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How to stop feeling overwhelmed at work

There may be times at work when you are given a lot of complicated tasks, which could overwhelm you. When this happens, you should take some time to plan your duties and seek assistance when necessary. You can feel organized and submit high-quality work if you can find techniques to be focused, calm, and in control at work. In this post, we go through the definition of being overwhelmed at work, the frequent causes of feeling this way, and strategies for dealing with it.

The harmful feeling of overwhelm is mostly brought on by the distractions that surround us and the increasing demands on our time. It sneaks up on us and, in its worst cases, can leave us feeling tense, stressed, and worn out. Feeling overwhelmed at work is really common and entirely acceptable. According to the APA, stress is the main factor that contributes to feeling overwhelmed at work.

How to stop feeling overwhelmed at work

Numerous studies have shown that this excess stress can result in a variety of health issues, including hypertension, anxiety, and heart attacks. There are techniques to recognize when work-related stress may be becoming too much for you, too. When something like this happens, it is important to stop it before the tension starts to affect your life. Before overwhelm becomes a cause for concern, there are various ways to recognize it.

In this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

  • What does the phrase “feeling overwhelmed” mean?
    How do you know when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?
    What are some of the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed at work?
    How can you control your feelings of being overwhelmed at work?
    Can you tell your boss that you’re feeling overwhelmed?

What does the phrase “feeling overwhelmed” mean?

When you’re stressed out at work, it’s usually because of how much or how difficult the work you’ve been given is. You could feel overwhelmed while working on difficult projects or being given several responsibilities with short deadlines. There are several strategies to reduce or get rid of this oppressive sensation, including taking many breaks, seeking assistance, and informing your boss when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Keeping yourself from feeling overwhelmed will help you feel more at ease and confident at work, which will help you produce higher-quality work and work more efficiently. Your boss might be impressed and give you a raise or a promotion.

Read more: What is deep work? Common ways deep work helps In increasing your focusing ability

How do you know when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?

The following are symptoms you get when feeling overwhelmed:

  • When you’re unable to concentrate
    Sleeplessness
    When you’re always feeling sick
    When you find your easy tasks hard
    When you don’t really feel hungry

When you’re unable to concentrate

It’s likely that you are starting to feel overwhelmed if you find it difficult to stay focused at work, especially during meetings and briefings. Short attention spans and persistent zoning out are symptoms of a lack of concentration. Try to keep a note pad or other device on hand to record vital information to address this. Attempt to remain grounded throughout long sessions. According to Parkinson’s Law, “The man who spends his entire life filling out paperwork has lost his initiative.” He has stopped noticing anything for himself, so he is dealing with things that are brought to his attention.

Sleeplessness

If you are stressed out at work, you may have problems falling asleep even if you don’t work longer hours. You may frequently feel the effects of work-related stress when you leave for home. Overwhelm is characterized by frequent awakenings, ongoing discomfort in bed, stress, and preoccupation with thoughts of the workplace.

Read more: Reasons why you can’t concentrate and how you can stay focused

When you’re always feeling sick

Another indication of overwhelm is if you begin to feel ill while working, particularly if you are feeling dizzy. Because the body is not used to such high levels of stress, it is easy to lose immunity as a result. This explains why some forms of illnesses, such as nausea, migraines, and others, are frequently experienced when working.

When you find your easy tasks hard

Everyone in a workplace is aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Another symptom of overwhelm is when tasks you previously found simple, suddenly becomes hard. When overwhelmed, it might become challenging to finish any activity or project. This eventually causes you to start putting things off.

According to Parkinson’s Law chapter 10, “The individual who is denied the chance to make significant judgments starts to value the ones he is permitted to make highly. He starts being picky about filing, is concerned about pencils being sharpened, wants to make sure the windows are open (or shut), and tends to use two or three distinct ink colors.

Read more: Understanding flow state and how it can help you stay focused and more productive

When you don’t really feel hungry

When it comes to eating at work, being overwhelmed can frequently make one feel satisfied. Since most people think that working harder is the solution to having a heavy workload, skipping meals becomes a habit. They frequently sacrifice their own meals to accomplish it. If lunch is viewed as a break rather than as a mealtime, this can be avoided. It can be utilized to relax and engage in leisurely activities.

What are some of the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed at work?

You may feel overwhelmed by your professional activities for a variety of reasons. To figure out how to effectively manage it, you need to take some time to know what is causing you to feel this way. The following are some of the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed at work:

  • When you have a lot of work to do.
    If you’re to meet an uneasy deadline, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.
    When you receive insufficient resources to carry out your workload in a responsible manner, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.
    taking on excessive amounts of work from superiors or coworkers.
    If you have a little knowledge about a particular job, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.
    When you’re uncertain about how well you are doing at work and where you need to improve, you’ll begin to feel overwhelmed.

