I want to create valuable and remarkable content that solves genuine problems for my readers rather than just publishing standard content.
To achieve this, I have a new idea.
Every week in a new "Deliberate Discoveries" blog category, I will focus on a guiding question addressing a specific issue the community wishes to solve.
Within the week, during my morning hours, I will devote myself to thorough research by analyzing background information, studies, and relevant articles to understand the topic comprehensively.
Then I'll write and process the whole thing each Saturday as an article.
This is the first article of the new Deliberate Discoveries category for Deliberate-Diligence.com. It incorporates 10 hours worth of my research & writing capacities. Although the output is not yet exactly what I envision, I believe it shows the direction I want to take from now on.
P.S.: Please note that this article will replace the Diligent Sunday issue for this weekend. I appreciate your understanding!
Your feedback is valuable to me! If you'd like me to address a specific topic or pain point next week, please share it using the form below. I'm always eager to hear from you and provide you with assistance.
T.S. Elliot: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
🎯 This Week's Diligent Discovery is about Overwhelm
How can ambitious achievers overcome feelings of overwhelm to refocus on critical tasks and reclaim the enjoyment of life and the present moment?
If you are an ambitious achiever, you may often
- Feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks you must do.
- Struggle to prioritize your tasks and distinguish between what is essential and what is optional.
- Find yourself trapped by routine tasks that take up too much of your time and energy.
- Be unable to focus on your critical tasks because of factors such as lack of sleep, emotional problems, or fear of failure.
- Feel like you have tried everything, and nothing works.
This is where I can help you with this week's Diligent Discovery article.
There’s enough on most plates these days to keep an 18-armed Hindu goddess busy. (Joe Robinson)
🏷️ Table of Content
- 🤯 Personal Story: Every ambitious individual knows this feeling.
- 👩🏫 Definition of Overwhelm
- 😩 Symptoms
- 🦷 Root Causes
- 🕵️ Exemplary Case Study
- 🧩 Solution Space
- 👉 The Deliberate Diligence Approach: Best-of-Breed Solution
💉 Treatment 🧘♂️ Prevention 💭 Solutions that might not work for everyone
- 🧾 Conclusion
- 📚 Sources
🤯 Personal Story: Every ambitious individual knows this feeling.
From a logical perspective, everything is actually fine, or at least not too bad, yet you feel overwhelmed by everything.
I experienced this recently over the Easter weekend, which meant four days off due to holidays in Germany. My days and weeks leading up to it were pretty stressful, with numerous challenges and business trips, which led me only to do the bare minimum of what was on my critical path and put everything else into my notes and task management for Future-Me.
What also increasingly weighed on me were the perceived debts of my healthy routines that I also let slide: exercising, cooking fresh meals, monitoring financial budgets and investments, and so on.
My backlog of tasks, ideas, thoughts, and questions kept growing while I barely made it through to the Easter weekend: four days in which I could finally catch up and work through everything to get back on top of things.
Then came the long-awaited Friday, and Future Martin became Present Martin, and my mind began to fill up: with all the postponed topics from my personal life, my work, and my content creation side hustle.
It took me a solid 2-3 hours in the morning, along with four cups of coffee, to sort through all the thoughts and notes that had accumulated in my inbox. The effort of consciously processing everything, writing it down, and organizing my tasks drained a significant amount of my willpower and mental energy.
By the time I finished, I had already felt exhausted.
I had also woken up early to get everything done and didn't allow myself to sleep in, and it now resulted in a lack of concentration. To make matters worse, my morning routine was disrupted, adding to my already overwhelming guilt for not engaging in physical activity.
The overwhelming emotions I experienced utterly ruined the day, and unfortunately, my wife was also affected by my resulting passive-aggressive behaviour.
Ultimately, I got back on track by focusing on my usual practices:
- Subtraction: I radically threw out everything from my weekend plan that would have mentally or emotionally burdened me too much. I discarded some tasks and pushed others to the coming weeks.
- 80/20 rule: I only completed the remaining tasks to an 80% level of quality to save more energy without discarding the tasks completely.
- Relaxation: I didn't do anything on Friday and just let myself be guided by my flow to relax.
But the result was that I still perceived the Easter weekend as negative and stressful.
All just because I had overloaded it with too many expectations of myself.
It wasn't until three weeks later that I realised how absurd it was because completing everything I had planned for the Easter weekend took me that long.
