Are you struggling with workload paralysis?
Do you feel like there are many things you must accomplish but not enough time?
You’re not alone, and the experiences for many can be overwhelming.
The struggle is real when it comes to getting anything done on time.
The good news is that workload paralysis is preventable and can be overcome with the right approach.
By following these six steps, you’ll be conquering your workload in no time!
- What Is Workload Paralysis?
- What Makes Workload Paralysis So Hard To Deal With?
- How To Overcome Workload Paralysis
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What Is Workload Paralysis?
Workload paralysis is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of work that you need to do.
Instead of getting started on your task list, you find yourself overcome with anxiety and unable to address your tasks at hand.
If you’re having trouble getting started on a task list, it could be because:
- You don’t know what the first step is
- You don’t have enough information to complete the task
- You don’t know how long it will take or how much effort it will require
One study found that 66% of adults have felt at least somewhat overloaded with work since 2020.
And when it comes to feeling overwhelmed, some people are more susceptible than others.
What Makes Workload Paralysis So Hard To Deal With?
The answer has to do with how humans learn and process information.
When you’re faced with a big task that needs to be done right now, you may not have the knowledge needed to complete it.
You may know what needs to be done, but might be unsure how to achieve your goals.
What’s more, even if you knew how to do it, it could still be hard to focus on what’s essential.
But how do you choose which part of your workload gets done first?
How To Overcome Workload Paralysis
Fortunately, there are six easy steps for you to get back on track and overcome workload paralysis:
Step #1. Start Small: Pick One Thing and Finish It
The first step to overcoming workload paralysis is tackling your to-do list one item at a time.
Having courage to conquer comfort means not trying to bite off more than you can chew.
Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, pick something manageable.
Then, go through the steps of planning, researching, and executing that task before moving on to another.
If that means working on it for five minutes, great.
Should it mean working on it for two hours, that’s okay too.
Step #2. Prioritize to Tune Out Distractions
Prioritize your tasks based on their urgency or level of importance.
Look at each item on your list and ask yourself how important it is and how soon you need to get it done.
That will help you determine which ones should be a higher priority than others.
You can use a tool like Google Calendar if you want something more visual or keep it analog by creating lists on paper.
Regardless, ensure everything is accessible, so it’s easy to see what needs doing now versus later.
Step #3. Achieve Movement in Forward Direction, Even Small Movements
Keep moving forward.
If you’re feeling stuck, it’s crucial to take action.
And it doesn’t have to be a big, bold move.
It can be as small as taking the first step toward your goal.
That’s why it’s helpful to implement the “Micro-Step” method — a simple way to keep the momentum going in the right direction.
To adopt that approach, you’ll want to identify an immediate action that will move you forward in your desired direction.
Then, you’ll need to:
- Take that action immediately
- Take another small step in the same direction within 24 hours
- Repeat until you reach your goal
Step #4. Be Aware of Your Environment
When overwhelmed, our environment can amplify our feelings of paralysis and worsen the situation.
If you’re stuck, you might start looking at all the other things that need your attention.
Doing that is a sure way to multiply your pressure and lead you to potentially, next, hate your job.
Be aware of when other people or things around you are affecting your mood and ability to focus.
Learn how to tune out your surroundings if the pressure is environmental.
Another step to overcoming workload paralysis is to talk about it.
Reach out to your friends and family, and share what you’re experiencing with your colleagues.
Let them know that you feel overwhelmed and ask for help.
Sharing may seem daunting or not a big deal to some, but it is essential.
When people feel stressed or anxious, they tend to isolate themselves and try to solve their problems independently.
Unfortunately, isolation can lead to inaction, procrastination, and increased stress.
Step #6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the biggest reasons for reduced productivity at work is declining wellness.
Fatigue, lethargy, or illness can affect your daily routine and productivity.
If you are always tired, try to find out why.
Getting some tips for productivity can be a great place to start.
For instance, are you eating right or exercising regularly?
If the answer’s no, then it’s time to change that!
One study found that aerobic exercise can improve memory performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have more questions about stress and work paralysis?
Read on for answers to two commonly asked questions!
Can Overthinking Cause Paralysis?
Overthinking causes paralysis because it makes the task at hand seem more complicated than it is.
The more you think about something, the more complex it looks and the harder it becomes to decide.
What Is Stress Paralysis?
Stress paralysis is a condition in which a person experiences paralysis during a stressful situation.
It can be triggered by the stress hormone cortisol, which blocks the ability of the brain to control muscle movements.
Tackling workload paralysis can be daunting.
Starting small and taking everything one step at a time can help ease you through.
You’ll want to focus on setting goals, getting organized, and not being afraid to break things into smaller chunks.
If you have any questions you’d like us to address, please comment below, and we’ll gladly help you out.
It’s not easy to step back from the chaos of your to-do list, but it can be a powerful way to start getting things finished.