Organize + Energize: 7 Ways to Reduce the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert

You’re disorganized and your life is chaotic. You find yourself stuck because you can’t get past the feelings of being overwhelmed and you just don’t know how to move forward. Do you crave structure and organization but don’t know where to begin?

This feeling of overwhelm can be avoided if you take a step back, breathe, break the process down, and put a plan into motion.

Here are 7 things to do when you’re overwhelmed:

Stop. Don’t move. When people are overwhelmed they tend to waste energy. They get stuck and get busy but not productive. Take a minute to step away from the situation and breathe. Before you start bouncing around your home or office, take a minute to empty your mind. Plan your next move and waste less energy.

Empty your mind. Sit for a few minutes and just empty your mind. Jot down everything you have to do and everything that’s running through your mind. Don’t worry about the order of things you need to do, just write. Once your thoughts are on paper, then you can break them down and organize them. You may find you have a sense of relief after you do this. Now that everything is on paper, it’s not as bad as you thought. You can now get a solid plan of what you need to accomplish and use this to-do list as a guide.

Just say no.  It’s ok to say no. If you have the option to say no, do it. Sometimes you have to say “no” at the time so you can focus on more important things that are going on in your life.

Don’t procrastinate. If you have time to tackle your task now, do it. You may get busy and as your deadline approaches, you may not have the time to spend on this. Block off some time when you work your best and just do it.

Break it down. Break the process down into pieces. Once you break the process down, it’s not going to be as overwhelming as you thought. People tend to look at the big picture and think that it’s just too much and they shut down and nothing gets done or they wait until the last minute. Map out your project and tackle in small increments.

Step away. Go for a walk, exercise, get some fresh air or go shopping. Stepping away from the situation will clear your mind and help you focus. When you go back to your project you’ll find that you’re more productive and have a clearer vision of what you need to accomplish.

Relax. This feeling of overwhelm will pass. It’s not the end of the world. If you put a plan into motion of how you’re going to attack your project, the end result will be amazing. You will look back and say, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad.”

Following all of the tips above will help you get a handle on your situation. You may find you were wasting energy and creating more work for yourself in the past. Sometimes situations aren’t as bad as they seem, but we tend to make more out of a situation because we dive head first without a plan or process.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, approach it differently and then observe how you feel after you’ve completed your project.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE.

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