Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting your long-awaited business or an executive planning high-level projects, you can be stopped dead when you feel overwhelmed with all you have to do.

Everyone experiences this emotion, but we seldom give voice to it. As a result, overwhelm operates unceasingly in the background of our thoughts, draining our energy and shutting us down—unless we learn to look it in the eye and deal with it.

In a recent appearance on Donna Ceriani’s The Success Talk Show podcast, I described some ways to begin this process.

Identify The Source Of Overwhelm

The first step to taming overwhelm is to notice when you feel it and then try to learn where it’s coming from.

Get as specific as possible about the source of this feeling. It could be caused by your own thoughts or by interactions you’ve had with others. It might stem from a difficult project you’re working on. Or you simply could be so exhausted that every task feels difficult.

Know Your Strengths

Overwhelm can come from trying to do it all and be everything to everyone. This just isn’t possible.

You only have the same twenty-four hours in your day that everyone else has, so you must get very, very clear on your specific strengths and the things that only you can do to have an impact on your organization or your team.

Begin to think about how to best use your time and talents so you play to the skills that only you possess. If someone can do something better or faster than you, delegate the work to that person and spend your time working on the things that are your unique strengths. Delegating also helps the other person to learn and grow in their own strengths.

These unique contributions will make you stand out as a leader who can get things done and who deserves a higher-level role in the organization.

Make Time For Thinking And Planning

Most people forget that planning and thinking are important priorities that keep us focused and reduce our feelings of overwhelm. We go from one thing to the next and forget to set aside time for the critical big-picture thinking that allows us to add our special brilliance to the workplace and make things happen more smoothly.

Give yourself the space to do the big creative work that only you can do with your big creative brain. Make this time for thinking and planning a priority in your day or week, and watch as you feel less and less overwhelmed while becoming more and more productive.

Plot Your Strategy

Taking time for thinking and strategic planning is one of the best ways to fight those overwhelmed feelings. It’s also important to know that skills related to planning and managing your time and tasks—those skills that help you keep overwhelm at bay, can be learned. The first step is to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are related to managing overwhelm and procrastination, controlling your time, planning, and setting priorities.

Want some customized feedback on your planning and time management skills? Take my True Focus Quiz, a quick four-minute exercise to get customized feedback about your planning and time management skills. You’ll also receive customized feedback and tips to up your skillset right away. CLICK HERE to sign up for the quiz.

Reduce those feelings of overwhelm and start having the amazing success you desire!

Sarah Reiff-Hekking