Maureen is planning her family’s move to Burkina Faso from Albania, and she is STRESSED. She has to arrange all with the moving company, categorize and separate all belongings in two categories – the “take-alongs” and “leave-behinds”. Organize a garage sale for the leave-behinds. She is making sure that her children are still able to run their normal programs so that they’re happy, and is driving them to all their activities while also planning the arrival in Ouagadougou – making sure they pack all they need to bridge the time it takes for the container to arrive. Naturally she wants to meet her own friends before her departure and has to round up her part time voluntary job as well which should have been handed over a week ago.
The overwhelming weight of it all feels crushing. There are too few hours in the day and there isn’t enough time to prepare for her move, close the chapter of her Albanian life, and prepare for Burkina Faso either! All Maureen wants to do is go to sleep and hide under the blankets, and cancel the whole move.
Have you ever felt like this? Of course, we all face overwhelm from time to time. Responsibilities pile up until they reach the tipping point, and the brain just…shuts down. Then the most attractive option is to jettison everything and check out.
Fortunately, there are ways around this one. Here are 3 quick and easy strategies you can call upon the next time you’re facing full-scale overwhelm.
Take a deep breath…and read on.
1. Prioritize & Cluster
Look at your list and circle the top 3 most important things that only you can accomplish. Then pick the next 3, and put stars next to them. Then get to work on your number one item and move down the list. At the end of the day, if nothing else, at least you handled the important stuff.
2. Recruit & Delegate
Why is Maureen the only one planning this move? Delegate the responsibility according to people’s abilities so that you can stop micro-managing! Recruit help from the people around you…your kids, your partner, friends… and start handing out tasks. Get them up off the couch and put them to work on things that need to be done that doesn’t require your personal touch.
3. Take A Break
Overwhelm causes stress, which results in more overwhelm, which causes more stress…
It’s important to take regular breaks from your projects in order to refresh your brain. Whether you take a hot bath, grab a healthy snack, talk to family or friends on the phone or in person, or simply step out for a walk around the block, time away allows you to regroup and recover, giving you new energy and fresh ideas when you return to your work.
Overwhelm-induced shutdown is one of the cleverest ways that procrastination shows up, because it feels so involuntary. However, with these few strategies and by allowing yourself some breathing room, you can overcome your overwhelm and become more productive than you imagined!
How will you work smarter, instead of harder during the preparation time of your relocation?