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How to deal with overwhelm

Coach Kanika Tandon by Kanika Tandon
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Recently, at a workshop this past weekend, us coaches got discussing tips on how to tackle overwhelm. It is a common theme with my clients and even I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the work that I put on my plate (but getting over it).

Sharing here is what the collective brain of us coaches came up with to tackle overwhelm:

1. Declutter: What you haven’t used in a while throw away. Don’t hold on to a thing you are not using, just because you like it.
2. Organise: Be very clear about the structure of your day. It will help you stay focused and productive.
3. Self-care: For all you do for others, take some time out in the day for things that bring you joy and peace.
4. Prioritise: Do what is urgent first and put distractions for later. (Like I am choosing to continuing to write this piece despite the texts beeping on my phone). Scientific Fact: Multi-tasking actually drains the brain!
5. Manage your social media time: Don’t be driven by the fear of missing out. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If you find yourself getting uncomfortable with the time you spend on social media, take action and cut down on it. Designate time slots of 30 mins for email and social media scrolling 3-4 times a day.
6. Use the Pareto Principle: which says devote time to activities which require 20% effort to give you 80% results rather than vice versa. Ask yourself, “Which of the tasks I do produce the best results?”
7. Apply the Pomodoro Technique: Which says, choose a task which is small and achievable, to be done in 20 mins. Set time for it. Work on the task without distractions until the alarm rings. Then put a check on your list of done things. Reward yourself with some unstructured activity such as a coffee break, calling a friend, relaxing etc. Then, go ahead and set another timer for another task. This way, you are productive and also training your brain to do single tasks with focus.
8. Cut off from things/people/situations which overwhelm you: This might seem unimportant, but sometimes, a certain piece of music, an argumentative person, too loud a party can overwhelm us. If we can identify which situations overwhelm us, we can teach ourselves to steer clear of them.
9. Boundaries with family members and learning to say ‘NO’: For many of us, family is the closest and we tend to do things for them without a question. However, if you slow down to think how your family commitments are eating into your own productivity and creating a vicious cycle of overwhelm, because you forgot to say “NO” to your partner, friends or your kids, you will see phenomenal change come out of it. Remember, boundaries are your friends and it is okay to say, “NO” without feeling guilty.

I hope this helps xxx

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