How to Avoid Overwhelm


 Focus on being productive instead of busy

Tim Ferriss

When ‘saving the world’ or any big project for that matter, the end goal can often feel overwhelming. You start to develop a to-do list. Try to tackle each problem in very small steps, but these small steps begin to mount up and before you know it you have hundreds of items in your priorities list.

All these priorities can be overwhelming; you see a massive pile of tasks that need doing and start to feel overwhelmed, and before you know it that huge pile of tasks seems impossible to manage.


So what the hell can I do?


The story of starting a finding life overwhelming happens to us all, I found that a strategy called chunking worked wonders with some of the productivity overwhelm I used to face.

Why Chunking Your To-do Lists Doesn’t Work

You might have already tried chunking, taken your ‘saving the world’ plan and turned into lots of manageable chunks. The only problem is each new chunk information we put into our head another chunk gets pushed out the other side.

It’s estimated according to Miller G.A that seven pieces of information at once are our limit.

It is no wonder that we struggle with big lists and get overwhelmed.

However, there are ways around this:

Create Larger Chunks

– with your hundreds of tasks on your to-do list, look for similarities and start putting them into categories altogether, for instance –

Exercise, walk the dog, buy fruit and veg, meet a friend for coffee can all go into the Life Catagory.

Upload to Tic-Toc, make YouTube content, reply to social media comments, create a marketing strategy, create adds for facebook; can all go into the Social Media category.

Emails – urgent, non-urgent, personal, work; again all in one Categorie


Once you have created chunk categories to plan out a schedule, use a calendar app like google calendar and schedule in a daily routine and then stick to it as much as possible.


For example, your day could look something like this

6 am Gym,

7am Meditation/ gratitude,

7:30 am Breakfast,

8 am Content producing

1 pm Lunch/ dog walk

2 pm- Only important emails

3pm Client calls/ meetings

7 pm -Emails, whats app, slack follow-ups

8 pm Dinner

9 pm Reading/ learning


Stop Multitasking

Multitasking or as it should be named Switch tasking.

This strategy will increase your productivity if you’ve ever been struggling with overwhelm when multitasking this is why.

Multitasking has been shown to slow down the rate at which one completes tasks.

Each time you switch it takes time to get back into a flow state, its estimated around 40% of our potential productivity is lost due to task switching.

Get Help

Use apps that let you block time and provide a timer to track the time you spend on each task.

Turn off all notification while working to avoid interruptions that will throw you off track.

Clear Your Space

A tidy workspace creates an environment with a lot fewer distractions and will help you focus on the important stuff.



However, even if you struggle with overwhelm and easily get distracted, there’s no reason that you can’t recover most of your lost productivity by chunking your todo list into large chunks that are a similar category and then schedule these chunks of work into segments on your calendar, use productivity apps to help keep yourself on track and before you know it you will be enjoying your working on any project however large it is, even saving the world!

Clear your space and your head will follow.

Please share this article if you found it useful, and don’t forget to download your Free copy of Rewriting Your Story


Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest
Leo Babauta



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