How To Overcome Overwhelm At Work – Part 2


This is the second article in our highly-requested 2-part series: How To Overcome Overwhelm At Work. Read Part 1 here.

Here are 4 more practical tools on how to stay sharp in high pressure moments:

1. Break Down Tasks:

When overwhelmed, break down your tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This simplifies the process and makes it less daunting. This is not just for highly technical tasks but even for relational dynamics.

For example, you need to have an honest conversation with a team member about their sub-par performance but the thought of potential conflict has caused you to procrastinate (which you know makes things worse).

Just break it down- whip out a pen and paper. First write down WHY you need to have this conversation.

Then write down ways they have been of service – be genuine.
And write down the areas of improvement- be specific.
There’s more but LinkedIn character limits won’t let me be great 😭

2. Seek Perspective:

Talk to a mentor, coach, or trusted colleague. Sometimes we are too close to the fire to see clearly. Someone else may be able to help you see a way through the situation that you hadn’t considered.

This is one of the reasons I advocate for one on one executive coaching for organizational leaders. At times it is beneficial to have a neutral party you are able to brainstorm and speak plainly with without feeling like your words will be nitpicked and judged.

3. Practice Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself. Recognize that feeling overwhelmed sometimes is part of being human, especially in high-stakes environments.

This is often particularly a challenge for high achievers. As a fellow high achiever myself, I have a specific hack I use for helping myself step into self compassion immediately when I notice that I am not giving myself grace to do so. (I don’t share this one for free so if you want to know, holla at me 😂😉)

4. Prepare and Plan:

Anticipate potential stressors and plan your responses. Being prepared can reduce anxiety and boost your confidence when you’re handling challenging situations.

If you know there are specific coworkers that tend to be more difficult to work with, stop wishing they changed – it only makes it more difficult.

Accept that this is who they are and the responsibility for change is an individual one. You can create opportunities for them to step in but as the saying goes- you can bring a horse to the water but you cannot force the horse to drink.

Accept it, then create and even practice your response so that in the moment you are not fazed.

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