Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Screenshot 2019-05-26 at 7.18.05 AM Well, I thought that January was crazy, and the end of April was exhausting, but it turns out that I hadn’t seen anything yet. This past week, circumstances created a workload the likes of which I haven’t seen in a very long time, and I quite literally did almost nothing but work, sleep, and work. I’ll share more details in my upcoming month in review post, but today I’m thinking about those times in our lives when our to do lists become Herculean.

The next time you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, here are some things to keep in mind:

Set realistic expectations

Screenshot 2019-05-26 at 8.24.23 AMUnless you have superpowers (and if you do, I’m jealous), you’re always going to be constrained by the time you have. When everything comes crashing down, it’s time to really focus on acceptable outcomes (see this post for more on that). This past week I was doing the work of two people, and while I wanted to apply my usual high standards to all of it, that simply wasn’t possible.

Communicate with others

First thing Monday morning, I told my boss what I could do, what I couldn’t do, and what I now needed other people to do. Some deadlines had to be pushed back, some of my work had to be delegated to others, and someone else definitely had to lead a few training sessions I had scheduled for Friday.

When you have too much to do, you need to make the situation clear to everyone around you. Give a heads up to those who are affected, so they know the situation and are prepared for you to be stressed, or unavailable, or asking for their help and support.

Take care of yourself

Sleep. Eat. Drink water. Take a break. No matter how busy you are, you have time to see your needs. If you don’t, you won’t be very effective anyway. This Wednesday, for example, I called it quits by 6:00 and slept for ten hours. I had two insanely busy days behind me and two more ahead, so I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about saying, “I’ll figure it out tomorrow”.

Celebrate your accomplishments

celebrateAt the end of the day on Friday, I walked into my boss’s office, threw my arms in the air, and shouted, “I’m amazing!” I also texted a friend and asked if we could have dinner because I was on a total achievement high and wanted a metaphorical gold star. Was I bragging? Yep. Did I feel ashamed of that? Nope. Often, if we wait for other people to notice and congratulate us, we’ll end up waiting a long time. No, I’m not suggesting that we go around constantly talking about how awesome we are, but there’s nothing wrong with occasionally drawing attention to yourself. I wanted my boss to acknowledge what I had put myself through over the past five days, so I made sure he did. I wanted a reward, so I arranged my own celebratory dinner. At a bare minimum, when you achieve something you should look at yourself in the mirror and tell that amazing person they did great.

Throttle back

When things start to slow down, let them. It can be hard to change gears, but continuously running in overdrive is a very, very bad idea. Once you’ve handled the craziness, it’s time to sleep in. Watch a movie. Read a book. Give yourself some time before dealing with anything else that’s piled up. Write a shorter blog post because you’re still tired on Sunday.

Trust me, you’ve earned it.

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How do you handle being overwhelmed?

34 thoughts on “Things to Remember When There’s Too Much to Do

  1. Michelle says:

    This is great advice! This month has been the busiest month for me so far this year. I’m looking forward to slowing down so I can focus on other things and not running all over the place. : D

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I think I did a month’s worth of work just last week. I have a vacation coming up and I am SO ready.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. smilecalm says:

    very encouraging
    for these times!
    i especially like
    the lazy part 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      That’s the part it took me the longest to figure out. For a long time, I would finish one thing and go straight into the next, which is a great recipe for burnout. I’ve learned to cherish my rest time.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Betul Erbasi says:

    I usually have troubles with that because I always think I can do more than I actually can. Well, in my case, I just start getting relaxed after realizing and accepting that I cannot do as much but this happens in the middle of work. I wish I could do it earlier

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve found that determining my minimum acceptable outcome before I start a task helps me avoid overdoing it during the process.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Betul Erbasi says:

        Yeah, that could help.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thank you. Now I’m just hoping I don’t have to use them again right away. Lol

      Like

  4. Shell Vera says:

    I freeze. I noticed this about myself this weekend. I ended up binge watching The Fosters instead of focusing on what I wanted to get done because I was overwhelmed by my first task. Now my week will be busier than I’d expected.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It can be really hard to get started sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not asking for a 25 hour day but perhaps a 35 day month. Or an 8 day week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Would the eighth day be a work day or a weekend day?

      Like

      1. Of course a weekend day! This would give the weekend its own sort of mini mid week on Sunday. All hail to longer weekends!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        I’m totally on board with this plan.

        Like

  6. At least you can look back and assess.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paul says:

    I think communication is the most important thing here. The sooner you let people know that you have too much on your plate, the more time they have to adjust accordingly. If you try and struggle on without without saying anything, all you end up doing is letting people down at the last minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Celebrate your accomplishments is a good one. The wins are still wins even if there’s still lots more to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Simon says:

    I like this it’s how it should be – I do have trouble celebrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I have a tendency to rush to the next thing if I don’t consciously remind myself to celebrate, so I make a point of doing so.
      That’s why I’m energized and ready to get back to it this morning. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Simon says:

        I hope the energy continues! Have a great day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Sam R says:

    great advice if only I could actually stick with it 😭😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It takes practice, for sure. Took me a long time to get there.

      Like

  11. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I can understand where you’re coming from. Because my wife is the load bearer of her job.

    Yes! Throttle back and Take care of yourself! Work has to be done, but there’s only 1 you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Luckily, this week has been a lot easier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        I’m glad for ya!!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. jyoti107 says:

    Great tips…🧡♥️👌

    Liked by 1 person

      1. jyoti107 says:

        Welcome Amanda

        Liked by 1 person

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