agree to do things because we can without considering whether or not it’s a good use of our time. When we start saying yes to everything, even when it’s not in alignment with our priorities or invades our boundaries, it’s not long before resentment starts to kick in. That’s why it’s so important to be okay saying no to people, even friends and family. Most of us want to say yes because we don’t want to disappoint the person asking, but we have to remember to keep in mind what’s best for us!

As soon as I learned how to manage my time in a more effective way, I experienced less overwhelm. It took a long time to realize that I was my own worst enemy when it comes to overwhelm. Once I established daily habits that helped me to focus and let go of the habits that weren’t serving me, like making sure I was caught up on all the Real Housewives shows, I had a lot more time for the important stuff! There’s a meme that circulates on social media where we’re reminded that the Bill Gates and Elon Musk’s of the world are working with the same amount of hours in a day as the rest of us. It can be a tough pill to swallow at first, but when we take an honest look at how we’re spending our time, we’ll discover that we have more time than we think, it’s just a matter of letting some stuff go!

Avoiding overwhelm means setting yourself up for success. It means keeping your to-do list to 2 or 3 important tasks that you want to achieve each day instead of having a list of 10 or 20. Smaller consistent wins are more motivating than looking at a list that never seems to get any smaller! Get clear on your priorities, set boundaries and be more mindful of how you use your time. Once you start to do these things, you’ll be surprised at the progress you start to make – just remember to not kick yourself for not doing it sooner 😉

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