Have you given thought to the fact that we are often our own worst enemies? Because sometimes we are - we can be hard on ourselves, our own worst critics and consequently the source of our own stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.
I challenge you to give it a moment's thought... Do you have any self-defeating behaviours?
Still not sure what we're on about? In helping us to explore this topic more fully, let's examine the most commonly reported self-defeating behaviours that overwhelmed people find themselves perpetuating:
- many people live in a chronic state of chaos. This might sound harsh, but often they're so used to it that they don't even realise it anymore. They believe they have a handle on everything and claim to know in which pile each scrap of paper resides; their constant anxiety is that someone will tidy up for them! What they're not realising is that an enormous amount of brain power is being used up remembering where everything is scattered. How much simpler (and less stressful) would it be to implement and maintain a workable system?
- the task is just too big. They don't know where to start, are unable to envision its successful completion. They've never learnt to eat the elephant one bite at a time - the powerful skill of pacing themselves. It's all or nothing. They often find themselves thinking something in the line of: "I'll only be able to do it when..."
3. Perfection Paralysis
- they can't accept anything but perfection from themselves. These unreasonable expectations spell disaster before they even start.
- weird one, I know. But you see, people who don't have great boundaries spend a lot of time in their heads bemoaning the way their colleagues take them for granted. But they don't let any of the culprits know they've overstepped an imaginary boundary. No, they just use up all their emotional and intellectual head space meditating on their terrible lot in life. They're unable to internalise the fact that they're wholly accountable for not communicating their inability to fulfil another's need.
5. Not delegating
- they don't believe anyone can do the job as fast or as well as they can. Then then they struggle with resentment at the end of the day when they're left working late, trying to finish a task that could have been competed in half the time if they delegated... And communicated!
6. Not Prioritising
- trying to do everything simultaneously - it's called multi-tasking and it doesn't work. If they're focussing on 5 things at once, they're going to drop at least one ball - sometimes all 5!
7. Stressing about how much they have to do instead of actually doing it
- this is a wonderful form of distraction, which unfortunately wreaks havoc on your productivity.
8. Making plans in their heads instead of on paper
- it's not possible to gain perspective if it stays in their heads - they need to structure their planning, on paper. That way, the subconscious can come into its own and move them into problem-solving mode.
9. They're just plain scared
- they don't feel up to the task, so they hide their heads in the sand and hope it quietly disappears.
If you're succumbing to one or more of these behaviours, get help - invest in training
, don't ignore what needs to be done!
At Staff Training
we cover these issues and more in our Stress and Time Management Workshops
. There are ways to remove these hurdles and become productive. Methods which help us move from victim to victor when faced with an overwhelming situation, project or task at work.