Lately, work has been crazy. And while I always say that busy is a good problem to have, sometimes I tend to get a little overwhelmed by just how busy I can get. So I wanted to share a few tips I have for when I’m trying to tackle feeling overwhelmed.
- Making a to-do list: As simple as it sounds, sometimes making a to-do list is what keeps me sane. Having some sort of tangible list of items that I can check off gives me a sense of satisfaction. I tend to put my biggest priorities at the top of my list, and then I place the less important items at the bottom of my list. On the other hand, you might find it helpful to list your tasks by due date or even by project or client – it’s really a personal preference.
- Taking a break: Sometimes stepping away for a moment and giving yourself a breather is exactly what you need to calm yourself. I find that being able to step away helps me calm down and keeps my anxiety in check. I do this by walking to get coffee, taking a quick drive (no more than 15 min!) or even calling my best friend on the phone for a non work-related chat. Give yourself a quick mental break and you’ll feel better and fresher when you sit back down at your desk.
- Talking it out: When the frustration and anxiety builds for me, sometimes it’s easiest to just have someone to talk to. Talk about your tasks and how you’re going to handle them. The person you’re talking to (whether it’s your boss, mentor or a co-worker) might have some good advice on how to accomplish all of your tasks and do so efficiently.
- Asking for help: Even though it is my least favorite thing to do, sometimes it’s best to ask for help when you need it. If possible, delegate. Interns are a great resource and can be extremely helpful. Co-workers are a great source for help as well – you can use them as an extra set of eyes on a document, or even grab them for a quick brainstorming session to get your creativity going when you’re feeling flat.
- Tackle the realistic: Even though it’s way more satisfying to check off the biggest tasks on your to-do list, sometimes tackling a few little ones along the way helps you feel like you’re getting more done. I do this by taking small breaks from my biggest projects to complete my smaller tasks. (Although if multi-tasking isn’t for you, this might not be the best idea!) Just be realistic with yourself about what you can tackle in a day and in a week. If you set your goals too high, you might feel worse about things, and that doesn’t help at all.
- Self-care: Above all, self-care if the most important part of tackling your overwhelm. If you don’t take care of yourself, the feeling of being overwhelmed will only grow as it takes it’s toll on your body. Be sure to take breaks for lunch (step AWAY from the computer!), get enough sleep and giving yourself realistic timelines for your projects and tasks.