Feeling Overwhelmed in a World of Movement
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Are you one of those people that's a busy bee and always have something going? Do you feel overwhelmed all the time because of things going on in your life that you think are out of your control? As humans, we've all been there.
Getting your shit together is often hard to do. Some always seem like they have their shit together, and those are the ones we envy because it seems like they have time to do everything they want. In reality, those are the people that are so busy to the brim they're missing out on everything else that's important because of all the little things that get in the way.
Then you have those that never have their shit together and tell you when they're supposed to meet you in 20 min that they're hoping in the shower and will meet you there in 15. They do not understand the time it takes and is always explaining to people why they're late, or it just becomes expected that they'll always be late to every function.
Being overwhelmed is just a part of being human, though how overwhelmed we are depends on what we do to ourselves both emotionally, task wise, daily, and the obligations we place on ourselves. I, for example, procrastinate on more significant projects while distracting myself with smaller ones to 'think about how to get the bigger ones done.' I work well under pressure and last-minute deadlines despite planning everything out in a planner I bought for myself to schedule out my days.
That planner (I use GoldenCoil) still gets used, and I do schedule out my days, and mostly, I follow it, scheduling myself down to the half-hour with writing goals, clients and other tasks that I have for that day and week. I pencil them in and erase or rewrite as necessary throughout the week, depending on what I've been able to get done the day before.
Feeling overwhelmed isn't a constant for me since I budget my time 95% of the time. However, sometimes I am very overwhelmed because I overbook myself, give myself too much to do, or find myself under more than one deadline. These are times when either I freeze like a deer in headlights, or buckle down and bull rush through my list of things to do, to get them out of the way it depends on my level of motivation that day.
Douglas Adams once said, "I love deadlines. I love the sound of them as they go whooshing by." While this isn't exactly workable in the business world, sometimes it happens. Feeling overwhelmed in these situations when something was supposed to get done and it didn't, is perfectly normal. I find in these situations that being upset with myself doesn't get me anywhere, but accepting that I procrastinated, write everything that I did up to that point to learn what I can change, and then get to working on that project to get it done ASAP.
I rarely miss a deadline, though, as I'm a stickler for time. As the military teaches you (my father was military and ingrained this in me), "Hurry up and wait." And that has been my motto for a good part of my life. It drives my husband crazy, though he's become used to it over the past 20 years, bowing to the sound of "We need to leave in 10 to get there early enough not to be late." statements.
Making sure that we address that feeling of being overwhelmed is critical, though not acknowledging it and leaving it to fester can cause issues in the long run. For some, it's panic attacks. For others, like me, it's shutting down entirely and not feeling motivated to move forward for a bit until something jolts us into motion.
Finding what jolts you into motion is another crucial factor, sometimes reading when I'm significantly blocked on writing, or writing on something different from what I'm supposed to be writing on helps to get the juices flowing in the right direction. Doing something' fun' instead of what's supposed to be done to give my brain a chance to let loose and be free before bending to a task. Writing in piecemeal chunks instead of in a continuous stream also helps with things such as a book or long-form article.
Find whatever gets you motivated–A trick I was told to use was to set a timer for 33 minutes and 33 seconds, something slightly off so you're not counting it down precisely. Work for that length of time until the timer goes off and then get up for 5-10 minutes to do something fun before sitting back down for another 33 minutes and 33 seconds. Rinse repeat until the task is done.
Great planners that I've tried or currently use: (please note I use affiliate links to keep my content free, so the following links are affiliated).
CleverFox - You can get this here on amazon, I like this one as it's undated and can be great for detailed planning daily, and is an affordable option.
Panda Planner - This one is great for the same reasons as CleverFox, their layout is just as productive and thought-provoking while keeping you organized, and being easy on the wallet.
Golden Coil - My current planner, and probably my favorite, but a bit pricey as it's customizable with its pages with so many layouts available it's almost ridiculous. I feel it's worth the price though as organized as it keeps me.
Just know that feeling overwhelmed in this world of busy schedules is entirely normal, and shutting down, feeling unmotivated, panicking a bit, or however you feel is just your body's way of telling you you need to slow down and have some fun for a few minutes, take some time in your schedule to focus on you and not the tasks at hand. Exercise some self-care, self-love and other activities that will refresh and renew your mindset, and you'll probably be much happier.