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An Antidote To Feeling Overwhelmed
A framework to push past overthinking and procrastination.
Have you ever had so much to do that you end up doing nothing?
That was my exact reaction to my feeling of overwhelm, as I looked at my to-do list. There were so many things I needed to do, clean the house, organize the garage, work on my podcast, update my website, write case studies; the list went on. I felt the weight of all I needed to get done, crushing me slowly. The invisible force had me locked in and pinned down. I felt paralyzed, unable to get started.
Focus on one task at a time
As I thought about the situation I was in, I realized that my overthinking about everything I need to get done is not helping me, so what if I tackle only one of the tasks and not worry about any of the others? My list of tasks will be there but if I can get one of the tasks completed, I will have made progress and, as a result, feel better that I check off one task from my list.
This realization helped me get started. It helped me cut through the overthinking and the overwhelm to find a way forward.
The next challenge was working on the task itself and working through the procrastination…
Find pleasure in the task
There are many tasks we must do that we dread and end up procrastinating on them, which makes our to-do list grow long. Once I overcame the hurdle of getting started, I now needed to actually do the work.
I decided to organize and clean the garage to start off. I was reminded of this task each time I parked my car in the garage. This mess greeted me every time I came home, so it wasn't going to be easy to ignore it and move on. I needed to tackle this task first. I needed to organize the garage.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
— A. A. Milne
How did it get so disorganized? Recently I started woodworking, and my first project was a closet upgrade. I added extra shelves in a closet. As I was starting from scratch, I needed to buy a lot of tools, supplies, paint, and wood to complete the project. The project turned out great, but in the excitement of completing the project, I became lazy and put the tools and supplies wherever I found space for them on the floor, on the shelves. There was barely any space to park the car. I had created a walking hazard, yikes!
As I started creating a place for everything, I realized just how great it would be to know where everything was. Instead of digging around to find something, I connected with the feeling of being organized and finding what I needed right away. This motivated me to keep going and spend the time needed to organize the garage for my family and my own sanity.
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Taking action is key
Reflecting back on this experience, I realized that I now have a reference point and a framework for pushing past the overthinking and the procrastination that can keep me from taking action and moving forward.
So next time you're feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, focus on one task only and then find pleasure in working on that task to help you complete it.
Taking action is the key to breaking free from feeling overwhelmed. We can move past the thoughts that hold us back from our goals and achieve our potential. We can move forward one task at a time and by finding the pleasure of working on it to see it completed.
Till next time, stay strong!