Overwhelm

Feeling Overwhelmed; Beautiful Day or Not? What do you do?

Today I want to talk about, ‘Overwhelm.’ When you start to feel overwhelmed it can create anxiety and a whole host of other emotions. I talk about how the Power of Ten saved me from being completely overwhelmed and to accomplish an overwhelming task. My wife introduced me to overwhelm by saying a few simple words, “I don’t like it.”

Dagger to the Heart

My wife came to me the other day and said, “I don’t like the yard.”

To be honest, I was utterly devastated. It was like a dagger to the heart. I couldn’t believe my wife just said that. I have been working so hard on fixing up the yard, but she did not like it. Granted there were wood chips in the driveway, but I’m working on preparing the place where those wood chips are going to go. Miscellaneous things are lying around and some random trash because of where we live. How could she not like the yard though?

Overwhelm sets in

She goes on to explain how she does not like the wood chips, the trash, the look of something, the … and she keeps going on. Wow! Every word she said caused me to get more and more stressed and start to feel overwhelmed at what needs to happen.

These thoughts start running through my head:

  • I’m already swamped, what more can I do?
  • How am I going to fit something else into the schedule and finish all of these things?
  • Of course, the yard does not look very nice right now, but I’m working on it.
  • I also start to develop some resentment towards her. (Huge Warning Sign)

Stop and Reassess

I knew once I started feeling resentment towards my wife, something was wrong. I had to reassess the situation and look at it from her perspective. The yard was a disaster; the woodchips are unsightly. The more I looked at it from her eyes, the more I could see how much I had let it all go.

When we first got married, we made a compromise; whatever happened outside I had the final say, and whatever happened inside the house, she had the final say. With that said, I realized I could start taking some immediate action and get the yard cleaned up.

Make a Plan

When you start to feel overwhelmed, you need to step back and break whatever is overwhelming you down into smaller pieces. You need to start simplifying the issues at hand so you can get the things done that you’re facing.

I realized that the more I listed to do, the more I felt my overwhelm getting so much that I was going to snap. I had to take action or I would snap at anyone or anything.

Introducing the Power of Ten

This concept has saved me, like Mary Poppins coming in with all of her magical talents. I told myself, I’m going to work on accomplishing these tasks 10min every break. I usually work for 60 min and take a 10 min break. Every break, I would go outside, which would get me away from the desk and give me some exercise, and work for ten minutes.

If I was to add up all of the time, it was probably about 4 or 5 hours, which seems like a lot when doing it 10 min at a time but it isn’t. I started to notice the projects were getting knocked off, one at a time. The woodchip pile slowly disappeared and the next thing I know, it’s done!

Praise and Accolades

I looked around and noticed it was all done. My wife comes out and is praising me for all of my hard work. She gave me a remarkable accolade of peanut butter, chocolate shake. Oh yes, worth every minute.

Summation

Thinking about a project can be incredibly overwhelming because of everything that needs to happen. Overwhelm can shut you down so make sure to break the project down into small steps and apply the Power of Ten, which is work on it 10 minutes every hour. If you can’t work on it every hour, work on it ten minutes when you can. Eventually, your project will be completed, and you can experience the joy that comes from accomplishing tasks that are seemingly overwhelming.

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