I feel frustrated with myself because this recurring pattern of feeling overwhelmed happens every 2-3 months, despite my knowledge of how to manage these situations. It's not the first time; prevention is critical to breaking this cycle.
It's clear that this topic deserves further exploration backed by solid research. That's why I'm excited to share this article with you - not only does it shed new light on the subject, but it lets you profit from my own experiences and learnings.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
👩🏫 Definition of Overwhelm
Overwhelm is a state of emotional or mental distress caused by the perception of having too many tasks, responsibilities, or demands to handle. This feeling of being overburdened can lead to various negative consequences such as decreased productivity, increased stress, poor decision-making, procrastination, and, in extreme cases, burnout.
Overwhelm can affect various aspects of an individual's life, including personal relationships, workplace performance, and overall well-being. The Nature of Overwhelm Overwhelm is a subjective experience that can vary significantly between individuals. What might cause one person to feel overwhelmed may not have the same effect on someone else.
Overwhelm often arises from a combination of factors such as high expectations, limited resources (e.g., time, energy, and emotional capacity), and a lack of control over one's circumstances.
“Are you distracted by breaking news? Then take some leisure time to learn something well, and stop bouncing around.” Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
These are the overall symptoms I found in my study about overwhelm (see sources at page bottom):
- Difficulty starting tasks due to indecision: Overwhelm can cause difficulty starting tasks because of the sheer number of tasks or the inability to prioritize which tasks to tackle first.
- Feeling overwhelmed due to excessive information and too many tasks across multiple domains: Overwhelm can result from too much information to process or too many tasks to complete in various domains, making it challenging to stay focused and organized.
- Lack of clarity on which tasks are necessary and which are just ideas: Overwhelm can lead to a lack of clarity on which tasks are essential and which are not, making it challenging to prioritize effectively.
- Feeling trapped by routine tasks that take up too much time: Overwhelm can make everyday tasks feel burdensome and time-consuming, making it challenging to find time for other essential tasks.
- Inability to focus due to factors such as lack of sleep or emotional problems: Overwhelm can cause distractions that make it challenging to stay focused, such as lack of sleep or emotional issues that take up mental energy.
- Feeling bogged down by too many context switches: Overwhelm can make switching between tasks or contexts difficult, leading to stagnation and an inability to progress.
- Fear of failure attached to tasks: Overwhelm can cause fear of failure, making it challenging to approach tasks confidently and leading to procrastination.
- Poor time management, inefficient use of time or difficulty prioritizing tasks effectively: Overwhelm can cause poor time management, making it challenging to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively.
- Procrastination, delaying tasks, leading to a buildup of pending tasks and increased stress: Overwhelm can cause individuals to procrastinate, leading to a sense of overwhelm due to an ever-increasing list of pending tasks.
- Lack of delegation, insisting on handling every task personally, even when others could assist: Overwhelm can make it challenging to delegate tasks to others, leading to a sense of being overwhelmed and overworked.
- High stress levels, chronic stress from work, personal life, or other sources, impacting overall well-being and focus: Overwhelm can cause high stress levels, impacting overall well-being and leading to difficulty focusing on tasks.
- Lack of self-care and neglecting physical and mental health, resulting in decreased resilience to stress and feelings of overwhelm: Overwhelm can cause individuals to neglect their physical and psychological health, reducing resilience to stress and feeling overwhelmed.
- Ineffective coping strategies, relying on unhelpful habits or behaviours to manage stress, such as excessive multitasking or substance use: Overwhelm can cause individuals to rely on ineffective coping strategies that may provide temporary relief but ultimately increase stress and feelings of overwhelm.
- Difficulty with concentration and thinking, mental slowness, forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating or thinking logically, racing mind, impaired ability to problem-solve, cognitive fatigue, increased susceptibility to distractions, reduced mental agility, and stimulant effectiveness fading over time: Overwhelm can impact cognitive function, leading to a range of symptoms that make it challenging to focus, remember important details, and problem-solve effectively.
- Difficulty tracking small tasks and "important, but not urgent" items: Overwhelm can cause individuals to lose track of small tasks and essential details, leading to a sense of disorganization and a backlog of uncompleted tasks.
- Time blindness causing severe underestimation of task duration: Overwhelm can cause time blindness, making it challenging to estimate the time required to complete tasks accurately.
- Exhaustion from all-nighters and poor nutrition: Overwhelm can cause fatigue due to poor sleep habits and inadequate nutrition, leading to various adverse health effects.