How can you control your feelings of being overwhelmed at work?

  • Write down things to free up your mind.
    Know the amount of time it would take you to finish your To-Dos
    Apply Parkinson’s Law
    Make use of your calendar’s power.
    Make reasonable decisions.
    Take smart action.

Write down things to free up your mind.

When work becomes overwhelming, the first thing you should do is write down everything that is on your mind. People frequently just list everything they believe has to be done. This is helpful, but writing down everything on your mind will help you feel less overwhelmed. for instance, you might have argued with a loved one or a coworker. Put it down in writing if it’s on your mind. Drawing a line down the center of the page and labeling one part “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind” are effective ways to accomplish this.

You will no longer feel overwhelmed at work if you write all this down and get it out of your head. Writing down thoughts can significantly change your life.

Read more: Easy Ways to Refocus a Wandering Mind

Know the amount of time it would take you to finish your To-Dos

After clearing your mind, go over your list and determine how long it will take you to finish each task. Many of the tasks on your list will only take you five or ten minutes when you check them off as you complete them. Others will require more time, frequently up to several hours. Right now, don’t worry about it. Just concentrate on accurately calculating how long it will take you to finish each assignment.

Apply Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a quick tip I picked up years ago to use when work gets too much. According to Parkinson’s Law, work will take up the time you have to finish it because human beings are bad at estimating how long things will take: Due to this, many people ended up completing their tasks very late. They estimate that it will take them only thirty minutes to drive across town, despite the fact that they know from prior experience that it typically takes them forty-five minutes due to frequently congested traffic. It’s not as much terrible judgment as it is wishful thinking.

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When we feel overwhelmed at work, we might make use of Parkinson’s Law. If you’ve calculated that it will take 90 minutes to write five critical emails, cut that time in half to one hour. Similarly, if you think it will take you three hours to prepare for a presentation, cut that time in half to two. There are two benefits to shortening the time you anticipate it taking. You will definitely complete your work faster as a primary benefit. The second is that by applying a little time pressure to yourself, you lessen your chance of becoming sidetracked or allowing yourself to procrastinate.

When we overestimate how long something will take us to finish, our subconscious minds fool us into thinking we have plenty of time and we actually end up reading Apple Watch 4 reviews or allowing our coworkers to interrupt us with the newest office rumors. This can be avoided by applying some time constraints, which help us stay focused and complete more tasks. When work becomes overwhelming, this will be helpful.

Make use of your calendar’s power.

To prevent becoming overwhelmed at work, schedule your to-dos once you have completed your time estimations. Allocate time for each task, particularly the most important ones, but also group together tasks that are comparable. Your daily job life will as a result, become less stressful and anxious.

Schedule time in your calendar to respond to all of the emails that are on your to-do list at once. Similarly, if you need to write a report or prepare for a presentation, add those tasks to your calendar using your expected time as a benchmark for how long they may both take. Because you know you have scheduled time to do them, seeing these tasks on your calendar reduces your sense of urgency. It’s remarkable to how much work you can accomplish when you group related things together, because doing so helps you stay focused for longer.

Read more: How to focus completely to increase productivity

Make reasonable decisions.

Decide what you will do with each of the items you jotted down that are on your mind but are not tasks. You are thinking about these things because you haven’t decided what to do with them. Take some time to consider the best course of action before confronting a loved one, friend, or coworker with a problem. Most of the time, just having a conversation with the parties involved will clear things up and find a solution. If the situation is more serious, consider the best course of action. Get advice by speaking with your manager or a fellow employee.

Avoid letting your decision making skills get worse at any cost. Ignoring the issue won’t make it go away and will simply increase your sense of job overload. You must decide how you will handle it, and the sooner you do so, the faster the issue will be fixed. I can still clearly recall that time in my early twenties when I became completely obsessed with my brand-new credit cards. I realized I didn’t have enough money to cover my regular bills. I spent days worrying about it, became stressed out, and was truly at a loss for what to do. I eventually confided in a close friend about the issue.

He advised me to call the credit card company and explain my situation. I summoned the courage to call the business the following day, explained my situation, and the nice person on the other end listened to me before suggesting I pay a lower amount for a few months. This one phone conversation, which took no longer than ten minutes to complete, resolved my issue and significantly reduced the amount of stress I was experiencing at the time.

Take smart action.

