Recently, I participated in a discussion panel; if you lined up the CVs of the participants, it was impressive. I say this because when I say what I’m about to say, I need to be clear I wasn’t in a group of people who were just entering their adulthood or starting their careers.
The moderator asked the group “What can you do today that will get you more control in your life (or make you feel more in control)?” Crickets. No answers. I’m not exaggerating. No one said anything at first. Gradually, the discussion moved forward with some ideas, but I was surprised. And then when I thought about it, I wasn’t.
I work with people every week who are overwhelmed; I used to be very overwhelmed myself. And with that comes the very real feeling of things happening to you; in other words, you don’t’ feel really in control.
Here are some simple steps to change the narrative, start to manage overwhelm, and put you on track to feeling more in control.
- Make your bed or do some other routine task each morning very soon after starting your day. Every day. It sounds dumb I know. But starting your day with an accomplishment sets up your mindset for success.
- Pick one thing to delegate (even if just for a day or a week). This can be at work or at home; ask someone else to pick up something or hire something out. I’ve had clients hire a house cleaner for one week or ask a co-worker to cover a meeting to get some extra time back.
- Do a 10-minute reset. Each day, take 10 minutes to calm your brain and reset your mindset. This should be something that doesn’t involve a screen or talking to anyone. I don’t care if you sit and stare out the window for 10 minutes. It helps. Some ideas: a quick walk, a 5–10-minute meditation, flip through a magazine, do some stretching or deep breathing
One of the biggest barriers people put up against themselves is the notion that they need to make big, sweeping changes or they won’t progress. In reality, simple things can make a world of difference.