We have all experienced a point where we feel that we cannot cope with what we have to do. A sense of panic and stress sets in and our knee jerk emotional system kicks in and takes over from the rational cognitive thinking system. These reflexive responses can often do a lot more harm than good when faced with a challenge or crisis.  If this type of reaction continues it can have an impact on our long term health too. 

As soon as you recognise this, do your utmost to change your emotional state and stand back from the situation. By becoming self aware and the actually trying to put this into words, this is the first step in gaining control.

If you cannot discuss this with someone, then look to write down the current challenge, problem or stressful situation you face as a way of starting to put the feelings into some coherent form of words.

The next step then is to identify where you have some control and where you can begin to influence the situation. Focusing on areas outside of this is where the stress levels raise. So identify some small manageable goals or steps you can take to start to move yourself out of this position of overload. 

Then take the first one that you see as the highest priority and do something about it. As soon as you take on one smaller task and your brain feels a sense of control over events, you will not feel so overwhelmed. Self-esteem grows when you take control of events, so it is important to chunk things down. Remember the old saying that you “eat an elephant one bite at a time”! 

So don’t look at the whole situation and expect perfection, focus on one piece at a time. Then you can expand your small circle of control outwards and build on the accomplishment of each bite size chunk in turn. 

Longer term though, it is essential to look at the areas of our business that are not seen as urgent, but actually are vitally important to developing strategies to create a stronger sense of control across the business.

In this area we include:

  • New Systems 
  • Planning 
  • Time Management
  • Delegation 
  • Skills Development

It is in essence, standing back from the day-to-day activity and “working on your business rather than in it”.

It is here that we achieve a stronger sense of control and address the potential to feel overloaded.