- Pressure from colleagues and supervisors due to missed deadlines: Overwhelm can lead to missed deadlines, resulting in increased pressure from colleagues and supervisors to complete tasks on time.
- Low energy, feeling disengaged, losing confidence, treating every problem like a big problem, hypervigilance, anxiety and apprehension, fear of unknown outcomes, perfectionistic preoccupation, performance anxiety, and procrastination: Overwhelm can cause a range of emotional and mental symptoms that make it challenging to stay focused and motivated, leading to a sense of being overwhelmed and stressed.
“Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.” Zig Ziglar
🦷 Root Causes
Looking at the above symptoms, the following underlying natural causes emerge. I'll take this opportunity to sort out the factors to clarify the picture.
1️⃣ Psychological factors:
- Fear of failure or making mistakes may lead to procrastination or indecision.
- Unrealistic expectations and perfectionism cause stress and frustration.
- Anxiety, stress, and emotional problems affect focus and productivity.
- Traumatic experience: such as grief, relationship breakup, job loss, bankruptcy, accident, illness or abuse.
2️⃣ Time management and prioritization issues:
- Difficulty prioritizing tasks effectively, leading to feelings of overwhelm.
- Poor time management skills, resulting in inefficient use of time.
- Time blindness causes underestimation of task duration and contributes to missed deadlines.
3️⃣ Workload and commitment concerns:
- Overcommitment takes on too many tasks, projects, or responsibilities at once.
- Difficulty saying no or setting boundaries, leading to an excessive workload.
- Inability to delegate tasks, insisting on handling everything personally.
4️⃣ Environmental and support system factors:
- Lack of adequate support from friends, family, or colleagues.
- Pressure from colleagues and supervisors due to missed deadlines or perceived underperformance.
- Live changes, Moving house, starting a new job, getting married, or having a new baby can cause stress and difficulty prioritizing tasks.
- Pandemic-related stressors such as job loss, financial instability, and social isolation can contribute to feelings of overwhelm.
5️⃣ Work-life balance and self-care issues:
- The imbalance between work and personal life contributes to burnout and decreased enjoyment of life.
- Neglect of self-care, including physical and mental health, decreases resilience to stress and feelings of overwhelm.
- Exhaustion from factors such as all-nighters and poor nutrition affects overall well-being and productivity.
6️⃣ Ineffective coping strategies and cognitive difficulties:
- Relying on unhelpful habits or behaviours to manage stress, such as excessive multitasking or substance use.
- Cognitive fatigue reduces mental agility and impaired problem-solving abilities, affecting overall performance and focus.
- Inadequate sleep can make it difficult to focus and manage tasks effectively.
- Procrastination: Engage in non-essential tasks
“I’m pretty oblivious to a lot of things intentionally. I don’t want to be influenced that much.” Jason Fried,
🕵️ Exemplary Case Study
- 34F, public accounting for over a decade, diagnosed with ADHD in late 2022
- Moved from task doer to manager with expanded responsibilities
- The pandemic exacerbated overwhelm shutdown/task paralysis
- Initial anxiety diagnosis, treated with citalopram
- ADHD diagnosis led to trying stimulant medications (dextroamphetamine - Vyvanse & dex IR)
- Stimulant effectiveness fading over time
- Inability to focus, leading to missed deadlines
- Difficulty tracking small tasks and "important, but not urgent" items
- Time blindness causes severe underestimation of task duration
- Exhaustion from all-nighters and poor nutrition
- Pressure from colleagues and supervisors due to missed deadlines
- ADHD coaching sessions
- Reading articles/watching videos on productivity for ADHD
- Implementing various task-planning apps
- How to explain ADHD without sounding like a cop-out
- Whether to disclose ADHD to colleagues and supervisors
- The potential need for a leave of absence or change in career
The Latin of the word decision means, “to cut off.” Making a decision is about “cutting off” choices — cutting you off from some other course of action.
🧩 Solution Space
These are the available options that I have found in the literature as solutions for overwhelm.
1️⃣ Psychological factors:
- Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Building self-confidence and accepting that making mistakes is a natural learning process.
- Reframe negative thoughts and focus on progress rather than perfection.
2️⃣ Time management and prioritization issues:
- Utilize time management tools, such as to-do lists, calendars, or productivity apps, to organize tasks and deadlines.
