As you could probably tell from my last post, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed this week. Not only am I trying to figure out what I want to do with myself professionally (how I want to expand my business offerings), but I’ve also been overloaded with work.
As a freelance writer, I do appreciate the busy times because they help equal out the times when it feels like I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs. It’s just been a bit extreme this week because I had last week off and am trying to play catch-up. Plus, a few of my clients have requested special pieces of content (like 566 meta descriptions and 2 eCourses), which all take a bit of time.
The idea of getting all of this done within the specified deadlines has impacted my sleep, raised my anxiety, and…oh, did I mention that through it all I also just learned that I need a root canal?
While sometimes my overwhelm does get the best of me, I have managed to keep it fairly under control by doing a few things:
- Keeping my exercise schedule. It would be amazingly easy to not exercise right now and simply transition from my office to the couch when my work is done, but I do feel better when I end my work days with at least 30 minutes on the treadmill, ,so I’ve kept it up.
- Taking regular breaks. When I’m busy, I sometimes feel as if I don’t have the right to take breaks. At the same time, I’ve also learned that I’m more productive with my work when I take a few minutes to myself throughout the day. This helps recharge my battery so I can go back for more.
- Having a “one at a time” attitude. When I look at my never ending to-do list, it’s easy to let the shear number of items on it begin to overwhelm me. However, when I start to feel this way, I remind myself that I will get through it…one thing at a time.
- Venting to some really understanding family and friends. I’m a venter. Just the act of saying out loud that I’m overwhelmed has a way of chilling me out. And I have a sister and couple of good friends who are amazing listeners. I’d be lost without them.
- Giving myself adequate time. In the past, I would agree to short work deadlines even if it meant that I was overdoing it. Now I always cushion my time frames with an extra day or two so I have some built-in time when life happens. (Did I mention I need a root canal??)
- Anchoring to my past. I also find that it calms me when I remind myself that I’ve been here before and eventually worked my way through it. It’s a strategy referred to as anchoring and you can learn more about it in this blog post about anxiety.
These are just a few things I do to help keep me from being overwhelmed by a schedule that seems too full to accomplish. Any that you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below!
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