Overwhelm gets you off track. It can be a dangerous place to be in terms of your stress level, making mistakes or messing up. There is energy expended in your overwhelm that can be transformed into productive energy. If you find yourself in overwhelm, try these five things to prevent crashing and to get back on a productive track.
1. Stop and bring yourself fully to the present moment.
2. Observe what has happened and center yourself.
3. Find a way to release the emotions and stress you are feeling.
4. Reorient yourself, identify what you can get done and set priorities.
5. Start working again, fully present to what you are doing.
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How is your week going? Are you carrying a lot? How about this coming week you let go of three tasks, responsibilities or burdens so that you can lighten your load.
Your mind can convince you that you must do everything and that you have no choice. In most cases, there are things you can let go of, without dire consequences.
Go ahead, tell yourself that yes, you can walk a little lighter in your life!
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You can get to a place in your career where you are asking yourself, “What’s the use?” Many things can get you to this question: an inability to affect what happens in your workplace, failure, frustration or obstacles you are not able to overcome. When this occurs – beware. At the point of feeling powerless, you are obviously not at your best.
If you find yourself asking, “What’s the use?” take some time to assess what has gotten you there. Remember that you are CEO of your career. You have some control over what happens. If something isn’t working for you, you know how to move on and make it better.
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It is late at night and I am down to the line in writing this blog post. It has to be done, so here I am. It has been a packed week and my sentiment is “enough, already”.
What do you do when you hit this place? Do you push on or give it up? Of course, different circumstances create different responses. Maintaining your balance, realizing sometimes you have to give an extra push and knowing your limits help you cope. Here’s hoping you do not reach this place too often. And now my post is done. ☺
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In my training at The Coaches Training Institute, they introduced a concept called “Chunking It Down”. It is a very effective way of managing, organizing and dealing with overwhelm. Chunking it down is simple – you take a task that has multiple parts and break it down into small, actionable steps.
Anything you are working on now that could benefit from chunking it down? Give it a try. It keeps you moving and is great for reducing stress.
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Sometimes you can get yourself into a state of confusion without realizing you are there. Many things can create confusion: overwhelm, not knowing what to do, not wanting to face something or losing your center. When this happens, your performance suffers, sometimes in a big way.
Confusion can be stealthy and difficult to recognize. When you recognize the signs of confusion – perhaps extreme emotional reactions, getting stuck, prolonged inefficiency or ineffectiveness, frustration, conflict or too many things going wrong – you are halfway to getting out of it. Take some time to re-center yourself. Look carefully at the source(s) of your confusion and take appropriate action to get back on your game. Confusion does you no good. Limit its ability to get the better of you.
If you’d like more, see my blog post, Ten Steps To Get Out Of Confusion Fast.
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In many arenas now, the change and chaos never seem to stop. At times, they come at you rapid-fire. The challenge is that you cannot control what is happening. However, you can control yourself and your response to it all. In work and other areas of life, what do you do when it keeps on coming?
To start, you can pull yourself out of the fray for a while. You can discriminate on your sources of information. You can be aware of when things get to be too much and take appropriate action. You can find a context for it all, so it does not seem inexplicable. You can take action, if you want to be part of a solution. When it keeps on coming, take care of yourself. Find a way to stay standing, until it passes.
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In a fast-moving world is calmness possible anymore? It is a question worth asking yourself. It may be that it is not possible to keep up with all the demands on your time. What are you to do? One thing you can do is to stop and take a good look at what is happening in your life. Are you paying attention to your priorities and making sure they get done first? Are you allowing overwhelm and stress to get the better of you? Is there a need for you to reevaluate how you are spending your time? Do you know how to regain your center when things get out of control?
It is society that has quickened its pace. You can still manage yourself in relation to what is around you. When you do so, things will begin to flow more easily. When you bring yourself fully to the present moment, things are not speeding by you; they are right there next to you. You have that moment and in that moment you can observe what is happening and make the choices that are best for you.
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Being busy seems to be a badge of honor these days. This is worth examining. Staying busy because it looks good does not have much merit. What matters is accomplishing what you set out to do, being efficient and staying out of overwhelm.
Working harder is not the only key to success. It may be a part of it, but equally important are having the skills you need, maintaining stamina by staying balanced and being smart about the goals you set.
This month, take a look at how busy you are. Are you productive? Are you getting where you want to go? Are you performing at your maximum? Being busy is not an end in itself. Nor is it a badge of honor. If you need to, let being busy go.
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Has your new year started out with a lot to do? Does it already feel unmanageable? How do you handle having too much to do?
As a manager, you juggle your own work, managing teams or projects and dealing with colleagues, customers and upper management. It’s a lot. Do you have an approach or system for managing when you become overloaded?
Here are some suggestions. Recognize the signs that you are becoming, or are already, overloaded. Once these signs appear, stop and reassess the situation. Identify the choices you have and decide how you will proceed. Cultivate your ability to discern what really are priorities and to say no when it is called for. Make a commitment not to run yourself into the ground while trying to do the impossible. That only lowers the quality of your work product and leaves you ineffective.
Your ability to manage well depends on your ability to effectively say “too much”.
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