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20th of October 2018

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Overwhelmed? 3 Tips To Deal With Stress ASAP!

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Like you’ve got a million things to do…

But you don’t know where to start?

Life can be stressful and frustrating.

And can leave you feeling paralyzed.

I know how you feel.

Today I had a really rough morning. I felt as though I was being pulled in 100 different directions, had 1000 things to get done. But I took action, regained control of my day, and I’m going to show you how you can do the same when you’re stressed out.

Click Here To Watch The Video – How To De-Stress When You’re Overwhelmed

This morning, I woke up late and had to rush my gym session. By the time I got back home, my kids were up, I had to fix them breakfast, then help my wife and all before starting work. By about 8.15, I was feeling overwhelmed.

And I hadn’t even started my working day!

Feeling overwhelmed is something that happens to us all. Thankfully, I was able to do 3 things to turn my day around. And I want to help you do the same.

Dealing With Overwhelm Tip #1. Identify What Is Urgent And Important

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, “what is my priority today?” and make a list of the things you need to get done. Establishing what is urgent and what isn’t can be difficult so I’ve created the RMRS Priority Matrix to help you prioritize your tasks. You can download a copy of the Matrix here:

Priority matrix worksheet image

Click here to download your priority matrix.

The RMRS Priority Matrix is split into 4 quadrants:

Important and Urgent tasks – These tasks are essential for your life and career need to be done today. Focus on these first. For example, writing an article which needs to published by the end of the day. Important and Non Urgent tasks – These are important tasks but they can be scheduled. For example, setting a date to resume your gym training. Urgent but Non Important tasks – These tasks need to be done but they can be delegated. For example, you’ve been asked to give feedback on a document because a colleague is unwell. You could delegate this task to someone more suitable for the job. And finally, if it’s Non-Urgent and Non-Important – don’t do it at all.  For example, surfing the internet for nothing in particular or spending too much time on social media. "Focus On Being Productive Instead Of Busy" - Tim Ferriss,  Author '4 Hour Workweek' Tip #2. Accountability: Set Up Micro Goals

When you try to achieve your long terms goals, it’s easy to think “I’m feeling overwhelmed”. It’s difficult to visualize exactly how you’re going to reach your goals when you haven’t even started.

This is where Micro Goals come in. Micro Goals are long term goals broken down into a series of daily manageable tasks. Think of them as ‘bite sized’ goals.

Let’s use someone trying lose weight as an example:

Long Term Goal: Lose 14 lbs in 1 month. Short Term Goal: Go to the gym 4 times a week and run 2 miles each time. Micro Goal: Get to the gym before 6am tomorrow and try running 1 mile. Do the same the day after. Try and run further each gym session.

Breaking down your goals into Micro Goals makes them more manageable.

Another important part of ensuring you get things done is to get people to hold you accountable. These people  can be colleagues, family members – or even people on social media. If you announce to people that you’re going to lose 14 lbs in 1 month, you’re showing you are prepared to make that commitment and you will be less likely to waste your time on unproductive things.

Tip #3. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Sometimes you can be your own harshest critic. Beating yourself up if you don’t get something done is counter productive. Tough self criticism has been shown to release stress hormones into your bloodstream and this can lead to heart problems and even weight gain. Numerous studies have also shown that being kinder to yourself reduces depression and anxiety.

We’re all human and we all make mistakes so if you screw up, don’t dwell on it. Instead of calling yourself an idiot for doing something wrong, think of it as a moment of foolishness – something that can happen to us all.

Ask yourself how you can do better next time and move on in a positive way.

"What Can I Learn From This? What Will I Do Next Time I'm In This Situation?"  - Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University Bonus Tips: Prevent Overwhelm In The First Place

As I write this article, I know I’ve still got an afternoon of work ahead of me. I want to share some additional bonus strategies that I’m going to employ to keep stress at bay.

Bonus Tip #1 – Focus In On Yourself

Taking care of yourself is your number 1 priority. If you’re not taking care of your body, your body can’t take care of your mind and this means you won’t be able to think clearly, leading to you feeling overwhelmed. You also won’t be able to bounce back as easily when you make a mistake. Eat well, sleep well and make sure you’re getting enough rest.

Bonus Tip #2 – Routinely Cut

You need to be doing this on a daily basis and you need to be ruthless. Identify the clutter that sneaks into your life and cut it out so you are left with the truly important things.

Bonus Tip #3 – Systemize The Creation Of Margin

Make sure you give yourself enough time to get things done and don’t try and cram too much into your day. I used to be a sucker for this – I’d have back-to-back 30 minute meetings all day long and I wouldn’t give myself time time to eat. By trying to do too much, I was becoming less productive. I changed my meetings from 30 to 20 minutes and gave myself time to pause in between.

Bonus Tip #4 – Set Up Barriers

I used to work 80 hour weeks but by setting strict start and end times, I forced myself to re evaluate what was important and what wasn’t. I now schedule everything – including my down time.

Bonus Tip #5 – Set Your Environment

Your environment has a big effect on how you perform. If you’ve been in the office all day and you are feeling overwhelmed, go for a walk and get some fresh air – this helps you re-focus and remain clear. In fact, a 2014 Stanford study showed that talking a walk also helps improve creative thinking.

STYLE VIDEOS

It’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed in today’s demanding workplace. If you try to do too much and you try to please too many people, your productivity levels will go down and your stress levels will go up.

Focus on your priorities, make sure you look after yourself and be strict with your time to ensure you remain clear, focused and motivated.

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