5 Steps to Feel Less Overwhelmed

My passion in leadership coaching is all about personal development, growth, and the self-care that it takes to be a great leader.  I firmly believe that we need to start teaching our leaders how to take better care of themselves. I’m also passionate about overcoming fear, building confidence (see my first video on this website below!) and learning to manage feelings of overwhelm.  Below are 5 steps that I take when I feel overwhelmed.  I hope they help you too!

Speaking of overwhelm – Deloitte surveyed 2500 executives in 94 countries and found that overwhelmed leaders and employees are a global concern with implications not only for those leaders but for their organizations as well.

Many leaders I know, myself included, experience feelings of overwhelm, sometimes to the point of burn-out.  A recent broad-based Mayo Clinic study that assessed U.S. physicians using the Maslach Burnout Inventory showed a 63 percent burnout rate among family physicians. The medical field is not the only field affected by overwhelm and burn-out.

How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed? Try one of these:

1. Brain Dump.

To begin with, I do what’s called a Brain Dump. I get everything, I mean EVERYTHING, out of my head and onto a piece of paper.  Actually, I use the 5-Second Journal by Mel Robbins.  If you haven’t heard of Mel Robbins, you need to Google her because she is fantastic!  I’ll even go so far as using different color pens for the different categories of my life – from business to my clinic work to some of my volunteer work to my personal life.  I know that you as a leader are also very busy and have multiple areas of your life that you manage.

2. Ask Questions.

I look at the list and ask myself some questions:

1. What are the three most important tasks to get done?
2. Which tasks would help me feel that I’ve achieved the most?
3. If I were to tackle one of these, what would help me move closest to my goal?
4. What would make the biggest impact? (Often I find that the thing I don’t want to is what brings me closest to my goals.)

3. Select 3.

Next, I pick the top three and I will work on those one at a time and really try to get some of those things done. The process somewhat repeats itself.  Once I get the three things done, I go on to the next three, etc.

4. Check your Self-Talk.

When I start to feel overwhelmed, I immediately start in a negative cycle of thinking. I’ll say things like, “I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t get this all done, how am I ever going to figure out how to get this all done?” You get caught in this negative cycle of thinking and it’s very easy to feel defeated. I try to catch myself and say, “focus on the present, you are right here, you can only get done what you can get done right in this moment.  Once you get your mindset in the present moment and focus at the task at hand, the feelings of overwhelm tend to subside.

5. Gratitude.

Finally, the last thing I do is check my gratitude level. I write down three things that I’m grateful for. This is also in the 5-Second Journal. I highly recommend it. It’s really helped my life! If you are a leader in a corporate environment, non-profit, or small business who is feeling overwhelmed and would like to bring life back into your life, what I offer through leadership coaching may be exactly what you need.

Discover Your Positive Intelligence

The better we get to know ourselves, the better we communicate and the better leaders we become.