Archives for September 2010

5 Ways to Go from Overwhelmed to Productive

disappointedDarren Rowse of ProBlogger wrote a blog post earlier this year about how to get things done when you’re feeling overwhelmed

I added three additional ways to his points when I left the following response on his blog.

Three Ways

1. Walk it out–going for a walk helped me get through bouts of doubt and overwhelm when I was working on my book

2. Sleep on it–taking a nap or getting a good night’s sleep works wonders for me when I’ve been spending far too many hours stressing about a project

3. Look at the task from another perspective or another location–leaving my home office to work in the library or a local coffee shop occasionally gave me the needed change to approach my project with new eyes.

Two More

Recently I’ve been overwhelmed with juggling so many projects and needing to make some important choices, so I’m adding two more ways to the list.

4. Turn off the spigot.

In my efforts to get ideas for my business and check out what others are doing in my niche, I finally realized that I was listening to an overwhelming number of teleseminars, webinars, and reading a LOT of blogs and articles. I caught myself one day trying to listen to two overlapping teleseminars at one time. How crazy is that?
No wonder I’m feeling overwhelmed. My mind is overflowing with more information than it could successfully process.

So I put myself on restriction. No more teleseminars for a while. After all, I’ve already gained enough information to absorb and process. Besides, some of it is  contradictory and must be filtered through my own values and goals in order to be implemented. So why add more to the mix.

5. Help a friend

In his post, Darren recommended talking to a friend to verbalize the issue over which you are overwhelmed.

I mean something different here.

Offer your help to friend who is struggling with a problem, needs comforting, or needs a ride to the doctor or airport.

During this interaction with your friend, your overwhelming situation is off limits for discussion.
You are now wondering how this helps you become productive.

The human mind is amazing. Once given a problem, it continues to work on it in the background even when you are not actively attending to it.

Once you’ve turned your attention away from your projects to help your friend, don’t be surprised when you return to your work to discover that the tangles that lead you to be overwhelmed have smoothed out and pathed the way to productivity.