What’s the cause of your overwhelm?

Why are you accepting that overwhelm is the new normal at work? You’re not built to be continuously stressed and unproductive. Your purpose is to do your best work – every day. You won’t do your best work until you find the cause of your overwhelm and change it.

I polled a small group of professionals recently to find out. I asked each person to describe their situation of overwhelm. Here is one of those stories (Note: I’ve changed the name but not the story.)

Work May appear heavier than it is.

Whitney. A compassionate and giving professional, Whitney works full time at a community services office. Her overwhelm shows up all too often as her arriving late – for meetings, for work, even for picking up her kids at school or events.

It’s clear Whitney had a lot to do, but her workload wasn’t unreasonable. Each of her projects took very close to the time and effort estimated. Though the office was understaffed, her manager didn’t expect Whitney to do anything unreasonable.

After diving deeper into her thoughts, behaviors, and intentions, Whitney and I realized she was creating her own sense of overwhelm. She resented that her work took her from her kids too often. Each new case, project, or task assigned felt as if an unbearable burden was placed on her shoulders. The mere thought of going to work made her feel overwhelmed.

Finally, Whitney realized, what she really wanted was to be a full time mom. The true cause of her overwhelm: her priorities didn’t’ match her commitments. She wasn’t doing her important work.

Once she realized the true cause of her overwhelm, Whitney was able to work on resolving it.

The True Cause of Your Overwhelm

You. What’s your situation? How do you experience overwhelm in your work-life? Challenge your assumptions about the true cause.

If you find yourself waiting for something or someone to lessen your burden and eliminate your overwhelm, you’ll be waiting a long time. It’s your responsibility to uncover the true cause of your overwhelm and then change it.

Your purpose is to do your best work. To show up fully engaged and fully charged. How can you do that if your overwhelm is sucking the life out of you?

Ready to work on it? Let’s talk.