Why You Feel Overwhelmed, and How to Deal With It

While it's normal to feel overwhelmed, here's how you can convert that into productivity

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Do you feel overwhelmed just looking at your to-do list? Do you find yourself suffering from analysis paralysis when deciding what needs to be done next?

Being overbooked and busy has almost become a badge of honor in today’s society. But in reality, when you are trying to get more done and increase your productivity, that’s not what you need.

Why you feel overwhelmed

From the anxiety of consequences to indecision to a lack of information, we all feel overwhelmed from time to time. 

But what can you do when you constantly feel overwhelmed? If this is your case, then you could benefit from the following suggestions on handling what’s thrown at you.

Mile-long list

Is your to-do list a mile long? Then it might be time to take a serious look at what is actually necessary. If you are feeling overwhelmed, then you might be trying to take on too many things.

Is everything on the list actually necessary? Could someone else help with those tasks? Be ruthless here and chop the to-do list.

Your tasks are actually complex projects 

Is your to-do list filled with big projects instead of tasks? If so, then you will benefit from breaking down those larger to-do items into more manageable smaller tasks.

Look at each item on your to-do list. Does it require more than 3 steps to complete? If so, list each step. Then schedule just a few steps each day. 

For example, rather than putting “create email marketing campaign” on your list, start breaking it down:

  1. Map out email flow
  2. Draft emails
  3. Finalize emails
  4. Create landing pages
  5. Test functionality of landing pages
  6. Test email flow
  7. Launch campaign

In this example, you could further break down some of these tasks where some might depend on team members. The point is each item is a task and provides you with better handles on your task list.

How to be more productive

Once you have identified those overwhelming feelings, you can address them using the techniques above.

Then, you can start completing your tasks. Take things to the next level using a few techniques productive people utilize every day.


This brings us to prioritization. When prioritization comes to mind, you might think of some form of Stephen Covey’s time matrix. This is a time-tested and proven method for prioritizing your to-do list. Once you have completed the steps above and culled your to-do list to a reasonable size, then this is the next step to truly getting more done and help you make progress. 

Look at your newly shortened to-do list and prioritize each item. Figure out what is truly critical and what would just be nice to get done. Determine what will actually help you move forward.


Another great tip for getting more done is to batch your to-do items. The idea is to look at your to-do list and group like things together. Next, schedule those at a time that is convenient for you. 

From the email marketing campaign example, you can batch any tasks related to testing for a work session. This would include testing the functionality of the landing pages and the email flow.


Bottom line is that planners and drawing in your bullet journal might be fun, but they won’t increase your productivity if they merely distract you from anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. So, if you are still procrastinating due to overwhelm and uncertainty, then these tips won’t be any more helpful than the next article. 

But if you are ready to tackle the overwhelm, then give these tips a try. Cut down your to-do list ruthlessly. Break your projects down into smaller, more manageable tasks. And take on the challenges life throws at you knowing you are equipped to handle them.

What might appear as an impossible task could turn into a huge accomplishment ahead. Once you have tackled the overwhelm, you are just one planning session away from being more productive, getting more things done, and achieving more of your goals than you ever thought possible.

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