|Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile|
Until we can make the world stop when we do, feeling overwhelmed from time to time is inevitable. Knowing what to do when that feeling strikes can help us to take charge and feel a little less out of control. For me, this "take charge" approach includes:
Taking baby steps. When it's all too much, we start feeling the need to slay big dragons. Unfortunately, the pressure to get it all done at once, even if it's self-imposed, only contributes to that feeling of too much to do in too little time. Putting one foot in front of the other and taking one thing at a time can create a sense of accomplishment as we erase all of those little tasks from our to-do lists, one by one.
Prioritizing. As we approach each of those small tasks, it's important to ask ourselves if the baby steps we're taking are leading us in the direction of something that must be done now or something that can wait. While we have the luxury of mixing it up when we're not in a time crunch, we need to focus first on the here and now when we've hit the panic button. When we're overwhelmed, baby steps that make progress on a project due in two weeks may be less useful than the ones we take on the stuff that's due tomorrow.
Using the plan. In an effort to find shortcuts and super solutions, we often get in our own way. When this happens, we need to stop, step back and assess the plan(s) we have at our disposal. If they work on a day-to-day basis, they might just be the life raft we're looking for when seas get stormy. Choose the most appropriate plan and put it into action. Even a semblance of a plan can help us feel less out of control.
How about you? How do you keep things under control when you're feeling overwhelmed?