I’m drowning !
The modern world is so full of complexity that it has outstripped our ability to process it and still be effective. Do you feel as though you’re drowning? It has nothing to do with your intelligence but with how you make sense of the world.
When we’re feeling completely overwhelmed, we tend to work harder and longer rather than taking a step back to find a new way of operating. But the feeling that you’re forever submerged generates cognitive disorders such as mental slowness, forgetfulness, and confusion, not to mention difficulties in concentrating, fatigue, and absent-mindedness. It is possible, however, to be effective without spending endless hours at your job because you’re afraid you’ll miss an email or because you want to winnow down your to–do list. Rebecca Zucker has five helpful suggestions: (1) identify the root cause of why you’re at bursting point — select one or two tasks that, once you’ve completed them, will reduce your stress by 80%; (2) set a limit to your working hours and workload: leave the office at a set time and learn to say no; (3) face down your perfectionism by evaluating the benefits of the time spent on a particular task or project; (4) make better use of your time by outsourcing or delegating certain tasks; and (5) analyze the self-limiting beliefs that lock you into old patterns of behavior and fuel the feeling of being overwhelmed. In plain English, shift your perspective and broaden your outlook on the world. If you do, you will feel less at the mercy of events and will have a greater sense of purpose.
To go further: “How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed” (Harvard Business Review, October 2019)