Have you ever felt like you were drowning, even though there’s no water in sight? Maybe the feeling snuck up on you slowly over the course of the day as more and more things were added to your plate. Or perhaps it hit you like a semi-truck when you were given a brand new responsibility. The realization that you are in over your head at work is a horrible feeling, and once you reach that point, it’s easy to sink down into frustration and fear.
You don’t have to give up, though. The next time you get that drowning feeling, follow these five tips to help you move past the panic stage and regain control.
Take a Break
A few deep breaths of air and a change of scenery can do wonders for an overwhelmed mind. Even if it’s just a trip to the water fountain or a walk around the building, try and get away from your desk or work station for moment if allowed. If you have to wait until a lunch break, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to step away from work rather than letting your stress tie you down.
Review the Situation
Once you return from your break, think through your problem. Try to uncover specifically why you’re feeling this way. Is it an unrealistic deadline, disorganization on your part, or just a lack of knowledge? Once you have a clear picture of what’s wrong, you’ll be better equipped to move toward a solution.
Ask for Advice
Everyone feels overwhelmed once in a while, so most likely, your co-workers can sympathize and give you some pointers. Someone might be able to jump in and help you stay on schedule, or maybe take on another one of your projects so you can stay focused on the task at hand.
If the root of your problem is a lack of knowledge or understanding, you can always take it to the web. Chances are, there are others out there who have had the same issue and have posted their experiences online. A quick search can quickly bring up resources ranging from forum conversations to YouTube videos.
Talk With Your Manager
You can always go to your boss. Good leaders want to see their people succeed, and chances are they will help you find a solution. Just make sure you communicate everything you’ve done up to this point so they know that you have taken initiative and are only coming to them to prioritize and find a solution.
When have you felt overwhelmed and completely in over your head? What did you do? Fill us in on your real-life experiences below in the comment section.