Feeling Overwhelmed?

Do you have too much to do and you’re feeling overwhelmed? One day, after looking at my list of things to do, I just sat there – frozen. I wasn’t sure how to move forward when it felt like so many items demanded immediate attention. Thoughts of “How am I going to get this all done” developed into, “I’m never going to get this all done.” Then, “I’m doing too much.” “Why did I say yes to that?” “I have no boundaries.” “I’m such a loser.”

My negative self-talk can escalate quickly. Even as I sit here typing and enjoying the writing (birthing) process, I’m thinking about the two sets of minutes I haven’t yet completed for the two board meetings I had in the last couple weeks. Focus, Paula. Focus.

We’ve all heard of the flight or fight response. The experts add in “freeze” and it’s real. Our central nervous system can take only so much stress. It’s important to learn little ways to deal with stress levels and anxiety before they escalate. For me, it’s been a lesson learned multiple times over. That day, I started color-coding my list for my 4 largest responsibilities. That helped a little. But, the challenge was in doing those items that would make the biggest difference, but were the hardest to do. Those were the items I really needed to focus on, but what I really wanted to do were the simple things.

So, that day I started there. I focused on the easy stuff – items that took a couple of minutes. I could then focus on the big stuff. It’s not what the authorities on goal accomplishment say to do, but on certain days, it helps, and it helped me that day. Then, I did 25 jumping jacks. You’re laughing, right? Just try it. Really. Get up and get moving when you feel stuck. It’s a great way to get an energy boost which then helps with focus.

Or, ask yourself, “What is one small thing I can do to move forward on an item that is huge and complex?” Write it down. Then decide when you are going to do it that day.  Then, do it. And repeat. Take a deep breath. Maybe 10 deep breaths. Then, be kind to yourself and get on with it.

Discover Your Positive Intelligence

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