Do you ever feel overloaded and overburdened like you are carrying too much weight?

We often overestimate what we have capacity for at any one time but also, things change and often quickly, so what we might have had the capacity for one day when we agreed or signed up to it, now represents a real challenge. Often we don’t realise how much weight we are carrying as we are so used to being maxed out but the tell tale signs might be in our emotions (irritability, anxiety, irrational anger and overwhelm) or in our behaviours (poor sleep, bad habits to find relief). So what can you do about it?

I considered this recently as I myself felt extremely overburdened whilst moving house. Moving house is supposed to be one of life’s most stressful events and I definitely wasn’t making it easy for myself.

We all have limits both physical and emotional. Sometimes we overestimate our capacity in terms of what we can physically and emotionally handle. I believe I’m physically quite strong, I lift some decent weight in the gym and with this in mind, I believed I had the capacity to carry a huge and heavy bag full of my belongings, plus two other bags, down the street for a 15 minute walk.

Within 250 yards of leaving the station en route to my new dwellings it became clear to me that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I was carrying far too much and I was overburdened. So what could I do about it?

3 solutions to reduce overburden and overload

We can remove some of the load. What can go? What can you get rid of? We cling onto a lot of things that aren’t working for us or that aren’t important but which represent a huge weight to carry so the obvious first option is to remove some of this load and get rid of things that don’t matter or aren’t needed. In my situation this wasn’t an option.. Everything I was carrying I wanted or needed. So what’s the next option?

The ‘how’ needs to change. In terms of my journey this means me considering a different way of getting there. The destination is still the same but the route could have been slightly different to what I originally imagined. I could have taken a taxi or called a friend to help. How can you get to your destination more easily? Can you enlist some help? Is there another means of reaching your goal that is easier? This might mean delegation or outsourcing to the right people. We can’t do everything ourselves and the quicker we embody this the quicker we will see results. Who can you ask for help? What can you delegate? Is there anything that can be outsourced? Lighten your load. If you’re determined to go at it alone as I was, here’s what you can do.

Break the journey down into easily manageable chunks. Sometimes we are either stubborn (as in my cases) or we simply don’t want to let go of what we are carrying. It’s important to us. If this is the case and there’s nothing that can go and help, delegation or outsourcing is not an option, what can you do? Break the journey from where you are now, to where you want to be into bite sized chunks AND completely rest inbetween. This is exactly what I did. I walked for 250-300 yards then would find a wall, off load everything I was carrying, step away and completely rest for 2-3 minutes then I would load up and off I would go again. The important things here are to make chunks ‘easily manageable’ and to ‘completely rest/offload’ in between. That way we can maintain the energy required to complete the long, often arduous journey without causing ourselves too much damage.

We need to ask ourselves what’s really important. Many things we are choosing to carry in life aren’t that important but represent a huge weight. Many aspects of our work aren’t that important but monopolise our time and sap our energy. When we realise this and make amendments, it makes life a lot easier.

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