Feeling overwhelmed and getting things done

There are times where I feel completely overwhelmed by the many priorities I juggle (whether they are really a priority or not is a different question). I am sure that most people would say this.

Being a dad, husband, son, friend, manager, leader, mentor – it is hard, if not impossible, to be great at all of these things all the time. Some people might argue that trying to do all of these things isn’t realistic – but for me, and I suspect for many others, it is a reality.

Then add anxiety into the mix. Which for me can create an overwhelming pattern of trying to overthink and second guess in all these areas and make it difficult to get anything done (other than a lot of pacing around). Usually, I end up telling myself that I am bound to “get it wrong” and the fear of failure can grow very quickly.

For me, this can relate to a strategic piece of work, right through to the things that need doing at home, or what we are going to do at the weekend. It is not the importance that drives it alone, but also the sheer volume of things that need doing.

Anxiety or not I suspect others will feel the same. We live in a time where everyone is busy and priorities are not clear or conflict with each other. When I start a conversation with someone and ask how they have been – the typical answer I get is ‘really busy’.

So a quick tip that works for me (it’s not rocket science and I suspect it is written in a thousand books, blogs etc)…

Just do one thing to get started – and that one thing should NOT be a list of other things. Because that could be even more overwhelming!

If you’re struggling to tackle something significant, then do something insignificant.

When you’ve done one or two things then start to look at creating that list (if lists are your thing).

For me, this creates momentum and a feeling of achievement.

I think for many that feeling is important. It is particularly important for me when I am working on bigger pieces of work where you don’t see the end result of your work for months – I sometimes need to complete some smaller tasks to regain my focus on the bigger items.

Sometimes for me, it is as simple as tidying up so that when I sit down to focus on something my surroundings aren’t cluttered – and to be honest, successfully tidying up when you live with two small children feels like a major achievement every time!

I hope that helps and of course feel free to share any tips you have!