- If everything always has to be perfect, it can create a more significant burden and lead to feelings of overwhelm.
- Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
- Set priorities and focus on completing the most critical and urgent tasks first.
- Translate goals into systems of daily executable routines.
3️⃣ Workload and commitment concerns:
- Learn to say no and set boundaries to avoid taking on too many tasks or responsibilities.
- Delegate tasks when possible, allowing others to help and support you.
- Regularly reassess your workload and commitments to ensure they are manageable and aligned with your goals.
4️⃣ Environmental and support system factors:
- Communicate openly with colleagues and supervisors about your workload and any challenges you may face.
- Seek a mentor or support network for guidance and assistance when needed.
- Create a comfortable and organized workspace to improve focus and productivity.
5️⃣ Work-life balance and self-care issues:
- Set aside time for personal interests, hobbies, and social activities to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.
- To maintain emotional well-being, practice stress management techniques like journaling or engaging in leisure activities.
6️⃣ Ineffective coping strategies and cognitive difficulties:
- Replace unhelpful coping strategies, like excessive multitasking or substance use, with healthier alternatives, such as taking breaks or engaging in physical activity.
- Improve concentration and focus through techniques like the Pomodoro Technique or regular mental exercises.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu
👉 The Deliberate Diligence Approach: Best-of-Breed Solution
I went through all the recommended solutions and consolidated them with my best practices into a holistic best-of-breed approach to the Deliberate Diligence Lifestyle.
In my research, I concluded that separating the prevention and treatment of overwhelm is essential. For example, as you can see from my personal story at the beginning of this article, I am great at countering overwhelm when it occurs but lousy at preventing it from happening in the first place.
Also, I am unsure if some of the suggestions suit everyone. I have put them in a third category ("Might not work for everyone").
"Only seek information that enables and empowers you to achieve your goals and to live your highest standards in life." Benjamin Hardy, PhD
The treatment measures revolve mostly around productivity techniques.
- Get it out of your head: Writing down tasks and goals can free up mental space, allowing you to focus better and reduce anxiety.
- Pinpoint the primary source of overwhelm: Identifying key tasks or projects causing stress allows you to address them directly and find solutions.
- Reflect on the "why": Reflect on what you are trying to ultimately want to achieve and try to see your critical path. Everything that is on this path is good. Everything that is off the path you discard rigorously.
- Qualify urgency: Assess the importance and deadlines of tasks, enabling you to prioritise and manage your workload more effectively.
- Apply the Pareto principle: Apply the 80/20 rule (20% effort to achieve 80% of the outcome) to all tasks you can’t just discard: "good is good enough".
- Break tasks into smaller, manageable chunks: Dividing large tasks into smaller parts makes them more achievable and reduces the stress of tackling a big project.
- Stop multitasking: Focusing on one task at a time improves efficiency and reduces the stress of juggling multiple tasks.
- Use timers: apply the Pomodoro technique to foster getting into a flow.
- Say no: decline all new incoming tasks until you feel you’re back on track.
- Challenge your perfectionism: Accepting that "good enough" is sufficient helps reduce the pressure and stress associated with unrealistic standards.
- Outsource or delegate: Allocating tasks to others can alleviate your workload, allowing you to focus on higher priorities.
- Challenge your assumptions: Identifying and questioning limiting beliefs can broaden your perspective and help you regain control of your work and personal life.
- Accept your feelings: Acknowledging your emotions without judgement helps you process your feelings of overwhelm and stress.
- Apply a zero-day approach: remove all your routines and habit guidelines to feel free again (less overhead activities). Build your habit system from scratch.
- Create new, high-quality time: See if there’s any time you could free up to make it productive, e.g. consider going to bed earlier to have an hour or so more in the morning.
"The best learners in the world proactively seek information and knowledge they can use in the here-and-now to move forward. They are practical learners. They are implementers and movers. They are actually out in the world doing great things. They are helping other people. They aren’t overly academic and stuck in complexity." - Benjamin Hardy, PhD
The set of prevention measures revolves mainly around mindset adjustments.
- Change your explanatory style: Adopt a positive mindset by focusing on past successes and your ability to cope with challenges rather than dwelling on difficulties.
- Set boundaries and manage expectations: Learning to say no and communicating your limits helps prevent overwhelm and burnout.
- Focus on what you can control: Redirecting your attention to controllable aspects of your life reduces stress and helps you let go of uncontrollable factors.
