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Understanding the Difference Between being Overloaded and Overwhelmed

Sep 03, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Understanding the difference between being overloaded and overwhelmed has been one of the most significant discoveries I’ve stumbled upon on my journey.

Now, I have always considered myself to be introspective—a deep thinker and natural observer.

Journaling and writing poetry for the last decade and a half has played a significant role in that.

However, grasping the distinct difference between being overloaded and overwhelmed was one that hit me later in life. But, when it did, phew… talk about a game changer.

Today, I want to show you the difference between the two and how this discovery can have a massive impact on your life.

Overloaded vs. Overwhelmed

When you’re overloaded, you need to do less so you can think more.

In contrast to this, when you’re overwhelmed, you need to think less so you can do more.

My Experience

I can’t tell you which bucket you fall in.

Are you overloaded, or are you overwhelmed?

But what I can do is share my experience with both and how I’ve learned to discern the difference in my life so that you can project your story into mine.

Being Overloaded

Fifteen months ago, I opened up about my relationship with toxic productivity on my YouTube channel. During this time, I admitted to myself that I was overloaded and I could not continue down the path I was traveling.

Since then, I have drastically changed how I approach productivity in my personal life and business.

Here’s my playbook from the last year:

  • Eliminate — In true minimalist fashion, eliminating things off my plate has given me space and freedom to focus on the essential things.
  • Simplify — I have drastically simplified my content creation process and how I approach building my business.
  • Delegate — I’ve struggled with delegation for a long time, and truthfully, this is still a work in progress. However, I do have a wildly supportive wife who has taken specific tasks off my plate, allowing me to focus my energy on the things I’m good at and that are more valuable to my time.

Takeaway: Anytime I feel anxiety toward the future or my list of to-do’s, that tells me that I need to do less and give more thought to how I can simplify or what I can delegate.

Being Overwhelmed

As a certified over-thinker, I often sit in the frozen zone—stuck and unsure of what to do.

This has happened on my decluttering journey and across other aspects of my life and business. And every time I find myself in this space, it leads to feelings of overwhelm.

My mind begins to race and worry, and nothing gets done.

To conquer this, I’ve had to learn to stop doing the one thing I’ve struggled to quit for years—overthinking.

Now, I haven’t mastered this yet. I still overthink occasionally, but I’m a whole heck of a lot better at it than I have been.

Takeaway: Anytime I feel anxiety toward specific or potential results in life or business, that tells me that I need to think less and do more without worrying about the results.

⇨ This Week’s Action Step:

I encourage you to commit to understanding the difference between being overloaded and overwhelmed. Reflect on your past experiences and note when you were overloaded vs. overwhelmed. Are there any patterns or obvious distinctions?

Once you’ve found what it is for you, use that clarity to help you navigate life with less overload and overwhelm.

That’s all for today!

Keep growing on your journey, and I’ll see you next week.

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:

If you’re looking for clarity and traction on your journey, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course:

⇨ The Decluttering Starter Kit: Skip the overwhelm and jumpstart your decluttering journey. This comprehensive course will teach and guide you through the system I used to transform my life from clutter to clarity. Get access here.

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