How to stay calm when you’re overwhelmed by tasks

Overwhelmed by tasks? Swimming in assignments and work or school obligations, with no end in sight?

Hey. Take a breath. It’s going to be okay.

Let me walk you through four ways you can stay calm and get through this thing (or these things).

As someone who’s been balancing difficult college assignments, the daily grind of work, and everything else that life has entailed for several years now, I’ve come to know what it’s like when you start to feel overwhelmed by what you have on your plate. I mean, I would say that 99% of the time, I’m cool-headed about my work and able to get it done without a lot of fuss or issues on my end. However, I have definitely had days here and there when what was ahead of me seemed like it would never be behind me and my work load was seemingly impossible to accomplish.

Here are some simple ways you can get back into action when stagnation seems more friendly than keeping momentum.

1. Ground yourself

First off, you’re going to need to ground yourself, get calm, and recognize that you can do this.

One way you can start to calm down so you can think more clearly is to take deep breaths of oxygen. Try to breathe deep as you inhale, drawing oxygen in and focusing on breathing from your stomach, not your chest, if that makes sense. 

2. Take a break (or a walk)

Sometimes, lots of work means long, consecutive hours of working. If you’ve been at it for a while, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and give yourself a break. Breaking up your day and giving you a fresh perspective are some benefits of taking breaks. Taking a walk can give you a chance to get outside, away from the place you do your work. Surprisingly, getting away from your work momentarily might be just the way to effectively get back into it.

3. Divide and conquer

It can be overwhelming to look at the whole of what you eventually need to get done. Don’t look at all of what you have to do, look at what steps you can take to get closer to finishing the project(s). Divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps you can take towards reaching your goal.

4. Just start

Sometimes the anticipation of doing a project can cause procrastination and putting off the inevitable, which just creates more stress as you scramble to finish your tasks. Once you’ve reset your mind and realized your big projects are just series of small steps, just get in there and get started. The best thing you can do for yourself is do whatever it takes to get it done.

3 thoughts on “How to stay calm when you’re overwhelmed by tasks

  1. Renard Moreau

    🙂 Taking a short break certainly helps in that situation.

    Also, breaking down tasks into manageable steps works.

    Staying calm when I am overwhelmed with tasks can be quite challenging.

    Thank you for publishing this wonderful blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

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