The key is to take some sort of action once we start to feel overwhelmed at work (and anxious, as the two frequently go together), because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us. A good place to start is by writing down everything that is upsetting you and making you feel overwhelmed. No matter how extensive the list is, being able to see what is upsetting you in list form helps to calm the mind. You’ve made it externalized. It also means that these worries are now apparent, so you can decide what to do about them rather than float about in your thoughts like a muddled mass.

Asking a coworker for a little assistance or setting aside some focused time to complete the task are two common solutions. Making a decision about what to do next is crucial. It’s not necessarily because there’s too much work or not enough time that the feeling of being overwhelmed by your workload exists. It might also result from delaying making a choice about what to do next.

Read more: What is the 80/20 rule and how it helps your productivity?

Can you tell your boss that you’re feeling overwhelmed?

Most people assume that their voice will be ignored if they inform their boss or their supervisor that they are feeling overwhelmed. Some people worry that taking a quick break for oneself will be a waste of time. If you’re feeling stressed out, you must immediately let your manager know because it will impair your ability to function at work. The following are ways you can use to tell your boss or your supervisor that you’re feeling overwhelmed:

  • Make a list of the things you have to do right now and compare it to how long it generally takes you to finish them.
    To ensure you have enough time to explain the matter to your supervisor, schedule a meeting in advance.
    Instead of phrasing it as if you are blaming the other person, admit that your own difficulty is a result of feeling overwhelmed, but maintain your firm belief that this is normal.
    If your manager requests them, offer ideas or suggestions on how you might help reduce your workload.

offer to make sporadic minor contributions to whoever is assigned the assignment.
The quality of work is given priority in workplaces where employees and their managers have a shared understanding. Taking a break is preferable to continuing to work while feeling overwhelmed since it is difficult to create the same quality of work when you are mentally exhausted.

FAQs

Is it normal to feel overwhelmed at work all the time?

It doesn’t matter where you work; jobs can be stressful, and it’s common to feel overwhelmed at work occasionally. Every job has good and terrible days; it’s just the nature of employment.

How do I become less overwhelmed at work?

  • Write down things to free up your mind.
    Know the amount of time it would take you to finish your To-Dos
    Apply Parkinson’s Law
    Make use of your calendar’s power.
    Make reasonable decisions.
    Take smart action.

Should I tell my boss I’m overwhelmed?

Informing your boss that you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you have can be an excellent starting step toward reducing your job. Having an open line of communication with your manager and saying that you require assistance will boost your confidence going forward.

Should I quit my job for anxiety?

It could be time to reassess your work situation if you frequently find yourself wondering whether you should quit your job due to anxiety. Nobody wants to admit it, but if your job gives you a lot of anxiety, it’s crucial to put your mental health before work.

How do you tell if your job is too stressful?

  • When you’re unable to concentrate
    Sleeplessness
    When you’re always feeling sick
    When you find your easy tasks very hard
    When you don’t really feel hungry

What to do if my job is affecting my mental health?

Understand how your work setting may impact your mental health.
Identify the specific cause of your mental health decline.
Change the way you view your career.
Think about speaking with administration or your manager.
Know the careers with high rates of mental illness.

Is it normal to be unhappy at work?

You are not alone if you experience stress, anxiety, or misery at work. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace survey, more than half of American workers claim they don’t feel connected or fulfilled at work, while only 16% report being genuinely miserable.

What are the emotional signs of stress?

  • Depression or anxiety.
    Anger, irritability, or restlessness.
    Making unreasonable decisions.
    Feeling sleepless or sleeping too much.
    Getting worried constantly.
    Feeling overwhelmed.

Can I quit my job due to stress?

However, having an honest discussion may put you in a position where you can manage your stress and keep your job. The first action you should do before quitting should, at the very least, be to talk about your worries.

Is my job making me miserable?

According to Morin, increased procrastination, a lack of interest, and sloppy work are all indications that you are no longer motivated by your work. She then cautions that this could very well result in your terrible predictions regarding your job really coming true. You can actually be demoted or even fired if your work is subpar.

How do you fix burnout at work?

  • Evaluate your options.
    delegate or seek assistance.
    practice meditation and mindfulness.
    Exercise regularly.
    Sleep well.

What does burnout feel like?

Being burned out entails experiencing a sense of emptiness and mental exhaustion, as well as a lack of drive and compassion. People who are burned out frequently don’t believe that their circumstances will improve. Burnout is the feeling of being completely depleted, whereas excessive stress is the sensation of being drowned in obligations.

That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions have been discussed:

  • What does the phrase “feeling overwhelmed” mean?
    How do you know when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?
    What are some of the things that cause you to feel overwhelmed at work?
    How can you control your feelings of being overwhelmed at work?
    Can you tell your boss that you’re feeling overwhelmed?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!