"Search your heart, open your mind, live the dream"
Blake Beattie
Free Articles > Time to Fly

Overcoming Overwhelm  02.10.2007

Have you ever been on a boat with 30 to 40 knot winds tossing the boat around? How did you feel? Have you ever been on a ride at an amusement park that you wished you hadn’t gone on because you felt ill?

Motion sickness is something that affects us all in varying degrees. Some people have a much higher tolerance than others. So, what has this got to do with time management?

If there is too much going on, we suffer from a different kind of ‘motion sickness’- it’s called overwhelm. And it certainly can be very debilitating, not to mention its effect on productivity and performance. By overwhelm, I mean ‘to flow over the top of and submerge or cover somebody or something' - Encarta Dictionary

From a time management perspective, overwhelm means a feeling of tension, anxiety or worry brought on by the awareness of a multitude of things to do (presumably in a short period of time). These states are of course not conducive towards optimal performance.

So, what can you do about it?

  • ‘I can handle it’ needs to become your new catch-cry. Whenever you might start to feel swamped by the myriad of demands that are placed upon you by life, take 4 deep breaths for a count of 2 in, and a count of 4 out. With each breath out, confirm in your mind that you ‘can’ handle the situation.
  • Now, prioritise what needs to be done, feeling calmer and more relaxed through the process.
  • Break big tasks into bite sized pieces and stay focussed on one task at a time.
  • Ask for help if you need it. It is amazing who might be able to offer you assistance if you ask.

Overcoming overwhelm is something we can all do. Control your thinking, shift your focus on the one task at a time and use the breathing technique listed above and overwhelm can be a thing of the past.

Enjoy the journey towards greater productivity and performance with less overwhelm.

Cheers, Blake

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