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Tuesday, May 3,2011

Overwhelmed?

How To Get “Underwhelmed”

By Al Secunda
Being overwhelmed by work, an assignment, or just the mundane chores of life is a terrible feeling. It can bring up debilitating emotions of hopelessness and impending doom. To assist you whenever these feelings arise, it’s helpful to look at the entire situation from a different perspective. To do this you need to separate the reality of the situation from the emotion of it.

Is the task really impossible or does it just feel that way? Are these impossible feelings similar to any you had as a child? Although emotionally you might feel the situation is impossible (moving into a new home or cleaning up alone after a huge party), intellectually you know that if you execute enough actions for enough hours, the job will get done. Once you can label the origin of these overwhelming feelings as being more psychological than physical, you can view the entire situation from a more powerful and manageable perspective. 

   The next step is to view the challenging scenario as an emotional logjam.

  Logjams occur not because there are too many trees but because all of the trees are simultaneously trying to squeeze through a narrow opening. How you deal with this type of a jam is to create some space by moving some logs away from the narrow opening and then allowing them systematically to go through one by one. Eventually, all the logs will pass through.

  All emotional logjams occur for the same reason. We simultaneously experience our undone tasks as one looming and awesome entity. We then feel we have to complete the tasks all at once. This, in turn, can paralyze us. If you become overwhelmed by an emotional logjam, do the following:

l. Realize that your challenging dilemma is temporary and not impossible to accomplish.

2. Accept the fact that you are capable of only doing one action  at a time.

3. Pick someone you know (an action oriented person) who could complete this project. Then make-believe you are this person    by acting like him/her.

4. Choose one task, the easiest one, and complete it.

5. Pick a second task and do it.

6. Pick a third task and do it, etc.

Continue this simplistic approach until you have completed your entire assignment. By creating more momentum (by breaking up your overwhelming tasks into less intimidating and more manageable mini-actions), you will be better equipped to deal with your emotional logjams whenever they appear in your life. 

 

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Al,

Excellent article!

I think today, in our fast-paced digitial society, we all are losing sight of the fact that we can only do one thing at a time. Personally, I often get anxious and overwhelmed with the multitude of daily tasks necessary to complete my day to finally achieve my reward at night; our comfortable Serta bed. lol

I find myself "touching" various projects and moving on to others that I've started only to realize I'm not completing cycles. Often times I do go back to fundamental and simple "to-do" lists which forces me to strike each task as I complete it.

Prioritize, K.I.S.S. and get 'er done!

Peter C.

 

 

 

 

 

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