How to Manage Overwhelm

How to Manage Overwhelm

Danielle Maxwell | Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 |  Career

Each morning, I make the mistake of checking social media before getting out of bed. As I catch up on what’s happening in the world, I often find myself thinking “This too much” all before 8 AM.

Even if you don’t start your mornings making the same bad decision that I do, I’m sure that you have likely felt overwhelmed. The following tasks alone often leave many of us thinking, “Today has drained me”:

  • Reading/Responding to emails or Slack messages
  • Checking the calendar
  • Attending meetings

Then there’s all of the changes that have occurred in the tech industry alone within the past year. In 2023, 262,735 employees in the tech industry were laid off. At the same time, last year was dubbed generative AI’s “breakout year”. Although keeping up with new products and trends is expected in our industry, trying to keep up with all the rapid changes brought on by AI has been challenging.

Add in world news and personal situations and well it’s easy to see why I’ve seen so many people wondering if it’s normal to feel so overwhelmed these days.

Feeling overwhelmed is natural, so what can we do to not let it consume us? Well, I have a few tips.

I’d like to note that I’m not a trained professional and so these recommendations are purely based on what has worked for me or what others have shared with me in the past.

Why Am I Overwhelmed?

A great place to start with managing overwhelm is to determine what’s really causing you to feel this way. Reading social media is my way of catching up on the news and so beginning my day somewhat bombarded with multiple topics can make me feel overloaded.

Before I know it, I’m searching for more details on different topics and then it’s time for me to start the work day and I’m still in bed. Thank goodness I work remotely and only have to cross the hall!

As you’re probably thinking, that’s not a great way to start my day. If I’m overwhelmed before I get out of bed, then once I start working it won’t take much to pile on to that feeling. This is why it’s necessary to discover the root causes because only then can we begin to make changes that can help us lighten the load.

Take A Breather

It feels as if taking a break is often suggested as a way to handle anything and well that’s because it works. You ever had trouble fixing a bug only to have the solution come to you while doing something completely unrelated? Of course, you have.

We should try the same thing when we’re feeling overwhelmed. To be honest, I had trouble writing this blog post. In the middle of writing, I lost my flow. Suddenly, I disliked every sentence I typed.

After staring at the screen for way too long, I finally decided it was time to take a breather. This allowed me to admit that I wasn’t quite in the head space for writing, so I decided to work on other things.

Taking that break not only helped me figure out why I was struggling to write this post, but it allowed me to re-prioritize my day. And what do you know, once I was done with the other tasks and took a nap, writing became so much easier.

Don’t Add More to Your Plate

At times, we give ourselves more to do without truly considering how it may impact everything else we have going on. Sometimes, we don’t have much of a choice. Life lifes. Emergencies happen. Kids do the darndest things. However, if you can help it, don’t give yourself more than you can handle at a given time.

I recently had a chat with a friend about creating a website for her tutoring business. It’s a simple site, right? I can easily create that.

At the same time, I’ve gotten it into my head that I must attend a Liverpool FC match now that their manager has announced that he’ll step down at the end of the season. I wish it were as simple as going to Ticketmaster, purchasing a ticket, and booking a flight. Due to how the team sells tickets, there’s maybe a 1% chance that I’ll be able to buy one a week before the game. Yet, I recently spent so much time trying to figure out how to make this work.

I haven’t even mentioned any of the other things I’ve internally decided that I must do this year. And this is what I mean by not adding on to your plate, if you can help it. It may not be easy, but before you agree or decide to do something, take some time to consider how it will affect your schedule and workload.

If you feel like it could potentially lead to you feeling overwhelmed, don’t do it. (This tip also applies to non-urgent things you previously agreed to.) Find a quieter period in your schedule or try an alternative solution.

For example, I could ask someone else I know and trust if they could build my friend’s website. I could also use a no-code/low-code solution that could potentially require less effort. As for the Liverpool FC tickets, I could wait until next season. Although, let’s be real, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a miracle.

Additional Resources

Hopefully, these few tips will help you start thinking about how you can manage overwhelming feelings in the future. By the way, the following articles provide additional tips and techniques that you may find useful:

Image by atlascompany on Freepik

About This Post

Feeling overwhelmed is natural. However, it seems as if everyone is experiencing this a little more than usual lately. Learn a few tips that could help us all manage overwhelm.

Written by:

Share this post:

Recent Rotations butterfly

View all

5 Javascript Libraries to Use for Machine Learning

Over the years, several JavaScript libraries have been created for machine learning. Let’s sort through the ones that can help you get started quickly, even if you don’t have much experience with machine learning or data …

Mar 11, 2024

Predicting the Oscars With LLMs

Looking for a middle ground between custom LLMs and traditional ML? Please welcome semantic search to the stage! Let’s use semantic search to predict which film will take home the “Best Picture” Oscar this year 🤩

Mar 8, 2024

How to Manage Overwhelm

Each morning, I make the mistake of checking social media before getting out of bed. As I catch up on what’s happening in the world, I often find myself thinking “This too much” all before 8 AM.

Feb 13, 2024
Enter Your Email To Subscribe