WORKPLACE / AUG. 09, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Overcoming the Breaking Point

At some point your day, week or month is going to get so overloaded that you have no idea how you are going to continue. This is a breaking point that separates the decent from the great. This is also a point where many people can fall flat in the career and think about flying off to a different position all together. If you can learn how to get over this particular bump, you will not just feel less stressed; you will increase your own image within your company.

The Causes

There is no one thing that is going to make you face your breaking point at work. Generally, a number of different issues are all going to pile up and you are going to feel completely lost and overwhelmed. There are a few tricks to overcome this particular issue, but identifying the cause is going to be key to your success. Make sure that you know how to simply “walk away” for a little while.

The idea here is that when things pile up you are in the middle. You are buried under a significant amount of work and have no way to find your way out of the rubble. You simply have to take a step back. Sometimes the best way to do this is to take a short break. Go outside and get a breath of fresh air, or go grab a coffee. Anything to get you away from the current overload of work.

Upon Return

Once you get back to your desk, you are going to start feeling overwhelmed again. You could jump back in and hope that everything works out, or you could tackle the pile of rubble that buried you previously one stone at a time. Pull up one part of what you need to do. Maybe a particular list of emails you need to reply to. Get that done and checked off your list. Continue doing this through each individual thing that needs to be handled.

You are still going to feel some stress as you sort through all of the work, but what you will start to notice is that the pile is getting smaller. Instead of trying to handle multiple different projects all at the same time, you are facing down one thing at a time.

Ways to Avoid Future Breaking Points

Of course, the best way to get past all of this is to avoid letting things pile up in the first place. Listing out a checklist of everything that needs to be done for the day – in order of importance – will let you stay on task and not look at how overwhelming things are getting. The problem is often derived from the fact that you expect that you can take on all these projects at the same time without any issue. Instead, you will work harder, avoid burnout, and stay on task with a higher quality of work by facing down one issue at a time. Don’t be afraid to walk away when you need to; just make sure you don’t let the burden overwhelm you too quickly.

Image Source: Oprah

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