- Take breaks: Prioritising rest and self-care through scheduled breaks help maintain productivity and prevent burnout.
- Do what you enjoy: Engaging in activities that bring joy can reduce stress and promote a balanced lifestyle.
- Don't overthink and do your best: Focusing on moving forward rather than dwelling on shortcomings helps maintain a positive mindset. Focusing on progress rather than perfection encourages incremental improvement and reduces stress.
- Keep learning: Staying informed and actively managing incoming information flow helps prevent overwhelm by excessive data.
- Be yourself: Fine-tuning your core capabilities, rather than attempting a complete overhaul, allows you to maintain balance and prevent overwhelm.
- Limit your options: Consciously choosing what to consume and avoiding choice overload reduces stress and maintains focus.
- Seek wisdom: Acquiring knowledge relevant to your goals and maintaining high standards supports personal growth and prevents overwhelm.
- Simplify everything: Clear and straightforward thinking enables effective problem-solving and reduces feelings of overwhelm.
- Recognise and manage hypervigilance: Being aware of attempts to predict uncertain outcomes can help manage stress, but some individuals may require additional support to address this issue.
In the book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, psychologist Barry Schwartz explains having more options and choices becomes negative.
💭 Solutions that might not work for everyone
- Set the terms of engagement with devices: Allocating specific times to check devices and managing notifications can help reduce technological overwhelm but may not suit everyone's needs.
- Try breathing exercises: Deep, diaphragmatic breathing helps to reduce stress and improve mood, with guided meditations available for support.
- Practice mindfulness: Focusing on the present moment can reduce anxiety and improve emotional well-being through meditation, single-tasking or mindfulness apps.
- Receive physical touch: Hugs, massages, or other forms of physical contact can help reduce stress and improve well-being.
- Reach out for support: Asking for help from colleagues or loved ones can provide valuable perspective and assistance in managing your workload and stress levels.
- Take swift and intentional action: Addressing issues quickly and efficiently can help tackle overwhelm, but some individuals may require more time or support to resolve their problems.
- Create a to-do list: Writing down tasks and delegating where possible can help organise your workload, but some people may still feel overwhelmed by their inventory.
- Ask for help and relinquish control: Allowing others to assist with tasks and letting go of control can be beneficial, but some individuals may find it difficult to delegate or trust others.
- Seek technical assistance: Hiring help for technology-related tasks can reduce overwhelm for some but may not be necessary or affordable for everyone.
- Reduce meeting volumes: Allocating specific times for communication and meetings can help reduce overwhelm but may not suit all businesses or individuals.
- Schedule time to stop: Setting an end time for work each day can help maintain a work-life balance, but some people may need more flexible schedules.
- Make time for soul repair: Engaging in activities for body, mind, and spirit can help reduce overwhelm, but finding the suitable activities may vary for each person.
- Let go of the outcome: Focusing on the present rather than worrying about others' opinions can help reduce stress but may be difficult for some people to implement.
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” Henry Ford
I've spent 10 hours this week researching and writing this article, and I hope it will be helpful for some who, like me, often experience overwhelm.
While writing this article, I realised something quite profound that I hadn't been aware of before. Instead of just focusing on fighting overwhelm when it occurs, we could also try to put ourselves in a strategic position where it happens less frequently.
Instead of trying to manage, influence, and limit our environment and external demands, I believe the key is to calmly and positively frame all this external chaos internally.
This might sound easier than it is. I think the problem with ambitious achievers is that the very qualities that make them successful – qualities that build an inner drive – are also the same qualities that lead to overwhelm.
So, it's not about a 180° mindset shift, as that would turn an ambitious achiever into a couch potato.
No, it's more about balance and learning to positively frame the uncomfortable pressure that inevitably arises while avoiding extreme overload. This is like a valve that needs to be adjusted up and down depending on your emotional state and life situation.
What I also found interesting is the case study on Reddit about the 34-year-old woman who feels overwhelmed and primarily blames her ADHD. That goes a bit too far into the medical realm for me (lack of expertise), but I think it's essential to see the various forms overwhelm can take. My impression of this case is that she focuses too much on ADHD – which limits the solution space, and relies too much on medication.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr.
🔗 Web & Articles
- Why do I feel overwhelmed? | My Online Therapy. https://myonlinetherapy.com/why-do-i-feel-overwhelmed/.
