With your list of expectations and triggers in hand, it’s time to start working through them, right? Not yet.
According to psychologist and author Gary Wood, stress actually closes off the more creative parts of our mind and can distort our perception of time. Which means diving into your looming list of jobs/matters to attend to will only be detrimental to the end result. In other words, when we work when we’re stressed, tasks take longer and the work suffers.
Instead, you should take a break to regroup and strategize your plan of attack.
There are huge psychological and health benefits to taking a bit of time off. And so you really need to fight the urge to dive right back into your growing to-do list. Instead, take a 10-minute walk, eat something healthy, and get some fresh air. This should help knock your brain out of ‘survival mode’ so you can plan a proper way to deal with feeling overwhelmed.
This calm before the storm is also a good opportunity to bring other people in for advice and perspective.
If you’re worried about bringing these issues up with your boss then talk it out with a coworker. Tell them what you’re working on, what’s stressing you out, and ask what they would do in your shoes. Sometimes simply saying these things aloud can help clarify what’s important and what can be dealt with in some other way.
Approach conversations from the perspective that you’re being proactive about your the issue of concern. For example, “I feel like I have a lot on my plate right now and would love your help figuring out the best way to tackle it all.”
This not only shows you’re concerned about certain areas of concern. But also makes them aware they shouldn’t be asking more of you right now.