Last week I shared with you 5 steps to overcome the overwhelm and I got a great response from you. Clearly I touched on a nerve. We (including myself) can fall into the overwhelm and then we lose site of what is important in running our business’s successfully and having full lives as well. As promised I would like to share with you 5 more techniques on how to overcome your overwhelm and gain control in your day.
1. Single Tasking. Although multitasking is not a skill that is taught at school it is something that most of us do really well. We think that by taking the call, emailing, checking social media and writing notes all at the same time is a good use of our time – wrong. There is mounting research that shows that counters this idea but most suggest that multi-tasking is counterproductive. Our conversations aren’t meaningful and we cannot recall the facts and details of them. The quality of the emails are poor (which then usually means more emails clarifying initial said email) and so on. The key thing with multitasking is that we are time poor so we think the antidote is multitasking as we feel we are more productive when in actual fact WE ARE NOT.
2. Finish What You Have Started. I would like you to take a look at your computer. How many tabs are active on your internet browser? How many incomplete, unsent email windows are open? How many other program windows are open with unfinished work? Whether due to distraction, multitasking or sheer procrastination, many of us suffer from the inability to start and finish a task in one go. Yet if you think about it, isn’t that productive? But today we are focusing on minimising overwhelm and by giving the email, the proposal, the task at hand your focus and attention and completing it well can contribute to minimising your overwhelm by taking control of your tasks rather than the other way around. Last week’s post talked about reactive vs. proactive and this is another good example of this, are your tasks in control of you or are you in control of your tasks?
3. Take a Break. Neuroscience has shown that the brain works in about 45 minute cycles (on average). We are not programmed to sit for countless hours working…so take a break. Get up, go for a short walk, breath, make a cup of tea/coffee…you get my drift. Once again, the logic by many is, but I am too busy to take a break. But what happens to our brains is that after about 45 minutes our brain gets tired, it makes poorer decisions, loses concentration faster, poorer quality of work ensures. But after a quick 5-10 minute break, we reboot the system (so to speak) and you are fresh as daisy ready to continue handling the task at hand, and more likely to complete it faster and better. Take control of your day and have more breaks.
4. Drink Water. We require water to work well…but why? By staying hydrated we optimise the brains capability and we counter fatigue…. particularly at 3pm. This simple act can help you physically stay in better shape mentally, emotionally and physically reducing the overwhelm. I am not suggesting “here drink this water and the rising panic will go away”…but it’s about the habits that we instil that create the optimal state for our bodies and minds to function.
5. Meditation. The beautiful thing about meditation is that it forces us to stop. Stop revisiting the past over and over again, analysing, dissecting what went wrong as much as stopping us from forward gazing, to limit us from worrying about all the possible outcomes of a problem we face or planning we need to undertake. It makes us be here, in the moment. Quiet the mind. Be still. Meditation not only reduces stress but shows us that we can take control of our thoughts and not let them carry us away. A very powerful tool when the overwhelm comes.
We have the ability to reduce the overwhelm in our lives but rather than getting as much done to reduce our to do list, It is about our mindset: being proactive and taking control of our minds, body and even tasks, rather than being in a reactive state and responding to each situation automatically and without discipline. The techniques in this series vary in ease of implementation but it has start from a place where you want to reduce the overwhelm, commit to that and the discipline of your day will come through practice and repetition and proving to your self that doing 100 things at the same time really fast is not the best way to use your time. The proof is in the pudding.
I invite you to a free 45 minute discovery call, where together we can go through effective strategies to reduce your overwhelm. This is a real coaching session. Click HERE to book.
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