"I am so overwhelmed." This is probably the sentence I hear from my clients most often. Not surprising, given that I coach many leaders around work/life balance skills. Most of the complaints center around there always being way more that needs to get done, than there is actual time in the day.
Technology is supposed to make us all loads more efficient. Computers and smart phones have enabled us to do things, while we do things. Multitasking has become a highly valued skill so our brains are speeding away at a million miles a second, on several different levels for every waking minute. Our adrenal systems work overtime, all the time. During these extremely busy times, we are all getting addicted to being always on. Being connected, filling every micro-amount of time, constantly looking for a stream of customized data telling us where to go, what to do and what to buy. This mentality penetrates our work life as much as our home life, because we have gotten used to filling every tiny gap with searching and accumulating data in some form.
What if I make the outrageous statement that multitasking actually slows you down? Splitting focus makes quality suffer. And creates overwhelm. Instead of juggling one thing at a time, your brain has to keep track of multiple plates in the air and doesn't get to put the finish check on things as they get dropped in the "done" box. Creating this situation 24/7, makes a special brand of tired happen. If you were a cartoon character, you would have red spirals in your eyes.
Overwhelm happens when you are not in present time.
Chunking down your to-do list at the beginning of the day and being present with each thing will create more time and space in the day. And it will decrease overwhelm dramatically. You'll actually get more done, in less time and be less exhausted. And if you don't whip out your phone every time there is a tiny gap of space in your day, to look up or research, your brain may actually get a second to slow down. Space out. Remember daydreaming?
What would it be like to do one thing at a time? And be fully present with what you do? Try it some time. And leave your phone in your pocket.