Being overwhelmed is an emotional state that can take over the ability to think properly and can stop you from performing even simple tasks easily. It can be caused by stress or traumatic life experiences. And often it’s not something we want to talk about.
Feeling overwhelmed is not pleasant to say the least, I remember when I started my first business – I didn’t have a clue! I’m quite impulsive and had dived in on a feeling that this was the right step for me. And I wasn’t wrong but oh so much to learn and understand. So much so that I felt this incredible overwhelm.
I remember chatting to another business friend about trialling new processes out, I was in complete overwhelm, I had suggestions flying at me from all directions – who to market to, what services to include. These comments were coming from people I admired who had successful businesses, who was I to say different, so I tried to do it all. I was falling in a heap and when my friend said so calmly, “I like to trial an idea for a few months and see if it fits for me and my business”, my brain wanted to explode. How?! When I had a zillion things on my list, they all felt urgent and were taking up every corner of my brain.
Overwhelm clutters up our minds, minimises our productivity and keeps us awake at night. 10+ years on and while that feeling of inundation still likes to come and visit, I’ve learnt a few strategies to help me reduce overwhelm and focus on what is important. One of the most important lessons I learnt was the correlation between physical and mind clutter.
How can we move away from that overwhelm feeling into a space of grace and peace?
Start with looking at your surroundings. Our homes and offices are a reflection on our state of mind. If your physical space is in chaos, there is a good chance your mind is too.
Close your eyes and walk through your home in your mind. What spaces inside your home bring up that feeling of overwhelm, dread or frustration? Out of those spaces, what is the area that has the strongest reaction?
Now, with that area of your home in mind, where are the piles being created and what are they created by?
The answer to these two questions provides you with your first action step.
Start with focusing on the area that is the least overwhelming. Warming up on ‘easier’ areas helps us prepare for tackling the more challenging spaces.
Start with what is out in the open, the piles. Set aside just a few minutes and sort one pile at a time. Sort like minded items together and look at what is the next step, do items need to:
- be filed/put away
- found a home for
- actioned – fixed, returned to someone
- disposed of
You may find that the pile quickly disappears, gaining momentum to tackle another.
If you find that the pile takes a bit longer to work through, don’t give up! Your organisation does not need to be perfect.
It’s important to find easy systems to help you on an on-going basis, like:
- putting things away as soon as you are finished with them
- Not buying anything unless you know where it will be housed
- having a basket or container near the front door for return items
Want more tips? In this blog we go more into how to get organised when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Don’t delay, start today