Deal with overwhelm: #1 chunk-up and chunk-down
Being unsure what to do next? Stuck in a place where you just want to retreat to the couch and binge-watch just anything? Feeling unable to handle just one more thing before you blow? I feel you. In this post, I am going to present a tool that helped me a lot in chaotic situations where overwhelm makes me feel paralyzed.
I would love to say I've been there - but I am actually there right now writing this. Going through all of my projects, deadlines at work and considering the needs of my family and friends - makes me feel stuck and makes my motivation drain away. Feeling overwhelmed seems to creep up on us all too often and it sucks!
But instead of giving in to paralysis, we should face those feelings right away. I came across this tool a while ago and it works great if I feel stuck with seemingly too many different or giant fear-inducing projects. Both techniques are quite simple but are very helpful to remember when you don't know where to start because there are too many things to manage. Here is how it works:
1. Having one giant project that seems unachievable?
Chunk it down so it doesn't seem so big. There are always little steps to get closer to your goal. Start writing them down and get closer to the big goal bit by bit.
2. Having too many small to-dos that seem unmanageable?
Chunk them up aka find a label and gather similar tasks under one higher-ranking category. With 3-5 main categories, you can prioritize according to your goals. In practice: write down your main categories in bold letters and the subordinate tasks in smaller writing. That helps you to keep an overview and still not feel you forgot about the details.
Since overwhelm is a feeling that comes up even more in times of the attention economy, I would love to share more tools to deal with overwhelm.
This Post was originally published Dec 9, 2019