Overwhelm is NOT having too much to do.
It’s NOT about not having enough time.
That’s what we think it is.
But .(newsflash). it isn’t.
And when I realised this, it made a huge difference to how I tackled that oh-so-common feeling of overwhelm. AND of course how I help students tackle it too.
So, let’s get to it. Overwhelm is ACTUALLY:
Not knowing HOW you’re going to get it all done.
I explain everything, including the 2 step system to combat overwhelm using this new definitionin this week’s blog:
I got an email recently from Cassie, a 10 Week Grade Transformation Program Grad and current member of the Grade Transformation Zone.
“The GTZ video about how to instantly de-stress helped a LOT. I get stressed easily and seeing ways to help de-stress was a lot of help. A lot of people have told me to not stress but that isn’t what I wanted to hear and watching that video was helpful because it provided ways TO de-stress rather than saying ‘don’t stress”.
So I thought that, as we approach the Semester and Half Yearly exams, I’d share a brief overview of one of the strategies that I shared with my GTZ Members.
Because we all have times when we feel overwhelmed, right?
It’s a major stress factor in students’ lives.
And like Cassie said, it’s really not that helpful, just telling someone not to stress.
(We just say that when we don’t know a practical way to help).
What IS helpful is having some actionable strategies to actually DEAL with that stress and OVERCOME the overwhelm.
So let’s start with this:
Overwhelm is NOT having too much to do, or not enough time.
It’s not knowing HOW you’re going to get it done.
Now, that’s not an official definition!
But it’s a description works for me and it can work brilliantly for students – because it gives us a potential solution.
And therefore it’s a much more positive way to look at and tackle overwhelm.
Because if overwhelm was simply not having enough time, then this would be an unsolvable problem. Because we can’t create more time
(although – yes please- if anyone DOES have that magic potion I’d LOVE it if you could pass it onto me) 😉
Anyway, back on topic…
When it really comes down to it, not having enough time, is often not really the case.
More often, the stress of feeling overwhelmed comes from not knowing how you are going to tackle that to-do list, or how to actually complete some of those tasks.
And so here’s the first step to overcoming overwhelm:
- Getting Organised (so that your teen knows exactly what they need to do to accomplish each task, and PRECISELY how they’re going to do it).
So first, break down each task. For example, simply ‘write English essay’ can be a little daunting, so breaking down each component and planning out the main content of each paragraph will make that more manageable. And if the REAL problem here is that they don’t KNOW what those paragraphs need to be, then actually, the first job on the list needs to be ‘go see teacher or speak to tutor to get help on essay’.
2. Prioritise and schedule what needs to be done when.
Schedule each and every broken down task into the diary.
This way, there’s no more
“I’ve got so much to do, where do I start?”
doing all the easy things first, so that then right at the deadline, the hardest and least-liked items are all left.
And then, stick to that planned list of items for each and every day .
Just follow it and trust that when you get each item done, each day it needs doing, everything will come together 🙂
I’d love to hear from you – let me know in the comments below, on a scale of 1-10 how overwhelmed is your teen feeling in their study right now? What are they currently doing to deal with it?
And if you’re curious to find out more about my live monthly online student seminars and the treasure trove of resources inside of the GTZ (AKA – the Grade Transformation Zone Member Area), then CLICK HERE to check it out 🙂
Until next week, let’s make this a fantastic week.