What to do When You’re Overwhelmed
Ever find yourself in a situation when you’re so overwhelmed with work that you actually feel paralyzed? Us too.
Here are some ways which help us to power through during those times when we’re under the gun.
Write it down. No, but seriously. There is nothing better than a to-do list. Sure, Teux-Deux and GoogleTasks are great, but there is no better feeling than physically writing down your list of to-dos. Getting everything down on paper allows you to understand what you’re up against and lets you plan accordingly. Making sure to turn even little to-do’s into formal tasks will allow for you to feel more accomplished, as crossing them off feels oh-so-good. A brand new planner will really help facilitate this process.
Delegate! For many of us, it’s not easy to give up control to other members of our team. The delegation of tasks, however, can be one of the best tools in your toolbox, and one of the most powerful moves to make. Though delegation takes a lot of upfront work, the backend is often smooth sailing.
Try SMART goal setting. When setting goal for yourself, be SMART about it. Goals should be: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and trackable. Too lofty and the anxiety will start to sneak in.
Pump…yourself up. A great tip we found once that we love involves Star Wars (and what great tip doesn’t)? When you’re distracted, strap on those headphones and motivate yourself with some great music (sans-lyrics) like the Star Wars soundtrack or video game music. It will make you feel like you’re taking on the world, one tiny task at a time.
Create consistency. Whether you’re a blogger, social media manager, designer, or entrepreneur, there are tasks that you do on a somewhat consistent basis (or should). These might include writing blog posts, publishing tweets or Facebook posts, emailing potential clients or writing proposals. When you feel overwhelmed, these tasks may become unwieldy. Instead, block out consistent chunks of time in your week to dedicate to these important tasks, making sure not to overcommit yourself to anything unreasonable. Remember, quality over quantity always wins.
Phone a friend. In times of desperation, phone a “friend”. This not only takes some of the pressure off but also introduces some fresh new life into your work and content. Here at Go Media, we have a great list of extended family on hand at any time, as well as some great freelancers and bloggers who can step in at any time and lend a hand.
Put your blinders on. When you have a huge project to attend to, office chatter, music or small interruptions can be an unwelcome distraction. Besides gritting your teeth to power through, think about what you can do to alleviate some of these disruptions. This could be anything from getting into the office early or using an app to practice the Pomodoro timer (work for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break). (Try Freedom, Focus Booster or Stay Focused.) You could also try changing scenery and work from home or a coffee shop or completely shut down your computer and work strictly on pen and paper.
Underpromise, overdeliver. Setting expectations is an important part of communicating with clients, family, and friends. When you consistently overpromise something you may or may not be able to deliver upon, you are setting yourself and the relationship up for failure. We suggest setting honest expectations upfront and then overdelivering whenever possible. It’s such an awesome feeling all around.
Good luck and go get ’em!