Not sure where to start



Photo by di_the_huntress

With the advent of Christmas holiday season and up coming New Year the is a growing pressure to have as much things done as possible and to avoid carrying things over to the next year. As result of this you might feel overwhelmed with too many projects and actions that need your attention at the same time. There are too many pressing deadlines and none isn’t clearly more important than the other. Being in this state can become overpowering and most likely can cause further stress.

With mountain of things coming in there is no easy way to start and all choices appear to be bad. To sort this all out you need clarity. Clarity to see all your commitments, clarity to see the priorities.

For some , simple tactics below, maybe counterintuitive. As the faster you start the further you can get comes to mind soonest. This is misleading for two reasons. First you may not be doing the right things and secondly you will not be able to properly pace yourself not knowing what the actual tasks are and how much time will they take.

There are couple of tips that are worth trying when your are overwhelmed:

Take a deep breath

Intense work uses a lot of energy. To generate more energy human body needs oxygen, a lot of it. Take three deep breaths. This will calm you down. Also it provides more oxygen and helps you think clearly. Once your head is fresh you can start looking at things, assessing priorities and building action plans.

Take a step back

As you work on projects you may become too involved in them. this potentially can block your ability to judge and make optimal decisions about what needs to get done. Take a qucik  walk outside, maybe go to water cooler or fountain and drink some water. Don’t rush. Come back to your desk and look at your commitments with fresh eyes. See what stands out and make it your priority. Once it’s done find another thing and work on it.


Some of our tasks are delegated from the top. Your boss asked you to do a number of thing and as a result your have a myriad of conflicting priorities and deadlines. Although this maybe easier said than done ask your boss what’s bigger priority. Remember that his performance depends on your performance so it’s in his best interest to makes sure that your are spending your time on the right things. Also it’s better to ask, than feel sorry and put a lot of effort and energy in the wrong thing.

Try any of these techniques whenever you find yourself pushed to the limit without any break on the horizon. What usually happens is the situation looks terrible only from the distance. Up close once you get going it isn’t that bad at all.

If you have any favourite tips for dealing with overwhelm please share them in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s