Are you feeling overwhelmed and unfocused? Lost in your current state and not knowing what to do or how to get further with whatever project you are pursuing? Let me tell you, you are not alone. I know exactly how you feel. Being completely overwhelmed with everything that is happening at a certain moment and feeling like I’m not doing enough and not being on the right track towards my goals is very familiar to me and to many other ambitious, growth driven people like you and me. However, there is something everyone can do to clear your head and get back on the right track.
Inspired by the book “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferris and one of the questions he asked, I decided to give you a little help to overcome that difficult state of mind and start feeling confident about your situation and actions again.
Today I will share 8 things you can do when you feel overwhelmed and unfocused that will help you find clarity. These are things I, myself do quite often and also many of the successful people Tim interviewed in his book do on a regular basis.
Let’s get started, shell we?
Something you need to know about being overwhelmed and unfocused
So, before I tell you those 8 things you can do when you’re feeling like your head is exploding, I want you to know first, that feeling like that is perfectly normal.
Everyone who is ambitious and goal driven and wants to achieve something is feeling like that eventually. Especially when you have a lot of goals and dreams it can get difficult and overwhelming at times to follow them all or decide on which one is the most important one to pursue.
And even though sooner or later you have to kind of make a choice, you don’t have to do it immediately and you can always change your mind again and refocus on something else. It’s never too late to pick up an old dream and start following it now.
Also, it will come to you naturally which one of your dreams is worth following and which isn’t. Just have faith and do what you love the most.
With your goals, it’s quite similar. You can work on many goals at the same time but you also have to prioritize. What do you expect of your current stage of life? What do you want to achieve now, today, this year?
I will come back to those questions later, when I tell you a little strategy you can do to refocus, but it’s a good start to think about your answers now.
Also, if you travel a lot, like I do, or experience many new and diverse things every day it can also be very confusing and overwhelming at the same time. It’s easy to lose focus and at that time it is more important than ever to know who you are and what you want and stay true to yourself.
While you can’t prevent this feelings from coming at certain times, you can for sure act upon them. So here is what I like to do when I feel overwhelmed and unfocused.
8 things to do when overwhelmed and unfocused
1. Get physically active (walk, workout)
The first and easiest thing you can do is just get away from whatever you are doing, whatever is causing this state of mind and do something physical. No matter if it’s going on a walk into nature or doing a quick workout. Drawing your attention away from your mind back to your body is the first and sometimes only necessary step to get you back focused. Just make sure you don’t take your phone or anything with you so you prevent yourself from still doing whatever you lost focus on.
2. Take a break and procrastinate strategically
Along with getting physically active, taking a break and procrastinating strategically is a very good thing to do. It’s okay to step back and stop doing whatever you are doing now. Take the day of and push the task to tomorrow when you are feeling energized and more creative again. Doing nothing or doing something different can sometimes do wonders.
When you get overwhelmed from traveling it’s sometimes best to just relax one day. Don’t go somewhere new and don’t explore too much, just relax and take it easy. Take time to reflect on what you’ve experienced and digest all the information and experiences.
3. Do something fun
While you’re taking a break, I can only recommend you to spend it doing something fun. Do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, something that makes you feel joy and excitement. This will bring back your creativity and inspire you. You’ll see you will return with lots of new ideas and a clear sense of what you want.
My last time on getting yourself out of and away from that situation is to just go sleep. Have you ever had a bad day where everything went wrong and at the end you just though, okay I’ll go sleep, tomorrow is a new day?
It’s the same with being unfocused or overwhelmed. Just go sleep after your nap or a decent night your head will feel much clearer and ready for this difficult task.
5. Get mindful (Journal, meditate)
Sometimes distracting yourself and just stepping away from the situation isn’t enough. Then it’s time to grab a notebook and a yoga mat and get mindful. Write down what is bothering, get it all out of your head. Once you’ve done this you will see it’s probably not even as bad as you though it is and you will recognize what you have to do in order to get back on track. Meditation as well can be very calming for your mind and give your thoughts a break. It’s the best thing you can do when you feel like your head is exploding.
6. Seek for support
Like journaling, talking to people that can relate to your situation or that are highly supportive can be a good tool to overcome your current state of mind.
Ask for help and seek that support from those that know you and know how you feel. Maybe they can give you inspiration on what to do.
7. Accept and move on
Last but not least, when feeling overwhelmed and unfocused the best you can do is just accept that feeling and move on. Implement some of the things I said above, do something different, something fun or just go sleep. Know that it is okay to feel that way and that it will go away.
Take your mind of whatever is causing this feeling and move on to the next.
8. Prioritize and Strategize
Remember when I said above, you have to figure out what is most important to you and think of what you expect of your current life stage?
When nothing of the above helped you to refocus and clear your head then you’ll find yourself in a deeper conflict within your goals and dreams.
This usually happens at times when two or more of your goals and dreams collide and you have to decide which one to further pursue.
This can be a hard and very overwhelming decision to make, though like I said before. Nothing is unchangeable so no matter who you decide you can always change your mind in the future again.
What really helps me to prioritize and pick my goals and dreams strategically is the following.
I sit down and ask myself three questions:
What do I expect from this stage of my life?
For example, what do I expect from this year of traveling or what I expect from my time at university, etc.
When I prioritized for my semester abroad I decided the thing I want most during my time in Portugal was get to know the country and focus on my surfing. Knowing that made it easier for me to accept that I might not have the time and energy to say focus on developing my business further or learning other skills.
What really matters to me at the moment? How will I feel about this if I stop doing this now?
For me example getting better at surfing and photography is what matters most to me. Also, I want to get more involved in Social Media. You don’t have to narrow it down to just one thing but I suggest not picking more than 3 things that matter most to you.
Also, taking that decision is easier if you ask yourself how you’ll feel if you stop doing a certain thing. Will it make you feel sad, unhappy, then this is clearly a priority. If you’re okay with the thought of getting back to this in say a few months then you can easily put that off for later and focus on the more important things.
What would be the worst thing that can happen when I stop doing this?
Lastly, I ask myself that question and in about almost all situations the answer is nothing. You will be able to get back to it at a later stage or just find you don’t even want to take it back on after all.
Once you have your priority list you can write it down.
This is my priority list for Portugal:
- Explore and experience Lisbon
- Work and make money
- Build my business, develop Social Media
- Learn Portuguese
I pin that list on my wall and every week when I do may weekly planning I go back to that list and schedule accordingly. If I have set aside time for doing priority 1 things and still have time I can schedule more priority 2 things and so on.
This way you make sure you always have time to do the things you really want to do and that will in the end get you where you want to be.
And always remember, nothing is written in stone, you can always refocus when you feel like it.
I hope this post helped you overcome feeling overwhelmed and unfocused and clear your head.
If this was the case and you know someone this might help as well, feel free to share the post.
Lastly, come back next week for new inspiration, ideas and tips and have a great week.