Overwhelm Series #10: Your Overwhelm Overview
This is the Grand Finale of my series on Managing Overwhelm.
Today you’re going to end up with a very useful checklist (printable version below) to refer to if you’re feeling stuck, overstretched or overblown in your life.
If you’re ADHD or Autistic you know that this kind of experience is more or less a fact of life. Overwhelm is one of the early signs of burnout so you really want to learn how to address this.
What’s more, I believe it’s totally possible to design a life as a neurodivergent person where getting overwhelmed is a much less common occurrence, if not a thing of the past. And learning what to do in the short term when overwhelm does hit is exactly how you learn to write it out of your life in the long run.
That’s where this checklist comes in! Overwhelm isn’t so much of a problem when you can still keep up and get everything done. It’s when things start slipping that you’re in trouble - be that your capacity to deliver or your motivation to even try.
So when you find yourself avoiding things that are important or putting them off constantly, it’s not a moral failing on your part, it's just a sign that you’ve got too much on your plate, either literally or emotionally.
Procrastination is NOT a moral issue. It's a messenger.
Putting things off always happens for a good reason.
Again, the answer is not to try harder, push through and make more effort, it’s to understand WHY you’re procrastinating (there’s always a good reason, an unmet need in fact) and take care of that so you can get moving again, in good time.
Here’s your Procrastination-Elimination/Get Out of Overwhelm Free checklist.
Next time you’re resisting or putting something off, or feeling like you're drowning, refer to this list to understand where you are stuck - and check the links for more details on what you need to do to get moving again.
This is also a really great “get out of overwhelm” checklist.
Am I exhausted? Do I need to rest/ stare into space/ do some active recovery before doing this?
Do I have clarity on what I need to do? Do I know what the next step is? Do I need to break that step down into smaller pieces?
Is this too hard? Do I need to adjust the challenge/skills balance so it’s only 4% harder than my capacity? (Breaking it down into small steps helps with this).
Do I have a clear “why”? Am I clear how doing this joins up with my bigger goals?
What do I need to say “no” to in order to get this done?
Am I the person to get this done/do I need to do this? Do I need to eliminate/delegate/automate?
Do I have an emotional backlog in relation to doing this that needs taking care of before I can tackle it?
Download this printable version here!
Next time you’re feeling too done in to tackle everything on your plate, or you’re resisting or procrastinating on a task, however small or big, use this checklist.
It has active links to the relevant sections in the series so you can refresh your memory on what to do to get moving again.
You’re good. You’ve got this.
I’d love to hear how it helps you.