How To Rid Yourself of Overwhelm

We have all suffered from it at one point or another.

Some of us are constantly in this state and some of us dabble in it from time to time!

The one thing I am sure of is that when you are in the state of overwhelm, it feels like the walls are crashing down on top of you and time seems to move at a rapid pace. You get to the end of the day, feeling exhausted but not able to put your finger on exactly what you completed throughout the day!

If you feel like this, then take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Overwhelm strikes us all down at some point in our lives.

The trick here is to realise you are in this state and to be able to get yourself out of it.

"But Breda, this is easier said than done".. I hear you say, so don't worry I'm going to share with you a tool to help you Rid Yourself of Overwhelm.

First – let me say this. There is no problem out there that does not have a solution. Listen to the way you are talking to yourself and make the first change here. Start telling yourself that "yes, it is possible" and "yes, there is a way". Start asking the question "How can I do this?" instead of telling yourself that you can't.

The following tool will also help you to see that everything is possible; it's called the Eisenhower Matrix.

It works on the basis of two questions:

  1. Is this task or question Urgent?
  2. Is this task or question Important?

Now, at first glance you might say that these two questions are the same, but they are not. They will separate the tasks you "need" to do and the ones that should be made a "priority". To simplify this for you further you can only answer each of these questions with "Yes" or "No".

So taking your task list for today, look at each task and ask yourself the above two questions for each one. Remember you can only answer yes or no. Depending on your answers each task will be input into one of the following 4 categories.

  1. Urgent and Important
  2. Not Urgent and Important
  3. Urgent and Not Important
  4. Not Urgent and Not Important

Urgent and Important

Important and not (yet) Urgent

Urgent and not Important

Not Important and not Urgent

The order in which you fulfill the tasks is important. As you only have a limited amount of time every day and can't possibly do everything, it is important to prioritize the tasks you must do.
Obviously the first priority goes to the tasks that are Urgent and Important. That's clear. However what is not so obvious is that tasks labeled  Not Urgent and Important get the next priority. This is the quadrant that it is wise to concentrate on so that the Urgent and Important quadrant does not come into play.

Often people tend to rush to deal with all the Urgent and Not Important tasks at hand, pushing the important, but not urgent ones somewhere into the far future which can result in the dreaded "Overwhelm" sneaking its way back into your life again.

(A quick tip to help you realize this is when you know you should be working on a project, but instead end up checking Facebook, reading that really urgent e-mail from a friend with a hilarious youtube video or chatting about plans for the weekend on Skype.)

The tasks in the 4th quadrant, Not Urgent and Not Important should be dropped. If there is no rush for doing them and they don't matter anyway, why even bother?

Another way of thinking about it is as follows:

Complete Immediately

Plan to get these done before they become Urgent.

Delegate. They might need immediate attention, but not necessarily YOUR attention

Delete, Defer or Delegate

How this helps?

When consciously filtering all incoming distractions based on their importance, you end up doing less of the not important ones and thus become more productive in your work.
The Important and Not Urgent quadrant is where you want to spend most of you time. It's a peaceful place to work on things that are important and to have enough time to finish them.

Achieving this is not so hard. First, only do tasks that are important. Second, plan ahead. If you look ahead and take control of the way you spend your time, you can finish all your tasks before they become urgent.

This way you will become more focused and more productive in all the things you do! This is a tool that you can use in your everyday time management activities. One prerequisite is that you have a clear view of your objectives, because that's what you need to decide whether something is urgent or not. Urgency however is something we recognize very easily, without any training at all.

In short, you should try to eliminate "Not Important and not Urgent" activities altogether, and maximize "Important and not (yet) Urgent" activities. Reducing urgency is your life is a good objective, no matter what.

The ultimate result is to Rid Yourself of Overwhelm

To your continued success,

P.S. When I relaunched my business a few years ago I was broke and had to start from scratch. I had to figure out a way to build my business on a very small amount of money. My gift to you is my complete list of online resources I used to get myself back on track. Most are free, some have a small investment attached, but all got me to where I wanted to go along with some focus dedication and hard work! Grab it =>  HERE 

© Copyright Breda Stackpool, Breda Stackpool, is known as the 90 day coach, helping people to achieve more in 90 days than they have in the past year! She helps her clients set the foundations in their business so they can build empires, whatever that means to them. You can read more about Breda and how she helps her clients on

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