Getting back into the swing of things after Christmas and New Year means a return of all our old stressors, plus a few extra resolutions to be tackling! Overwhelm – that feeling of anxiety, of too much to do, of where do I start – is extraordinarily common for most….you’re not alone! I've a very simple technique to keep it at bay and increase my productivity at the same time.
When overwhelm hits many people take refuge in procrastination or avoidance, suddenly feeling an urgent need to watch people on TV talk about what they’re watching on TV. Or a pressing reason to google what Tony Danza looked like in 2016 or why dogs sniff one another's butts so much. Essential stuff.
I would lay bets that you have a To-Do list as long as your arm right now, whether work or personal. Try this really simple tip to getting moving through the overwhelm, ramp up your productivity and get through that list faster….you’ll be surprised at the reasons why this works!
NO.1 TIP TO SMACK DOWN OVERWHELM WHEN IT REARS ITS UGLY HEAD
Look at your To-Do list and choose three things you want to or must get done. Write them on a new piece of paper and put the other list away for now.
That’s it, that’s all you have to do!
Watch what happens – you’ll suddenly feel like those things are very achievable, you’ll find it easy to get stuck into them and you’ll cease avoiding them.
This is a gem at work OR at home. Sometimes when I wake up on a day off and before I get up, I start thinking about everything I need to get done that day and the list gets long. Result: I stay in bed for another hour avoiding the day’s tasks. But if I think only of the next three things I need to do (or even better “what’s the ONE next thing I must do?” I’m up and at ‘em!
WHY THE HECK DOES THIS WORK?
Think about nearly every story you were told as a kid….they nearly all involve three things: three bears, three wise men, three blind mice, three little pigs. We were bombarded by three’s…we’ve been conditioned to feel comfortable with three’s. Three is manageable, safe, easy to handle. As soon as we go over three….OVERWHELM. Our brains unconsciously count like this: “one…two…three…MANY”.
Secondly, overwhelm occurs when quite simply our world gets too big. Reducing your list makes our world small again, manageable.
Give it a try, and each time you get through your list of three, take the next three things off your main list and write them on another new piece of paper. If you’re as nerdy as me then you can add a little tick box so you have the pleasure of physically ticking stuff off when it’s done. Then be pleasantly surprised at how easy it feels getting tasks done and how friggin’ fast you do them!
Stephanie Chan is a Sydney based Life Coach, Dating Coach and Presenter. Her passion is in working with people to improve self-worth, confidence, strength & success in all areas of their lives.
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