The feeling of being overwhelmed is becoming more common in this age of massive information flow and the responsibilities that come with it. Not dealing well with it when it is present can lead to more serious stresses such as depression and anxiety. If there is already depression or anxiety present, dealing with being so busy that you are rushing through tasks trying to get more done, and deciding what to focus on in the present moment can also help lessen the depression or anxiety.
Andy Shaw who wrote the two books “Creating a Bug Free Mind” and “Using a Bug Free Mind” says that the answer to being overwhelmed is to follow the principle of “having an abundance of time so that you can do less and get more done,” - but there is a little understanding of how to apply this principle that is required in order for it to work and that all your attention needs to be on understanding it. How do you get an abundance of time when there is so much to be done?
Well, Andy answers, this principle is similar to the Christian principle of tithing where when you give more of your money or resources to charity, you will end up having an abundance of money and or resources, but it can take some time to fully understand and put into practice. However, the time spent on understanding it by reading this article will be well worth the investment.
Andy likens his principle to the natural law of least effort. Just as a fish learns to swim through water with the least effort, it is natural for humans to do things with the least effort. The natural way for humans faced with the problem of less money or time, is to learn, or dream up, new ways to do things with not only less effort, but more quickly and with less expense, thus making both time and money more abundant.
The problem of overwhelm usually arises, first on making a poor determinations of what to do in a given moment, and second when not enough time is taken to determine how to get the tasks, which are decided upon, done most efficiently.
A first step when being overwhelmed is to slow down and be quiet, e.g., take a brief 15 minute walk in a park to smell the roses if possible. Reflect on making your next tasks to be in support of your important goals. It is common for one to busy oneself in unimportant tasks such as watching TV to relieve or avoid stress, but this doesn’t allow one time to reflect on what is important. So watch TV, etc., if you feel it necessary, but do take more time to reflect. The 15 minutes spent on reflection before doing a task will be gained back by making more efficient use of your time when doing what is important.
Before doing a task, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this task something that really should be done?
2) Am I doing this just so I can avoid doing something important that is difficult?
3) Will this task help me achieve my goals?
4) Will not doing this task prevent me from achieving my goals?
5) Could my time be better spent on something more important?
The 1st question can be difficult when you feel that someone will be disappointed if the task doesn’t get done, but remember that doing what is most important to you takes priority. Sometimes you must let go of a task in order to do what is most important even if not doing it would disappoint another person. When possible, give other persons timely notice if you must let go of something they are expecting you to do, but know that you can’t please all the people all the time, and that most people who are worthy friends will understand your difficulty.
The 2nd and 5th questions are also tricky. Just because some other tasks are more important does not mean that they should take priority. One trick to getting things done with least effort is let the other tasks go until you feel that the time is right for doing them, e.g. you might be able to kill off tasks more efficiently if you combine them by doing them at the same time or one after the other, or if you end up putting a task aside and find later a way to more efficiently handle it, or even that it is no longer necessary and can be crossed off the list.
The 3rd and 4th questions are obviously dependent upon what your priorities are. If you are unsure, please go to such web site as https://www.tinybuddha.com/blog/live
-a-life-you-love-5-steps-to-set-your-priorities-straight to determine them.
Simply decide what you would like to accomplish in your life and commit to obtaining it, but let go of how or when you will succeed. Do not be fooled into believing that you must now have everything planned or that life is too complicated to have long term goals. You should fully expect that you will get what you desire, but should not expect it to happen in a certain way. When you are committed to certain desires do not stress over them, let nature take its course and your subconscious mind will take over. The right people and the right direction will always be revealed to you at the right time if you learn to fully trust your instincts. If you don’t know what to do then do something else important that you are more sure of doing in the most efficient way. Do give your priorities consistent thought though until your instincts say its time to take action.
Have a good day and life will be less of a chore.
P.S. I am not perfect and must admit that I too can benefit from following the above guidelines. I am human just like the rest of you. For one thing I get sidetracked doing less important things that give little benefit, just like every one else, and I have to reset my priorities from time to time. But I'm back on track and now am back at my optimum condition again. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improving the above advice though.