Sunday, January 3, 2010

Overwhelm: A Career Signifier

Being efficient relies on noting times when you step into and remain overwhelmed and what you do to get out of it. The overall aspect of taking on too much and not having an exit strategy can create a cycle of feeling tracked and overwhelmed.

As you become more skilled and busier in your work the likelihood of becoming overwhelmed and distracted becomes more prevalent. Being overwhelmed is when you have more to do or process than what you perceive you have time for. The challenge with overwhelm is that it costs businesses millions of dollars each year with employees not being productive, efficient and on top of things.

It impacts the work place because employees are not given the specific tools and strategizes to change their attitude and perspective. In this blog I will go into detail about specific techniques I coach clients on that you may find helpful.

There are specific tips I am going to share with you. In additional I have a unique model I have developed that you can apply to any situation to get out of overwhelm. Please email me to get your copy.

Here are some suggestions I recommend. The first is to say no to certain activities and conversations that don’t support your goals. It’s honorable to say no in your life so you can make space for what is most important. In partnership with saying no is always opening to understanding and knowing your limits. As we live longer our body changes and our life energy reserves shifts, which impacts our limits and our capacities. By knowing this you save yourself time and energy. I recommend you take brakes every 1.5 hours or so and take notice of your natural rhythms. Are you more likely to be an early morning person or a late night person? Track your most productive and energetic times and use that time to do the most demanding and meaningful work. I also encourage you to play with how you do tasks by experimenting with your use of time and task management.

Specifically after you know your natural rhythms you can relax into the moment and let your past and future melt away. To reduce and begin to eliminate overwhelm it’s important to look at what is essential in your life and career and do what gives you the most reward and out put. As you choose to release relationships, activities, volunteer projects, clients, career directions, to dos in general that have drained you then you create more energy to dedicate to what is important for you. In previous blogs I have mentioned the 80/20 rule where we receive most of our enjoyment and success from 20% of what we do. By reducing what you choose to take on, remain involved with and focus on you can reduce the amount of work and projects down to a manageable amount that you can work with. From there I suggest you systemize and automate as much as you can of what you have taken on into daily rituals and systems that allow you to create a way to focus on completing things verses remaining on a treadmill of busyness.

And finally the most practical and sometimes the most profound are the items that relate to increasing your health and vitality such as mediating, exercise, eating food that works for you well, getting enough sleep, and spending time alone without stimulus such as TV, computers, conversations and work.

Overwhelm is a state of mind that you can change with your attitude and the actions you take.

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