We have yet to meet anyone who has not felt overworked and overwhelmed at some point in their lives. Constantly feeling overwhelmed can lead to several issues, but its effect on your mental health can be the most impactful. When stuck in the binds of feeling overwhelmed, many can feel helpless.
Some people never admit when they are feeling overwhelmed, isolating themselves and further exacerbating their negative emotions. The more you think about the work you need to complete and the limited time you have, the more upset it can make you. So, many do nothing but continue working, burning themselves out in the process.
The question is, why do we do this to ourselves? Primarily, this issue develops from work life and can quickly carry over to our personal and family life.
We once led a teleconference with twenty interesting and diverse entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches. The hot subject up for discussion was the feeling of being ‘overwhelmed’. Beaten, tired, and burnt out was how the majority of the conference felt. The idea that they had ‘too much to do’ and ‘couldn’t stop now’ was leading them to overwork themselves to the detriment of their mental health.
Focusing on your project begins with good intentions. However, a task can quickly and easily become overwhelming if we don’t plan to minimise and balance the work. Getting the project finalised for your team, writing the copy for your website, designing the new sales brochure, or completing the 90-day marketing plan is extremely important – but having a balanced and healthy life is more important.
The following strategies are gleaned from experiences in our personal lives and from working with coaching clients who were burnt out, frustrated, and sometimes depressed. These strategies immediately diminish the feelings of being overwhelmed and help you refocus and make good work/life balance decisions.
1) Stop what you are doing for a few minutes and take a break. Go for a short walk. Sit outside under a tree. Meditate. Breathe deeply. Call a friend to have coffee and share what’s going on. This is how you break the cycle of continuous work and take time for yourself to recharge.
2) Get a piece of paper and make two columns. In one column, list urgent things you need to do this week. In the other column, list those projects that you can delegate, hire or barter to finish. Prioritise your workload and ease the stress by seeing what is and isn’t urgent.
3) Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Unsubscribe to unnecessary emails. Organise your desk and office to decrease clutter. Stop attending meetings. Get off committees, and reduce time spent at events you aren’t passionate about.
4) Do not spend time with people whom you do not like. Assess your friends and business colleagues. Do they support and honour who you are, or are they negative? If they don’t share your vision for your dreams, don’t spend another minute with them.
5) Decide what is important in your life. If you want a balance, you have to make changes that allow this to happen. That takes time and planning, but does wonders to help improve your life!
6) Take an active step today to make a change in your life! Call a friend who will support you, take a class to get organised, or work with a coach who will support and motivate you to have a more balanced life.