Clients in my London group coaching sessions are talking about the drive for More with Less in their organisations. Companies seem pressured to continually deliver stronger results in difficult markets conditions. This essentially means workers doing more and more with fewer people and fewer resources. It’s leading to a feeling of overwhelm at work and in their lives overall. Technology is often exacerbating the situation – there seems to be an expectation that people are connected and available all the time.
Clients are describing a feeling of pressure that does not let up. It continues at home as work is still present through technology while family activities are more hectic. Often both partners are working, commuting, and kids’ activities are busy and widespread. There’s a sense of being on a treadmill that isn’t just in motion constantly, it’s speeding up.
Some ideas my group coaching sessions have come up with to address the issue are:
Innovate – change how you do what you do at work. You can’t do the same processes with less people and resources. What do you change to get a result?
Less is More – check your emails less, maximum twice a day. Change your email notification to say this and state if it’s an emergency to call you or someone else. Set different email inboxes – one for those emails directed only to you, those directed to you and others, and those of which you are only copied. Email is not work, it is a way of getting the work done and often is being used as a political tool rather than productive work.
Exercise – do a sport or physical activity that you enjoy. It’s proven that exercise releases chemicals in our brains and bodies that help manage stress. It also helps your physical wellbeing while your intellectual and emotional states are under pressure.
Set your boundaries – an empty well cannot provide water. Or another analogy is on an aircraft when the breathing masks drop from the overhead you are advised to put your mask on first before assisting others. You can’t always be on and expect to be productive, healthy and efficient. Set boundaries between work and personal. Even go as far as ensuring in your personal time you have time for friends and family and you have individual time to re-energize.
Mindfulness – be present wherever you are, stay in each moment. Research is suggesting that multitasking does not work. Your brain does not jump easily and efficiently between activities.
Say NO – it’s not rude especially if you are saying YES to more important priorities for which you are responsible.
Have a vision for what you want – if you focus on overwhelm that’s probably what you’ll get. If you focus on something more positive you have a better chance of getting that. What do you want – peace, productivity, focus, balance? Know the feeling you want and hold that in your mind’s eye.
What ideas do you have to share on handling overwhelm? Even better, for achieving balance?