- Feeling Overwhelmed is a Common Anxiety Symptom - Calm Clinic. https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/feeling-overwhelmed.
- 25 Ways to Cope When You're Feeling Overwhelmed - Choosing Therapy. https://www.choosingtherapy.com/feeling-overwhelmed/.
- 15 reasons why you get so overwhelmed and angry (+ what to do ... - Ideapod. https://ideapod.com/why-you-get-so-overwhelmed-and-angry/.
- Here’s How Successful People Avoid Information Overwhelm
- Don’t Let Overwhelm Steal Your Joy
- How To Manage The Overwhelm Of An Uncertain Outcome
- How to stop feeling overwhelmed right now | Mel Robbins
- Paralysis by Overwhelm
- How to stay calm when you know you'll be stressed | Daniel Levitin
- 7 Ways to Avoid Overwhelm
- How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed
- Overwhelmed? These 9 Strategies May Help
- How To Avoid Overwhelm When You’re Trying To Be A Great Leader
📖 Books & Studies
- Study: Overwhelmed by Choice: How the Paradox of Choice Leads to Anxiety Source: Schwartz, B. (2004). The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. New York: Harper Perennial. Key Message: Having too many options can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, as individuals struggle with decision-making. Reducing available choices can help alleviate this overwhelm and improve overall well-being.
- Study: The Negative Impact of Overwhelm on Decision-Making and Cognitive Function Source: Gazzaley, A., & Rosen, L. (2016). The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World. MIT Press. Key Message: Overwhelm impairs decision-making and cognitive function, leading to decreased productivity and increased stress. Strategies like prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals can mitigate these negative effects.
- Study: The Role of Social Media in Overwhelm and Stress Source: Vannucci, A., Flannery, K. M., & Ohannessian, C. M. (2017). Social media use and anxiety in emerging adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 163-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.08.040 Key Message: Excessive social media usage can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and increased anxiety. Limiting social media consumption and focusing on in-person connections can help reduce these feelings.
- Study: Coping with Overwhelm: The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation Source: Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Delacorte Press. Key Message: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help individuals manage feelings of overwhelm by improving emotional regulation and promoting a sense of calm. Regular practice can support better stress management and well-being.
- Study: The Relationship Between Overwhelm and Burnout Source: Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2016). Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 15(2), 103-111. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20311 Key Message: Overwhelm can lead to burnout, which has detrimental effects on mental health and work performance. It's essential to recognize signs of burnout early and implement self-care strategies to prevent further damage
- Study: Overwhelm in the Workplace: Strategies for Effective Time Management Source: Claessens, B. J., Van Eerde, W., Rutte, C. G., & Roe, R. A. (2007). A review of the time management literature. Personnel Review, 36(2), 255-276. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483480710726136 Key Message: Implementing effective time management strategies can help reduce feelings of overwhelm in the workplace. Techniques such as goal-setting, prioritization, and delegation can improve productivity and reduce stress.
- Study: Overwhelm and Procrastination: The Impact of Feeling Overwhelmed on Task Avoidance Source: Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (1997). Longitudinal study of procrastination, performance, stress, and health: The costs and benefits of dawdling. Psychological Science, 8(6), 454-458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00460.x Key Message: Feeling overwhelmed can lead to procrastination, which in turn can increase stress and negatively impact performance. Breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps and setting deadlines can help counteract procrastination.
- Study: Overwhelm in Parenting: Effects on Mental Health and Parent-Child Relationships Source: Nelson, S. K., Kushlev, K., English, T., Dunn, E. W., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery. Psychological Science, 24(1), 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797612447798 Key Message: Parental overwhelm can negatively affect mental health and parent-child relationships. Establishing a support network, setting realistic expectations, and practicing self-care can help mitigate these effects.
- Study: The Effects of Overwhelm on Sleep and Mental Health Source: Altena, E., Baglioni, C., Espie, C. A., Ellis, J., Gavriloff, D., Holzinger, B., Schlarb, A., Frase, L., Jernelöv, S., & Riemann, D. (2020). Dealing with sleep problems during home confinement due to the COVID-19 outbreak: Practical recommendations from a task force of the European CBT-I Academy. Journal of Sleep Research, 29(4), e13052. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr Key Message: Overwhelm can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to decreased mental health and well-being. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and addressing stressors can help improve sleep quality and overall mental health.
"Removing options is not limiting, it’s liberating." - Benjamin Hardy, PhD