Did you ever have one of those days when everything is too much?
Before you know it, the day turns into a week, and the week becomes a month. No matter how hard you try, you can’t catch up with your to-do list – and it’s stressing you out.
Worse, you know at least one person who always seems to be on top of their life, making you feel even more inadequate.
If you want to follow in their footsteps, start by embracing these 7 habits of people who never seem to be overwhelmed by life.
1) They plan
It’s easy to lose track of long-term goals when you get caught up in everyday busyness.
The good news?
You don’t have to be a type A person to get a handle on your hectic schedule. You just need a little planning.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I grab a piece of paper and do a brain dump. I write down everything that’s stressing me out, either at work or in my personal life.
My brain instantly becomes lighter.
I then pinpoint the most important or urgent things I need to tackle, which I try to incorporate into my daily schedule.
Additionally, I am diligent about making to-do lists for both work and errands.
I generally pick three big things I want to accomplish in a day. As long as I get those done, I don’t let all the stuff I didn’t do bring me down.
Becoming more proactive when it comes to planning can actually free up your schedule. Here are a few more things you can try:
- Meal plan
- Create a cleaning schedule
- Automate bill paying
- Prioritize your to-do list
- Wear a “uniform”
- Task batching
2) They delegate
It’s normal to get overwhelmed when you do everything yourself.
Beyoncé may have the same 24 hours in the day that you do, but she also has tons of help.
While I’m not lucky enough to be privy to her schedule, it’s hard to imagine her vacuuming, picking up a prescription, or filling up the tank of her car.
Delegating some of your responsibilities can be key to reducing stress and making room for more joy in your life.
Perhaps you can assign a work assignment to a colleague or ask your partner to pick up the slack around the house.
If you can afford it, spend money to make things easier for yourself.
A personal assistant, a cleaner, meal kits – these things aren’t cheap, but they go a long way toward making life more manageable.
3) They ask for help
Talking things out frees up the mind.
People who never seem to be overwhelmed by life don’t necessarily have it easier. They just know that asking for help every now and then is crucial if they want to keep their sanity intact.
Invite a friend over for coffee and vent for 20 minutes about everything that’s bugging you. Ask your significant other to sit down and work through a problem together.
Seeing a therapist is also beneficial, especially when you have a lot going on.
Don’t have time to schedule an appointment? Consider the next point.
4) They say no
I’m a people pleaser, so I know how hard it is to say “no.” Letting people down isn’t my forte.
But when you’re already dealing with too much, “no” should become your default answer.
People asking for favors, managers piling even more projects on your desk, strangers taking advantage of your kindness. It’s time to stop.
Say “no” nicely, but be firm about it. You can’t regain control of your life if you keep taking on burdens.
5) They ignore negative self-talk
Do you have an annoying voice in your head constantly telling you that you’re not doing enough?
Here’s a secret: everyone does.
That said, people who never seem to be overwhelmed by life learn to quiet it down.
We live in a time when it’s easier than ever to compare yourself to others.
Open any social media app, and you’re subjected to all sorts of people who look flawless, accomplish more than you, and generally have their life together.
Appearances can be deceiving. Keep in mind that social media is, more often than not, a highlight reel of someone’s success.
One of my friends went on a solo vacation once. Judging by Instagram, her trip was amazing. When she returned, she confessed that she was miserable the whole time.
Stop judging yourself too harshly. I bet you’re doing the best you can.
6) They limit distractions
Speaking of social media, distractions kill productivity. The sooner you learn this, the sooner you’ll boost efficiency and manage your time better.
While it can be appealing to multi-task, doing more than one thing at a time slows you down.
Instead, focus your energy on limiting distractions as much as possible:
- Wear headphones at the office to discourage co-workers from disturbing your flow
- Use the Pomodoro technique to limit procrastination
- Only check email twice per day
- Turn off smartphone notifications while you’re doing deep work
7) They rest
The less you rest, the more overwhelmed you become.
It can be counterintuitive to slow down when you have a lot of plates in the air. Still, resting prevents burnout and allows your mind to recharge.
Needless to say, it’s crucial if you want to keep a handle on things.
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, take breaks regularly, and engage in much-needed downtime every weekend.
Final tip: scrolling on your phone may not be as relaxing as you think. Engaging in a creative hobby, on the other hand, like coloring or crafts, is.
People who never seem to be overwhelmed by life have more mental space for the things that truly make them happy.
Follow the tips above, and you’ll be one of them in no time.
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