Are you overwhelmed? Do you find yourself using phrases like these, “I have to,” “This has to get out today,” “I can’t just chill, there is too much to do,” “When I get this done I’ll relax.” When you operate with an energy flow of desperation and deadlines, you block the flow of abundance, joy, and ease. You attract more of what you put out into your space, so it’s no wonder you constantly feel behind. I’ve implemented these five tips in my life to help break the cycle of overwhelm.
Tip #1 Create a Hard Stop to Each Day
If you are fortunate enough to have a set schedule for your workday, stick to it. What can you accomplish within the confines of those hours? Allow your workflow to honestly be about the work you are paid to do. So many employees take snippets of their employers time to check facebook, scan Instagram, and catch up on Read It.
Your integrity with your assigned position will allow you to leave incomplete tasks to the next day. When you dedicate your time to your employer, not yourself, you can leave at the end of the day with a clear conscious.
What if you are self-employed? Well, my friend, this is where it’s time to set boundaries. I often overestimate what I can accomplish in one day and as my cut-off approaches, I have to make a choice.
- Do I extend the time I wanted to work to complete my project?
- Or do I recognize I bit off more than I can chew and give myself permission to put a pin in it and readjust my work order for tomorrow?
This leads to tip #2
Tip #2 Learn to Self- Manage, not Time-Manage
In an earlier blog, I discussed how there is no such thing as time management. Can you create more than 24 hours in a day, or stop the clock? Full disclosure, if I could be a Marvel character, I would be the female version of Dr. Strange.
Set your day up by design, not by default. Get up at the same time every day. Create a morning routine that works for you. Build in time for a relaxed start to the day. If you are rushing around all morning and leaving a trail of chaos behind you, get up earlier. It’s that simple. You are trying to pack too much into the hour or 45 minutes you alotted to start your day gracefully.
A designed morning will create a flow of calm throughout the day.
Do you put everything into your calendar? When I plan my day, I time block each task, appointment, and estimated drive time. As I see the orange blocks populate into my day, it serves as a visual clue when it gets too full.
When is too much too much? Click on a day and look for white space. If the only thing staring back at you is color block after color block, you haven’t given yourself time to breathe. No longer are you running your schedule, your schedule now runs you. Cue the overwhelm of your life.
What you need is some white space.
Tip #3 Create White Space
As I reflected on my calendar from last year, I was struck by how much I crammed into one day. Meeting after meeting, phone call after phone call, networking events, kid’s appointments, and very few moments to recharge.
Think of your body and mind as a battery. How do you recharge? How do you decompress at the end of the day? What have you put on your calendar for you?
I’ll refer you to this blog, The Art of Saying “No,” as permission to design time in your calendar for white space.
You are no good to anyone around you if you can’t breathe. It’s time to put on your oxygen mask. So much of my foundational work with my clients starts with knowing how to look for signs of overwhelm, depression, distractions, and lack of joy.
Only you can create space in your calendar. No one else will give it to you.
Tip #4 Set Boundaries with Your Phone
We live by our phone. It dings, we look. It rings, we look. It vibrates, we look. We have become conditioned just like Pavlov’s dog. I thought we were smarter than that. Well, the joke is on us.
If the bell caused the dog to salivate in anticipation of getting fed, the notification elicits an automatic response to pick up the phone.
You are in control of your phone. Let me repeat this. You are in control of your phone! Stop treating every ding as an emergency. How often do you sit in front a real human being, uh, a spouse, and divert your attention away from them when an alert comes through?
Do you want to know the secret to have an amazingly productive day?
Put your phone on silent mode!
Permit yourself to look at your phone once every two or three hours. If you work from home, keep it in a separate room. If you’re in an office, put the phone in a drawer. When you take a lunch with family or friends, keep the phone on silent and face down. You are smarter than a dog.
If you are a social media junkie, remove the app from your phone and check it on your desktop with a set time you blocked on your schedule. This sounds so foreign, right?
Tip #5 Go to Bed and Sleep!
Quality sleep is the number one indicator of health. Your body recharges, new cells grow and repair, you form connections with memories and events, and you give your brain the space for new ideas. When you receive the advice to “sleep on it,” it’s a biological necessity.
Your optimal healing window for these functions occur between 11:00 pm-2:00 am. Unfortunately, you might consider yourself a night owl, and you burn the midnight oil, zipping right through your restorative sleep.
Friend, it’s time to shut down earlier. If you can create a dedicated plan to your bedtime routine, sleep will serve as the most significant factor in breaking your cycle of overwhelm.
- Determine a bedtime that allows 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Do not look at any electric blue light devise one hour before bedtime.
- Refuse to work on business or tasks at least two hours before bedtime.
- Don’t watch the news or read anything negative before bedtime.
- Write down the entire next day plans by late afternoon so you won’t fret over the next day’s to-do list as you drift off to sleep.
- Do not consume sugar or caffeine after 4:00 pm.
- Finish your last meal by 7:00 pm. Late night digestion prevents quality sleep.
- Take a hot bath or hot shower.
- Use camomille and lavender oil your on temples and the base of your skull.
- Use a diffuser in the bedroom with lavender.
- Keep your phone in a separate room. The EMF waves are dangerous to have by your head all night.
Only you can take the steps necessary to reduce your daily overwhelm. Ignoring the symptoms of depression, fatigue, apathy, and irritability will lead to severe health concerns.
If you are stuck in knowing how to create routines that will help your mental wellbeing, please reach out to me through the contact page and schedule a free consultation call.
OXOX – Anne