All the "stuff" | Productivity
02 September 2021
Sometimes, work can be a little overwhelming. Whether you have a big project or presentation coming soon, you’re struggling to juggle your daily responsibilities or you’re simply just feeling mental exhaustion, there are plenty of reasons for any employee to feel overwhelmed with their workload.
If you’re looking for a way to ease the mental tension and reconnect with a better work life balance, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve got seven tips for you to utilize any time when work feels overwhelming. Check them out!
Signs You May Be Overwhelmed by Work
No matter what your job is or what it entails, at some point, everyone feels a little overwhelmed at work. This mental exhaustion can manifest itself in different ways for different people. Some people have to deal with constantly thinking about work, some people get nervous or anxious when they’re at work and some people just feel really tense about not just completing their work, but even just going to work.
If any of these describe you, you’re likely wondering how to deal with being overwhelmed at work. We’ve put together a list of eight tips for you that you can try out any time you want to ease your mental state and reduce the stress in your life.
1. Take a Break
First and foremost, if you’re finding yourself feeling constantly overwhelmed at work, you should look into taking a break. Maybe you just need to get away from the office for a day (or close that laptop if you’re at home), or maybe you need to plan a full-fledged vacation to get out of town for a while. Either way, if you aren’t taking enough breaks throughout the year, it can be easy for all the stress and anxiety of your work to catch up with you and overwhelm you.
There are many people out there who think that they can put their nose down and grind their way through any feelings of stress or being overwhelmed. However, these people may be doing more harm than help to their workplace and their careers. Feelings of anxiety can make your workplace seem cloudy, which will make you less productive overall. This creates an additional stressor than you previously had, which is like adding gasoline to the fire that is your workplace anxiety.
In the long term, it’s much better to take some breaks so that you can allow yourself to reset and refocus. Taking time away from the workplace or computer will work wonders on allowing your brain to refresh itself, which will eventually lead to you being a more productive and effective employee overall.
2. Get a Full Night’s Sleep
Did you know that per the Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation will cost an employee $1,967 per year? When your work life gets extra busy, it can be tempting to pull an all-nighter or sacrifice sleep in some way in order to catch up on your work. You should avoid doing this, because the damage you do to your body by depriving it of sleep is far worse than a lack of productivity.
Choosing your sleep over your work can make you feel a little anxious at first. Our brains are wired to accomplish things, and when you’re actively choosing to not accomplish something at the time being, you may feel a little ashamed. But, if you don’t allow yourself to reset and recharge with sleep, you’ll be putting more stress on yourself. Again, it’s important to think in the long term and give yourself an opportunity to work at 100% efficiency rather than sacrificing critical aspects of your human nature.
3. Be Open with Colleagues
How do you talk to your colleagues when work feels overwhelming? Are you open with them about your stress, or do you hide it from them so that you aren’t airing out your grievances? Even though talking about your stress can be stressful in itself, being able to communicate how you are feeling about work can take a massive weight off your shoulders.
If there is anybody who is able to relate to your work-related stress, it’s going to be your peers who work on the same team as you. They’ve likely been in the same situation as you (or are currently feeling the same way), so by talking about your stress and your problems, you can all help each other to feel more supported. Don’t go through your problems alone — lean on your teammates wherever you can.
This is also one of our tips for how to be productive when working remotely. See more of the tips in this blog post!
4. Do a Brain Dump
Half of the work-related stress in your life may come from you not understanding what all you need to do. If you’re feeling like you can’t keep up at work, one of the actionable things you can do is a brain dump.
Doing a brain dump is simple — just take some time to write a list of all the work-related things that are making you feel overwhelmed. Doing this will give you a way to put all of these items in front of you so that you can visualize them. Seeing things in black and white makes them way more comprehensible than when they live as a large gray monster in your head.
You can also use this brain dump as a to-do list! When you have all of your stressors laid out in front of you, it gives you a clearer picture of what you need to do to attack them and get them off the list. It’s easy to feel like you have a clear grasp on what you need to accomplish in your head, but once you understand the benefits of creating a physical list, you’ll realize why this is such a valuable tip.
5. Reconnect with Your Goals
It’s easy for all of us to get lost in the day-to-day aspects of our lives. But, when we do this, we can lose sight of our goals and the things that we want to accomplish in our careers. When work becomes too overwhelming, the enjoyment and motivation can leave you, which leaves you in a rough place where you feel anxious, stressed and unmotivated.
Take some time to sit back and think about what you are looking for out of your career. Are you heading in the right direction, or have you gotten lost on a bit of a detour? Make a list of the steps that you need to take in order to head in the right direction towards your goals.
When you do this, you may sometimes find that the job you are in is not what you are hoping for out of your career. This isn’t a bad thing — in fact, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to change course and move towards something different that will leave you feeling more fulfilled, less stressed and more motivated.
6. Build a Schedule
Building a schedule is a great way to cut back on the feeling of being overwhelmed with your workload. This allows you to list out the things you have to do, when you will do them and also will keep you from trying to do more than what you have time for.
Sticking to a schedule and not taking on more than you have time for in a day will help you feel accomplished instead of overwhelmed. When we create an ambitious to-do list and don’t accomplish everything, we tend to focus more on the things we didn’t do rather than reward ourselves for the things we did do. This makes it harder to stay motivated in the long term, so be realistic when creating your schedule.
7. Automate Where Possible
Being organized can help you out with your scheduling, building time for your projects and to just have a more efficient day in general. There are plenty of ways to organize both your physical and your digital lives, so take some time to look around and see how you can create shortcuts for yourself.
Thanks to modern technology, there are plenty of ways that you can take control back in your life and use technology to optimize your working experience. Seek out programs, devices or any other solution you can that you think would have a positive impact on your work day and your workload.
One of these solutions is a program like Charli, who can help you to manage and organize your files so that your digital workspace is free of clutter and designed for you to use it as effectively and as efficiently as possible.
Manage that Overwhelming Feeling at Work
If all goes well, your career should be something that excites and motivates you, not something that makes you constantly feel stressed and overwhelmed. If you’re feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis, try to implement these tips in order to improve your working situation and go into each day on a more positive note.
One of the best ways to start this process is by organizing your digital workspace with Charli. Learn more about how Charli can help you to optimize your work life today!