Feeling Overwhelmed as a Leader? 10 Easy Steps Out
As a leader, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed from time to time. After all, you’re juggling a lot of different responsibilities and tasks. But don’t worry – there is hope. By following these 10 professional executive coaching steps, you can get your bearings and regain control of the situation. So what are you waiting for? Start fresh today!
Step #01: Take a deep breath.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the first thing you need to do, even as a leader or executive, is take a deep breath and calm down. This may sound cliché, but it’s true – taking a few minutes to relax can help clear your mind and make it easier to focus on what needs to be done.
From a medical perspective, deep breathing is incredibly important for healthy high performers. It helps improve blood circulation, oxygenates the body, and releases stress hormones. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, deep breathing can help you regain control of the situation and make it easier to think straight. So don’t hesitate to take a few minutes to yourself to breathe deeply and relax.
Step #02: Assess the situation.
Once you’ve calmed down, take some time to assess the situation and figure out what’s causing you stress in your leadership situation. Once you know what the problem is, it’ll be easier to come up with a solution.
There are a number of different tools that you can use as a leader to assess a problem. One popular tool is the 5 Whys technique. This involves asking yourself “why” five times in order to get to the root of the problem.
Let’s say you’re feeling overwhelmed because you have a lot of work to do. The first step is to ask yourself “why” you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Why am I feeling overwhelmed?
Because I have a lot of work to do.
Why do I have a lot of work to do?
Because I’m behind on my deadlines.
Why am I behind on my deadlines?
Because I didn’t start working on it sooner.
Why didn’t I start working on it sooner?
Because I was procrastinating.
Another helpful tool many executives and leaders use for assessing a situation is the Problem Solving Triangle. This triangle consists of three steps: identify the problem, brainstorm possible solutions, and select the best solution. By using this triangle, you can systematically go through each step and come up with a workable solution.
One common situation where a leader might feel overwhelmed is when they’re dealing with a difficult employee. Let’s say you have an employee who is constantly arguing with you and causing conflict in the workplace. The first step is to identify the problem – in this case, it’s the difficult employee. The second step is to brainstorm possible solutions. Some possible solutions include firing the employee, transferring them to a different department, or giving them a warning. The third step is to select the best solution. In this case, the best solution might be to fire the employee. By using the problem solving triangle, you can systematically go through each step and come up with a workable solution.
Step #03: Delegate tasks where possible.
If there are tasks that can be delegated, don’t hesitate to do so. Delegating can help leaders in any organization take some of the pressure off and free up your time to focus on more important things.
One popular approach to delegation is the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. This principle states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. In other words, most of the work is done by a small minority of the employees. This makes delegating a task a more efficient use of time.
When delegating a task, it’s important to make sure that you’re delegating it to the right person in your team. In your leadership role, you need to find someone who has the skills and knowledge to complete the task, and who is also willing to do it. It’s also important to delegate tasks in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the employee. You don’t want to give them a task that’s too big and beyond their capabilities.
Step #04: Set priorities.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel like everything is a priority. But that’s not realistic – and it’ll only lead to stress and frustration. Instead, set priorities and focus on the most important tasks first.
One common approach to setting priorities is the ABCDE approach. This approach involves ranking tasks in order of importance, with A being the most important and E being the least important.
Another popular approach is the 1-2-3 rule. This approach involves ranking tasks in order of urgency, with 1 being the most urgent and 3 being the least urgent.
Step #05: Take breaks when needed.
Don’t be afraid – not even in a leadership position or senior executive position – to take breaks when needed. When you’re working hard, it’s natural to want to push yourself as far as you can go. But if you don’t give your mind and body a break, you’ll end up burned out very quickly, not getting closer to healthy high performance.
Short breaks can also have a positive effect on your health. When you’re constantly working, your body is under stress. This can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. By taking short breaks, you can reduce the amount of stress your body is under. This can help improve your health and reduce your risk of developing health problems.
Step #06: Set deadlines.
One way to reduce stress and increase productivity is to set deadlines for yourself as a leader. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you’re not trying to do too much at once.
One way to set realistic deadlines is to use the SMART approach. This approach involves setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Another way to set realistic deadlines is to break down a task into smaller parts. This makes the task seem less daunting and makes it easier to track your progress.
Step #07: Take care of yourself.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget about yourself. But it’s important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally and demonstrate true self-leadership. This means making sure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercise.
It’s also important to take some time for yourself. This can be anything from taking a relaxing bath to reading your favorite book. By taking some time for yourself, you can reduce the amount of stress you’re under.
Step #08: Simplify your life.
One way to reduce stress is to simplify your life. This means getting rid of the things that are causing you stress and decluttering your life.
One way to declutter your life as a leader is to get rid of unnecessary possessions. This can be done by evaluating each item and asking yourself these questions:
– Do I use this item?
– Does this item bring me joy?
– Is this item worth the space it’s taking up in my home?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should consider getting rid of the item.
Another way to simplify your life is to reduce the number of commitments you have. This can be done by saying no to new commitments and cancelling existing ones. It’s one of the most important skills for successful leaders to learn to say “no” in order to increase productivity and become a real healthy high performer.
Step #09: Ask for help when needed.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed – it’s not a sign of weakness for leaders in any position but a sign of strength! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s often difficult to do everything on your own. By asking for help, you can lighten the load and make things a little bit easier.
There are many different ways to ask for help, including:
– Asking friends and family for help
– Asking coworkers for help
– Hiring a professional organizer
– Hiring a personal assistant
– Reflecting with your Executive Coach
Step #10: Practice stress management techniques.
Finally, one of the best ways to deal with stress is to practice stress management techniques. This includes things such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga – all of them practiced by some of the most successful executives and healthy high performers.
By practicing these techniques regularly, you can learn how to manage your stress in a healthy way. And that can lead to a more relaxed and less stressful life.
One of the easiest stress reduction techniques is deep breathing exercises. This involves taking a few deep breaths and focusing on your breath. This can help calm your mind and body. Another easy stress reduction technique is meditation. This involves sitting in silence and focusing on your breath or a mantra. Finally, yoga is another easy way to reduce stress. This involves stretching and breathing exercises.
One of the more sophisticated stress reduction techniques is mindfulness meditation. This involves sitting in silence and focusing on your breath or a mantra. By focusing on your breath, you can learn to let go of your thoughts and feelings. This can help reduce the amount of stress you’re under.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to overcome feeling overwhelmed as a leader or executive team member. Just remember to take things one step at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for support from a trusted executive sparring partner or leadership coach!