Five Questions to Eliminate Overwhelm

Nothing productive comes from overwhelm. The sooner you interrupt the thinking, the feelings will subside.

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I’m focused on what it means to put on your oxygen mask first today (chapter 3 of my book, Chasing Perfection). Considering the Parker Palmer quote “self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on this Earth to offer to others.” 

If you’ve ever felt overwhelm in thinking “I just can’t do it all,” I have a way to reframe that thinking that has become a muscle I’ve exercised enough to move through these moments and quit wasting time. (Yes, overwhelm is a waste of time – I am the one who overcommitted, and I am the one who needs to be in action about changing the thinking and results associated with it.) 

Nothing productive comes from overwhelm. The sooner you interrupt the thinking, the feelings will subside. Asking yourself: 

  1. How can/will I succeed? 
  1. Make a list and prioritize it – can it all be done in the allotted time? By you? Who can help you? 
  1. Are these real deadlines? (I ask this one because as someone who is self-employed, I often make the deadlines, and they are made up! I make my own pressure and am surprised when I reevaluate and realize I don’t need to make myself crazy about some things.) 
  1. What can I let go of? 
  1. What could be outsourced, automated, eliminated or simplified? 

For more from Sue Hawkes, go to

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