A Simple Tool for Dealing With Overwhelm

Let’s face it, we are all overwhelmed. Whether it is our personal lives, business/career, or both, feeling overwhelmed is like the common thread that connects us. The question is, exactly how do you get your head far enough above water to see the shore, and devise a simple way to get there? If you are feeling stressed out in your state of overwhelm, your brain also has proportionally less access to creativity and rational thinking. A nice ‘double whammy’ for when you are already feeling somewhat incapacitated. I use a tool called The Four D’s to cut through my overwhelming fog and create simple, clarity….quickly! First, make a list. Yes, the big laundry list of tasks, big and small, that are running around faster than Speedy Gonzales on your mental hamster wheel. Doing the brain dump will take some of the drain off your short-term memory and give you a better handle on what you are really dealing with. Just seeing the list can be freeing and daunting at the same time. Don’t worry, you are not going to do it all right now. Just start by sorting the list.

  1. Do it – What are the ‘easy peasy’ tasks, the low hanging fruit that you could do quickly to free up some energy and instantly feel better? Highlight those a do two now.
  2. Dump it – What tasks do you have on your list that are more like wishes, not reality, that are stressing you out? Time to say goodbye to your fantasized version of yourself as Donald Trump or Martha Stewart. Take a big black marker and strike those off the list.
  3. Date it – Are you looking at the entire list and giving everything equal priority? Not everything is urgent and important. Put more realistic dates next to items that do not require immediate completion. Be honest with yourself, sometimes this skewed perspective alone is what got you in to overwhelm. Transfer those items with dates over to a written or electronic calendar and let them go!
  4. Delegate it – Are you trying to be a superhero and do this entire list yourself? Many Entrepreneurs live in a scarcity mentality and think it is easier, cheaper and better to do it all. WRONG! Ask for help, make agreements and negotiate some tasks to friends and family or business team members. Asking for help is not weak, it is a strength that few really leverage.

I hope this simple tool helps you in dealing your overwhelm right now and in the future.  There is no point in feeling like you are drowning when you can reach for this simple PFD at anytime to get you afloat, and back on track. What tips an tricks do you have for dealing with overwhelm in your life? Leave me a comment below so we can all learn from each other.  Are you looking for an expert in using The Four D’sto help you apply this to your life? Contact me now to get started!