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How to go from overwhelmed to just "whelmed"

Written by Ashworth College on Thursday, 04 February 2016. Posted in Life Hacks, Why Ashworth

How to Go from Overwhelmed to Just

Going to work. Taking care of your family. Maintaining a social life. Pursuing personal goals. Trying to get some sleep (when you can).

You have a lot going on. And because you are human, balancing all of these responsibilities can seem daunting from time to time. Feeling overwhelmed can cause you to worry about what you haven't done, instead of drawing your focus toward the task you are trying to accomplish. Use these tips to manage your long list of to-do's like a pro and go from feeling overwhelmed to just "whelmed."

Break it down

It's easier to prioritize tasks when you are able to clearly look at the big picture. First, write down the tasks you need to get done. Then, break your list of items into larger chunks (e.g. family, job, school, errands, etc.) Organizing your thoughts makes each task easier to manage.

Prioritize each item by importance and urgency, but first tackle something on the list that you enjoy or that is easy to complete. Being able to cross something off the list right away will give you the motivation you need to keep going.

Rethink multitasking

Sometimes in life, multitasking is unavoidable. It's referred to "juggling" responsibilities for a reason. However, trying to do too many things at once can also be counterproductive. Many tasks can be completed much faster when you are able to focus on them one at a time. Try setting a standing time for studying and completing online coursework, or consider blocking out a night of the week for family time. Creating boundaries will make it easier to manage your time.

Learn when to say 'no'

Some responsibilities are non-negotiable. But it is okay to say no to certain events and tasks when you simply don't have time. Skipping out on dinner with friends, or opting out of volunteering at your kid's bake sale isn't ideal, but sometimes you have to put your goals and personal needs first.


It's important to know when you need a break. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is pause, breathe, and take a moment to relax. Once you've given yourself a mini Zen session, you can return to the task at hand and work more efficiently.

Of course, none of these tips mean anything if you don't simply make the choice to take action. Once you've directed your focus, and start checking things off your list, getting everything finished will become easier. Eliminating doubt and moving forward is easier said than done, but if you have the right mindset, anything is possible.

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