Working from home is an adjustment many have had to make in the wake of the pandemic. As workplaces adapt to changing environments and responsibilities, the stack of to-do items continues to pile up.
Whether you’ve recently gone through a workplace transition or not, odds are that everyone has experienced a period of feeling overwhelmed by work. Breaking out of that slump might feel impossible, but it’s not. Through these proven strategies, you can mitigate the feelings of overwhelm and continue pressing toward your personal goals.
Why Do People Get Overwhelmed?
That overwhelmed feeling is likely a combination of several factors, including…
- Anxiety over the task at hand
- Fear of failure
- Overall high stress level
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of motivation
In general, the feeling of overwhelm is an emotional one. It stems from anxiety that’s being misdirected into an inability to complete tasks. That anxiety could come from any of the factors listed here, but the tasks a person completes throughout their day only add to their existing emotional battle. Being able to identify the source of that anxiety is an important first step to breaking through that overwhelming feeling. However, even if the immediate cause isn’t identifiable, there are still a few helpful strategies that can mitigate work-related anxiety.
Reducing Task-Related Anxiety
When it comes to taking on your task-related anxiety, the number one advice most people offer is to eat the frog. Never heard this quirky expression before? It’s a twist on a famous Mark Twain quote that’s turned into one of the most foolproof systems of productivity ever. When someone advises a person to eat the frog, they’re saying it’s time to tackle the hardest task on the to-do list. By setting a personal goal to accomplish the biggest, highest-impact task first, workers promote deep work habits that ultimately dissolve task anxiety and promote productivity.
Looking for other ways to reduce work stress?
- Think positively. Research shows that positive self-talk can break apart anxious and overwhelming thought spirals, making it easier to tackle tasks that previously caused stress.
- Take a minute and tidy up. Research found that working in an organized space can promote productivity, and general positive emotions. Organized spaces don’t have to be pristine, but having an ordered place for everything goes a long way towards diminishing stress.
- Focus in bursts. Some people find that the idea of sitting down for long periods of time to work on projects only increases their anxiety. Test out focused, shorter periods of dedicated work-time as a way to solve any situational performance issues. Time management techniques like the Pomodoro Method can also be extremely helpful.
Feeling overwhelmed is nothing unusual: in fact, most people experience some kind of work or task related stress on a weekly basis. However, breaking out of a work slump is not as hard as it might seem. Following these time-tested and scientifically proven techniques is sure to break down any overwhelming emotions in minutes, leading you to an even more productive and motivated day!