Welcome to 2016. I’m overwhelmed. How about you?
The way I feel right now, I could do without a new year ever again. I’m bombarded with email, tweets, FB group posts, Instagram pictures and LinkedIn comments telling me how to plan, schedule, set goals, accomplish goals, managed resolutions and be successful in 2016. Since most of us would like to be more successful at whatever we do, that seems like a good start to the year, right?
I was feeling so optimistic as 2015 came to a close and now with the bombardment of direction and cheers from well meaning social media, I’m hiding here at my desk wondering how to manage the overwhelm in my head. Ideas, thoughts, plans, goals, schedules, resolutions; it’s all there in a big foggy, swirl. Remember that picture of electrons swirling in circles from high school science? Put that in a vat of swirling cotton candy and that’s how my brain feels. It hurts.
Anyone else on the same page or am I out here alone on planet Overwhelm?
As a professional organizer, I’m not immune to being overwhelmed. And like everyone else, I have to get organizing whether I’m overwhelmed or not. The only difference is I’ve coached and supported clients back from planet Overwhelm and I have strategies I know will help. I’m going to use them. A few simple steps to get rid of that overwhelmed feeling when trying to get organized.
Go for a walk. Moving large muscle groups helps to dissipate stress. If all else fails, just walk around your house, apartment, room or office. Head to the water cooler. Or better still…
Get Some Fresh Air
Walk outside. The clear, cooler air will help blow away the cotton candy from your brain. The smell of wood stoves always takes me back to my days working on a reserve on the Canadian pacific coast where life was relatively simple. The fresh air is almost as good as a RESET button.
Write it Down
Just writing down the swirl of thoughts and confusion can sometimes provide clarity. Even if the thoughts are randomly written, your brain will start to put them into order. Grab a pen or pencil and just start writing. Don’t worry about anything making sense.
Make a List – or Two
Take the random written thoughts and group the ideas together. Try groups like stuff to do, calls to make, decisions to make, long term plans, next week’s party, business goals, vacation plans. You have your own stuff going on that will provide natural groups.
Take a Break
Organizing and being overwhelmed will require more breaks than organizing at other times. Decision fatigued sets in faster when an individual is overwhelmed – if they are able to make decisions at all. Give yourself lots of breaks to refresh your grey matter.
Take a Social Media/Technology Break
Our cell phones, computers, tablets and television bombard us with direction and instructions. Take a break and get away from everyone else telling you how to start your new year. For some, even just a few hours without the device will make a difference to help get you back from planet Overwhelm.
Getting organized in new year is a great thing. Being overwhelmed is not. Using these few easy steps I got back from planet Overwhelm and was able to get this blog post written. You’ll get your stuff done too.