Sure it might be the time of Covid and you may feel that you’re doing a lot less than you used to do pre-Covid – but are you? I know for me last year I was very busy learning new skills and bringing most of my business online. This transition required an immense amount of downloading information and developing technical know-how rather quickly. I got much busier, and in different ways, than I used to be.
Even as I write this, as we wrap up the first month of the year, life has been quite overwhelming. I am wondering if you’re feeling the same way. If you find yourself doing way too much right, I’d like to share some signs and hopefully some solutions to help you get into a more doable and manageable state.
So are you overdoing it? Or maybe you feel you may be underdoing it. But what’s the truth?
5 signs that indicate that you might be overdoing it:
- You can’t think straight
- You can’t sleep
- You are always feeling agitated, irritated and/or annoyed
- You think of yourself last
- Your environment is out of order
If you suffer from any of these telltale signs here’s what to do about it:
1.) Can’t think straight. You are used to being rational and organized in thought and suddenly you’ve been thrown a curveball in your already stress-filled life and feel confused and unable to make clear decisions.
Solution: Take things off your plate. Believe it or not, things will get done without your constant need to manage or control everything every minute of your day. Take a break, go for a walk, call a friend, or here’s a revolutionary idea – why not take a nap. If you are unable to have clarity about an issue or concern, it’s best to step away for a short time.
You may find answers when and where you least expect them. I get great ideas in the shower – how about you?
2.) Can’t sleep. It’s 4 a.m. again and here you are wide awake. No matter how many soothing sounds float around your head – whether it be white noise, soundscapes, and ocean waves – for the life of you the repetitive thoughts in your head just won’t disappear. You suddenly notice you are not only awake but your eyes are wide open.
Solution: My great solution to that dilemma is to turn the light on, pick up a piece of paper and start writing whatever comes into your head. This is called a brain dump and it’s very effective. It helps you get all those nagging thoughts out onto the page. You can leave them all behind as you head back to bed. Ideally, this practice is best done just before bedtime to help prevent potential sleep disturbances. But if you find yourself wide awake – try it.
3.) Always feeling agitated, irritated, and/or annoyed. No matter what – things can always make you feel on edge especially when you are doing way too much. Ok so you already have a full plate and then someone asks you to do just one more thing and you lose it.
Solution: Plan and schedule your day. I have been advising clients for years to only have 3 things on their To-Do List for the day. This is your goal even if it is sometimes hard to attain – let “Only 3” be your mantra. Remember there’s always tomorrow. And there will always be something to add to your list. With only 3 you will feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
4.) Thinking of yourself last. Everyone comes first – you eat your dinner last after you’ve served everyone else, you get to have the last morsels of whatever’s left, you get other’s doctor’s visits scheduled but you never get around to getting your own telehealth check-up session on your calendar. Doing for others is noble and kind but not at the cost of your own health and peace of mind.
Solution: make yourself a priority. This is another mandate of mine which I regularly remind my clients of. Carve out time for you. And… here’s a big one… let others do things for you, allow them to help you, too. I find this particular “overdoing sign” to be a big one for women. Just remember being a superwoman is a myth – know that you are super just because you are you and running yourself ragged is not part of the equation.
5.) Environment is out of order. Do you find your office, desk, or car or fill in the blank is messier than normal or not the way you normally like it. Are you having difficulty finding things? When once you were so on top of things now your office looks like a ski resort – full of mountains of white paper scattered everywhere.
Solution: Decide to tackle only one area at a time. Give yourself a time period even if it’s only 5 minutes. Make sure you have your wastebasket nearby and begin. Start sorting. Even if you only get a few things organized after your first attempt consider it a victory and vow to continue the next day and the next. You will feel like you are getting somewhere, and less overwhelmed the more you stick with it.
If you can relate to any of these most common signs you’ve come to the right place. So my advice is: take a hiatus and try some of these solutions to help break the cycle.