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Being Overwhelmed and Getting Past the OMG! Feeling

Most of us get overwhelmed at work and in life sometimes, or often.  We each react to it differently depending on two things:  the facts confronting us and the feelings that arise.  So, it matters how we learn to soothe ourselves and calm ourselves down so we can unpack the facts into doable chunks.  Overwhelm has several components that are important to think about.


Do you have just enough information to overwhelm and upset yourself and not enough information to calm yourself down?

  • What do you know for sure.
  • Accept that there is information you don’t know.
  • Who has the information or where can you find it?


Do you have a kazillion things on your plate and all of them feel equally urgent and need to be done yesterday? Understand who is creating the urgency that everything has equal importance.

  • If it’s you, use the information you’ve gathered to map out reasonable time lines for each urgent project.
  • If someone else is presenting the urgency that everything has equal importance, use the information you have gathered to present solutions to them in a clear, non-hostile, non-overwhelmed way how you will get things done in a timely but not overwhelming way.  You may need to have that conversation quite a few times.

Organizational Systems

Do you have a personal organizational system that gives you what you need when you need it?  Do you trust and believe in your system?

  • Don’t create a system while you are in a crisis!
  • Discover or develop a system for yourself when there are meaningful blocks of reflective time to remember best practices you’ve found from experience.
  • Research methods that others have discovered or developed that may fit your style.
  • Streamline and get rid of things that you don’t need.
  • Take time weekly to review for yourself what you have gotten done so you can see you were productive.
  • Spend time on Friday preparing for Monday.  You can leave your mind clear and have a head start for the new week. 

Overwhelm is an important topic and one that is written about frequently.  I hope this overview is some food for thought.  I’ve also included links to other recent articles that may have insights you can use for yourself.

Leave a comment and share your best practices for calming the overwhelm monster.


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