Feeling Overwhelmed? Me?
I've recently been quite busy. I've been to several brilliant short courses over the last couple of weeks (but I haven't had time to implement the key learnings from them yet), I'm reading several interesting books at once which are supporting my work, giving me food for thought and further actions to take, I'm researching coaching skills as a work aid, I've got my ongoing work supporting and working along side my clients, then I've got my own life as well as a busy family life to juggle. Although I felt I had a lot on my plate, it all seemed fine and do-able but then horror of horrors! It came to my attention that I had tech issues with my website!
I didn't know how to fix this tech issue and seemed it to blow up out of all proportion and became a bit of a monster in my mind. It also somehow seemed to affect everything else going on in my life that day. I found it difficult to focus on one task at a time, I was unable to choose between my priorities, I was anxious that I wouldn't get everything done and I even had difficulty sleeping that night. When I woke up the next morning, I realised I was suffering from overwhelm.
Overwhelm is described as "too much for a person to deal with", or as "to defeat someone or something" And it is also associated with "strong or sudden feelings".
Well I certainly felt that I had too much to do, and I felt unequal to the task of fixing the website, you could say I felt "defeated". My mind felt cluttered up with tasks, I worried that by focusing on that one issue I'd take my eye off all the other plates that were spinning and for me the "strong and sudden feelings" associated with it were panic. How was I going to do everything and fix the glitch?
So in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, I had a little chat with myself. I listed out all my tasks in my mind, I chose one to prioritise and focus on and next I chose a path of action and scheduled a time to do it. The next morning my head was still a little fuzzy, but at least I was clear on what I was going to focus on.
I chose to work on the website glitch (which now didn't seem quite such a big monster). I was attending a working day with other business women and scheduled it as my first task of the day. Several people offered help and whilst I couldn't fix the problem immediately (this happened a few days later) I realised that facing up to the problem and asking for help had led me to discover lots of new wonderful things.
I ended the day feeling positive and like I had achieved something brilliant. I'd not necessarily ticked a million things off of my to do list, but I'd learnt new skills, made a new contact, felt supported and what's more I'd learnt something about myself. Allowing myself to feel vulnerable and panicky was ok, and reaching out and asking for help was a powerful tool for change.
My thoughts turned to my clients, and what emotions they face when dealing with their clutter. Time and time again, I hear the word overwhelmed when talking about clutter and life. So next week I'll be sharing my top tips for dealing with overwhelm in the face of physical clutter. See you then.