What to do when you hit overwhelm

A lot of us have gone through it: when everything seems impossible and nothing is ever going to get done. Or maybe it’s when you have too many things to do and one more thing just breaks you.

You are definitely not alone.

Below are less than five different things you can do when you hit that “I can’t do this” moment:

1. Sleep it off

Seriously. Step away from your laptop or phone and just take a quick nap. Sometimes we hit overwhelm because we think that everything needs to be doneĀ today. If you can’t take a quick nap, at least take a breather. Try calming down your brain a bit and remind yourself that there’s still time.

2. Write down everything you need to do on a piece of paper

Get a quick reality check by actually writing down everything you need to do. Even down to the smallest things like getting a snack or making sure your hair is still tied together. This way you actually see what you need to do instead of trying to remember everything all at the same time.

3. Prioritize

Let’s say you do have everything written down. What you might need is to prioritize what needs to be done. One of the easiest ways I’ve found is following the Eisenhower matrix. It’s where you group your tasks into four different sections: urgent and important (which needs to be done right away), not urgent and important (can be done next), urgent and not important (which you can delegate) and not urgent and not important (which you can just throw away).

This makes your to-dos more actionable, and you can actually see them more clearly that way. It also gives you the opportunity to take out some things that you never really needed to do in the first place.

4. Take action

Do something small on your list. You can even just close your eyes and point to a task and simply start doing it. We can get over being overwhelmed by simply starting to take action even on the smallest of things. And sooner or later you’ll be checking off things quicker than you would have had if you only stared at your list.

And that’s it! Even when you hit overwhelm again (and you will), you know that you can get over it because you’ve done it before.

What about you? What do you do to get over being overwhelmed?

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