The thing about the real world? It can get pretty overwhelming. And if you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed amidst our never-ending to-do lists and incredibly busy lives, then you’ve got a noble goal ahead of you.
One thing I’ve found that does wonders when I’m feeling overwhelmed? Reflecting!
In fact, I list this down as one of five easy and practical hacks to actually cut the overwhelm and achieve your goals. Plus reflecting gets much easier when you have guide questions to help you get started.
And because I know you’re itching to beat the craziness of life and start getting sh-t done, here are 10 questions you can ask yourself to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
1. What do I keep thinking about recently?
Sometimes the overwhelm you’re feeling stems from one certain source.
Evaluate if there’s one thing in particular you keep thinking about. Maybe it’s the fact that your job just isn’t doing it for you anymore. Or it could something someone said to you recently. Or something that reminds you of a painful time in your life.
You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by zooming in on the thoughts that nag at you, even if they’re thoughts you try to push away.
2. How am I feeling right now about my physical/mental health?
Is there something making you uneasy with about your physical or mental health?
Review your healthy and unhealthy habits. What do you want to keep? What do you want to change?
If you haven’t sat down and reviewed these things yet, maybe you’ll find something that’s bringing you down.
And then you can create the steps you need to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
3. Am I happy with where I am right now?
Is there something in your life that’s making you feel uneasy about anything? Or if there isn’t, this is a great time to focus on your contentment with your current situation.
You can easily avoid feeling overwhelmed when you see exactly how you’re doing.
Are you doing great in your finances maybe? Do you have great friends around you? Focus on the good things!
4. What have I accomplished recently?
One thing I’ve always found that helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed is by looking at all the things I’ve already done well.
These things don’t have to be amazing, world-changing feats that deserve medals or trophies.
If even your biggest accomplishment recently was finally getting that new laptop charger or finally publishing a new blog post after a whole month without, then you still deserve a pat on the back. You already did something great, dream-chaser!
Look at all your achievements and tell yourself that you can totally accomplish these things again if you wanted. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed just by doing this!
5. What is happening to me right now in this moment?
If thinking about the past or the future overwhelms you, do this. Think about the present. And it doesn’t have to be the whole “big picture” present, either.
Just think about what you’re doing right now.
Are you on a bus home? What’s happening around you? Who’s with you right now? What exactly are you doing at this moment in time?
Be present in the moment, and don’t think about anything else for a while.
You can totally avoid feeling overwhelmed by just being in the moment. This is really something I recommend everyone do when the sneaky feelings of overwhelm start crawling in!
6. What am I supposed to be doing right now?
Are there things you must get done right now? Then stop thinking about everything else and then focus on that task.
There’s always time to worry or deal with the other stuff anyway. No point in getting overwhelmed by the things you don’t have to do yet!
So focus on the thing you should be doing right now, and then just do it.
7. What do I want to accomplish in the next 7 days?
We’ve all got these big dreams, big goals. And that’s totally, completely, insanely amazing, of course!
Yet I know as well as anyone that the thought of our big goals can be totally overwhelming. Cue feelings of failure or doubt, am I right?
But one thing I’ve found that helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed by the size of my dreams is to think of smaller increments.
Is there something I can be doing this week to be one step closer to my goal? No need to think too big!
Remember: just have one big thing you can be doing this week, and work towards that! You won’t even feel the overwhelm creeping up once you start doing this.
8. What does my dream life and routine look like?
I used to think I’d get my dream life and routine once I had this or had that. But I figured: you know, I’m going to build my dream routine anyway.
So I did. A while back, I used to want the time to hit the gym after work-hours yet I never did because I thought that wouldn’t work.
But it turns out the only reason that my dream routine wouldn’t work was the excuses I kept giving myself for why they wouldn’t.
But when I stopped telling myself I couldn’t, I suddenly…could.
Pretty cool what happens when we just start thinking about what our ideal routines or lives are like, eh?
Related: Ready or Not, Just Do the Thing
9. Where do I want to be 3 months from now?
They say we always want something we can’t have. Then once we have it, we want something more.
I think that’s actually great to have as motivation for the future. Try thinking about where you want to be 3 months from now. That’s just 90 days. That’s not forever!
Next time you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by, well, life, just think of where you want to be and who you want to be within the next 90 days. Trust me, your 90-Days-in-the-Future-Self will thank you!
10. What’s one easy thing I can do in the next 10 minutes to get things going?
Okay, so you probably have a huge to-do list. That can get pretty overwhelming.
So instead of worrying about all the things you haven’t done or have yet to do, just take a long look at that to-do list. Yup, one long, lasting look. Now…look at one thing – just one! thing! – that you can do in the next 10 minutes.
Is it taking out the trash? Calling for a dentist appointment? Cleaning up your desk? There are a ton of things you can do that take just 10 minutes or less!
I write about 15 productive things you can do in that time right here.
Think about it: instead of spending the next 10 minutes worrying about that lengthy to-do list, you’re actually going to get something done.
That’s 10 minutes of your life you take back instead of feeling overwhelmed!
Avoid feeling overwhelmed with The Goal-Getter Playbook
If you really want to zoom in on the big picture that is where you currently are – as well as where you want to be – then I recommend grabbing your copy of The Goal-Getter Playbook, the planner for anyone who’s got a big goal but no roadmap towards it.
Chapter 1 of The Goal-Getter Playbook is a whole workbook that helps you evaluate where you are and who you are, so that you can start planning where you want to be and who you want to be.
Interested? Click here to learn more and grab your copy.
Cut the overwhelm. It’s time to slay your next goal, you dream-chaser you.
Mica is the face behind everything you see at her blog, Mind of Mica. She champions the goal-getters, the dream-chasers, and the unapologetic hustlers who are out to make a difference – even if it’s in their own lives.