How to stop feeling overwhelmed without changing your to-do list

Listen on:

How many times a day to you think about how overwhelmed you are because there’s too much to do and not enough time?

There’s weekly business review meetings to prep and dig deeper into, 1:1’s to set agenda’s for, those 15 people you need to follow up with, that big project that’s coming due soon, all of the other daily tasks that have to get done, and 4 meetings happening today that will probably include additional things you need to follow up on after. All this before you even open your email in the morning.

And let’s not forget you are a person as well. You probably need to grocery shop, do some laundry, go through that pile of mail that’s growing by the day, return a few items, schedule a dentist appointment, grab a birthday card for your friend, and try to find time to call your mom.

Cue all that overwhelm and stressing out because there’s so much to do.

Most of the time, we just accept that we have too much to do as fact and try to find ways to be more efficient.

Maybe you start buying meal delivery kits and hire out the house cleaning. Or you try to come into work 30 minutes early to get a head start on the day before everyone else gets into the office.

But no matter what you try, it still feels so overwhelming and never ending.

Guess why?

The only reason we feel overwhelmed is because of our thinking. Having “too much to do” is not a fact. It’s a thought. If you were not thinking you had too much to do, you would be feeling something else.

What is “too much?” Who decides it’s “too much?” How do we know when it’s “just right?”
Instead of focusing on how to be more efficient, try focusing on better thoughts that don’t make you feel overwhelmed.

Things like, I know what’s on my agenda today or I don’t HAVE to do any of this, but I’m choosing to.

If that doesn’t feel believable to you, try digging deeper and asking yourself why?

What would you have to give up to stop feeling overwhelmed because of the thought “there’s too much to do.”

Maybe it means giving up being a perfectionist and not spending an extra 4 hours on that document because you’re not actually improving the communication. You’re just moving commas around.

Maybe it means giving up control over what people might think of you and asking for more time on a project and prioritize what’s already on your to-do list.

Maybe it means giving up being a people pleaser and telling your boss you don’t have the bandwidth to own that additional project.

Maybe in means give up self-doubt and asking how spending time finding answers to the questions asked in the business review meeting are going to drive the business forward.

The only reason you are feeling overwhelmed is because of the THOUGHT “there’s too much to do.” All you have to do is find a new thought you already believe and practice thinking that instead.

If you want help applying this to your specific situation, let’s jump on the phone for a free mini session and get you out overwhelm. Sign up HERE.

3 Steps to Deal with a Bad Manager - Free Workshop

Bad leaders cause a lot of churn, constant changes in priorities kill your timelines, and the anxiety from the next unknown escalation is not sustainable.

Learn the proven 3 steps to deal with a bad manager. 

Share this post

Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last ~12 years growing my career at Amazon. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

Enter your info to get the 3 Steps to Deal With A Bad Manager free workshop

Please read my privacy policy to see I take your privacy seriously.