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Feeling Overwhelmed? Overcome Being Overwhelmed!
Being overwhelmed seems to happen more and more with the advances in technology. Many of us remember the days where in order for anybody to reach us, they would have to wait until we got home to check messages. Today, people can reach us virtually anywhere 24 hours a day. If we don’t integrate the habit of knowing how to prioritize our tasks for the day, we run the risk of getting overrun and overwhelmed by the demands of the world around us.
Does this sound familiar?
- A call or email comes in while you’re in the middle of another task and you drop everything to take care of it because it’s an “emergency”.
- A task from a previous day that you completely forgot about pops into your head in the middle of the day and you decide to start taking care of it. It ends up changing the direction of your whole day.
- You work furiously on tasks all day, but by the end of the day you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing.
- It seems like your to-do list is never-ending and that every task has now become a “911″ task that needs to get done.
Most of us have experienced at least one of these scenarios in our lives and with the on-going improvements in wi-fi, laptops, and smart phones, unless we adjust to make sure we are equipped to handle the onslaught of never-ending data, we will be in for a difficult journey.
The long-term effects of being constantly overwhelmed with our tasks can be quite profound. Aside from decreased productivity, one may also experience: Frustration, Unhappiness, Accelerated Aging, Stress-related Maladies and Temperament, and Burn-out to name just a few.
And who wants that?
At The Life Oasis, one of the workshops that addresses this in a big way is on the subject of Time Management.
“Yeah, Yeah, I know it’s all about time management. That’s what I need to do.”
So let’s ask ourselves this: if we’re still feeling overwhelmed or unproductive. Are we really managing our time well?
Here are some basic steps towards eliminating the feeling of being overwhelmed and increasing productivity and happiness in our lives.
- When creating your task list for the day, make a list of everything you wish to do. Then prioritize based on what will move your overall goals forward the best.
- After the list is prioritized, choose just 3 for the day that you must get done. Set it in your mind that those are the only 3 that need to be finished. Everything else is a bonus.
- If a new “emergency” task gets presented, before you even start working on it, immediately add it to your task list and go through the prioritizing process again to see if it “out-prioritizes” the three that you chose to accomplish already for the day. If so, REPLACE one of the three as a must get done today.
- Establish a state of enthusiasm and high motivation to get those tasks done for the day. The more motivation you have to get the tasks done, the higher the likelihood of things getting done in a timely fashion and fast. One of the things we help establish are methods to develop resourceful states that one can tap into anytime to get that motivational push throughout the day. Almost like a natural internal caffeine boost!
- Work in 90 minutes (MAX) intervals of focused task activity. In other words, work on only ONE task at a time. Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking has been found to be counter-productive. Tests have shown that people are actually more productive if they focus on one activity at a time. You wouldn’t play in a basketball game and text message on your phone at the same time, would you? Your game AND your texting would suffer…not to mention you might get your phone broken in the process. So why would anything else in life be different?
- After every 90 minutes. TAKE A BREAK. And when you take a break…REALLY take a break. Break the thoughts of work…break the thoughts of what you have to do next. Pull out your favorite book and read for 5 minutes. Take a walk and breathe in some fresh air. Play your favorite video game (although if your work requires constant use of your eyes on a screen, it would probably be better to just rest your eyes.). Meditate and re-center yourself. Whatever it is that you choose to do…make sure it is a clean temporary break where you disconnect from everything. You’d be surprised at how well this helps you power through a productive work day.
- Learn to delegate tasks wherever you can. Identify which tasks are tasks that can only be done by you. Those that can be done by others, find another way to get it done. There are hundreds of virtual tools and resources that can be leveraged to assist with helping you to get more done. The most successful people in the world don’t ever do everything themselves. The identify their strengths, stay within that space and delegate others to do the other parts. Don’t worry about whether or not a task can be done faster or better if you do it. Just do the tasks that only you can do and learn to delegate the rest.
- Make sure that what you are doing is aligned with your values. One of the biggest reasons why motivation becomes an issue is that the work being done isn’t important enough to the individual. It’s a lot easier to get things done if you are committed to the work.
This is just a taste of what effective time management can do to overcome life’s constant barrage and demands on us. We should not be proud of how overwhelming our lives are and brag about it. That just doesn’t make sense, yet…we find ourselves and people we meet daily do just that. Strive to create a more balanced life and increase the levels of happiness, wealth, and health by taking on today’s challenge.
Again, let us know your thoughts or questions about managing your time better to eliminate the sense of being overwhelmed and increasing productivity. Your happiness will thank you for it!