The dictionary says to be overwhelmed is “to be buried or drowned beneath a big mass”.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? In these last few months a lot of people are feeling that way, so you aren’t alone if you are. On top of all our normal professional and personal challenges we suddenly have to cope with a global pandemic, home-working, on-line schooling and a worldwide economic slowdown...or worse. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by choices about how to most effectively use your time.
We only have a finite amount of time each day to invest, and it is arguably our most precious commodity.’Time waits for no-one’.
Faced with a to-do list that is bigger than your can-do capacity, step back and get some perspective.
Sort your ideas, opportunities, goals, ambitions, obligations, deadlines, children’s sporting commitments, family time, friends, Zoom calls, business priorities, bosses’ demands etc....into three action groups: Focus, Delegate or Park.
Focus is for the stuff that just has to happen. Yes, or yes. You will know what these things are. You will also know that your critical focus on them is eroded by other less important things. Recognize that you must do these things.
Delegate is for things that have to happen, but where someone else realistically can support you. At home kids can be asked to make their own bed, at work you just have to let go and ask people to do more for you. You can pay someone to mow your lawn, or to sort out your LinkedIN page. Your team can do more. Recognize that you can do these important things, but only with help.
Park is what you need to do with all those things that you would like to do, but just cannot get to. They hang over you, making you feel guilty and frustrated. Take positive action and consciously ‘park’ them. You can come back to them later. Recognize that you cannot do these things now.
You may find that over time some of your goals, activities or ideas that you have consciously parked become less important or appealing. If so, consider to go one step further, and press Delete.
Whether a business, a project, a team or a person - faced with an overwhelming list of stuff to do, and a finite amount of time to do it - get organized and focus, delegate or park.