So, I realize this blog is about digital marketing, but it’s also about people and the working world.
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how healthy or unhealthy work can make you and how we all experience that feeling of being overwhelmed in the office.
I want to let you know that it’s okay. I’ve literally never met anyone who can 100% say that they have always 100% been on top of everything- 100% of the time. Okay so that’s a lot of 100% ‘s but it’s true.
In true Not The Boss fashion I’m going to be bossy and offer some support, or simply some practical advice for what to do when you are overwhelmed at work.
1. Take a break:
Yeah, this one seems super counterproductive (and may have some of you moving to the exit button on your browser,) but hear me out. Often when you are struggling with something and there are a ton of things you need to do, you can suffer from, what I call, getting-started-paralysis. It’s all super scientific 🙂 but basically taking a break gives you a moment to let your brain take a rest and helps the brain kickstart itself back into gear. This is why you will often find that you struggle to recall a name when you are speaking to a person due to the pressure, but remember their names later on.
P.S taking a break could be just sitting down for a coffee away from your desk and scrolling through some mind-numbing content to distract you. Hey, you may be doing that right now…
2. Speak to a colleague that exudes positive energy:
This one may be a bit hard if you work in a shitty environment, but you could also talk to a friend. Sharing your “struggle” will release a bit of the load, and you may find someone will unburden a bit of their own struggle. For me, it helps to ask colleagues what projects they are working on and if they are encountering any struggles themselves. You are not alone was never just a song from a Michael Jackson album. Try not to get too invested in your misery or lack of productivity as this will definitely not help you.
3. Create a simple list:
Make a list. Most people probably do this. I recommend getting inventive with it as it will feel less like a shopping list of things you’re not achieving. Prioritise things on the list with some sort of a number sequence. 1 – Super important, 4 – could wait. I like to name my list different things, depending on what state of disarray I’m in:
- Brain Dump (when I’m feeling 99.8% frazzled)
- Get Shit Done (when I’m straddling the line between procrastination and productivity)
- …And then there’s the normal every day, write notes anywhere and everywhere I can find a sticky note, scrap paper or whatever notebook I’ve managed to find when Armageddon hits.
4. Practice self-care:
Being overwhelmed is draining. You’re not going to get anything done when you can’t pull yourself towards yourself – you can only do as much as you can do. The golden rule here is, YOU ARE NOT A BRAIN SURGEON, people are not going to die if you don’t complete everything on your list. (If you’re a brain surgeon, discard above, people will die – get a grip). Fill your out of office hours with things that will fill you emotionally. Go to the gym, read a book, do something creative, play an Xbox game, have dinner with a friend, it doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it makes you feel rejuvenated and happy.
Breathe in and out. Focusing on your breathing can help lower your stress level, and although I’m not usually one for WebMD medical advice, here’s an article that offers breathing techniques to relieve stress.
What are your go-to strategies when you are overwhelmed?