An Overwhelming Schedule: How to Deal

When your schedule gets overwhelming, stress quickly follows. No matter what’s going on in your life, whether the overwhelming schedule has to do with work, your personal life, or both, there are some solid ways to deal! I tend to get more overwhelmed than others which likely has to do with my extreme anxiety. I knew there had to be ways to deal with an overwhelming schedule without invoking insomnia, worsening anxiety or ending up irritable.

I had tons of freelance projects that needed finished by the first week of February and I wasn’t dealing well at all, (way too much was going on). Some nights, I was staying up until 3:30 just to catch up on work. My concentration was vanishing, I was getting serious stress bags under my eyes and I was more irritable than ever. I needed to seriously buckle down and find ways to deal with an overwhelming schedule that didn’t take a huge toll on me, (and my skin). Here are some great tips to help you deal with an overwhelming schedule:

Picking & Choosing (Based on Importance)

You need to go through your to-do list and see what you may be able to pass on, either altogether or to someone else. Sometimes, we get so used to doing things ourselves, we forget that there are actually people around that will help us with certain tasks. Also, some tasks can be “put off.” Don’t get in the habit of doing this all the time! But, during certain stressful times, we can put off doing some of the little things that have become part of our daily lives.

*Nerd Tip: Rank tasks on your to-do list based on importance! Use a 1-5 scale to determine what needs done the most! Most of the 1’s and 2’s can wait. It’s the 4’s and 5’s you need to get out of the way pronto!

Never underestimate the Power of a Plan

I used to think I was going overboard, being “planner obsessed”, but it is for the better. Having a plan for “How” that drives your “Why” is key to getting shit done and avoiding unnecessary overwhelm.

Always have a plan! Plan your days. Hell, plan your hours throughout the day, if that helps you. Having a solid plan in place, and sticking to it will significantly decrease the amount of overwhelm you’re feeling.


This one is tough for me but I’ve been working on it and find that if I just “accept” that I’m going to feel overwhelmed, (instead of fighting it), it tends to actually ease the tension.

Accept that some days, some weeks and even some months are just going to be more overwhelming than others. Accepting a challenge coming your way helps you deal with it better.

Make your Breaks more meaningful

Often, when we take breaks, (at least me, anyhow), we go straight to our cell phones. Maybe we watch something. Maybe we read something. Maybe we don’t do much at all. MAKE YOUR BREAKS MORE MEANINGFUL.

You want to get the “most” out of the breaks you take. One common thing that people, including me, forget to do during these breaks is practice self care. Even if you only have one or two 15 minute breaks during the day – make that shit count!

Consider meditating, exercising, going for a walk, indulging in something healthy and tasty or reading something inspirational. Incorporate a bit of self-care into your breaks to naturally relieve stress and overwhelm.

Remember your “Why”

It’s really easy to get caught up in daily tasks and forget the big “Why.” Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is it to better your financial situation? Maybe it’s to have more time with your significant other, family or friends. Regardless of what you’re “Why” is, remembering it and the benefits of it will ease the overwhelm!

Track your Progress

This can be really helpful if you’re working towards a large goal. There are always stepping stones to get to the ultimate goal and it’s important to celebrate those steps. The easiest way? Track it! Write down your progress!

This will help you feel more accomplished and that alone will help ease overwhelming stress.

Talk it out or Write it out

We all have to get stuff off of our chests sometimes. We crave connections – to other people and to ourselves. It’s nature. Talking to someone close to us about our stressful overwhelm can help ease it. If it’s a goal or issue of a more personal nature that you’re not comfortable sharing with others, no worries! Write it out. Do a daily “brain dump” in a journal session where you write out your frustrations. It’ll help.

Trial and Error Dealing

I always stress how important it is to find your own way to deal with overwhelm. We’re all unique and what works for Matt may not work for Missy.

Make a list! Write down your best stress relieving activities or elements that you can incorporate into your day-to-day that make the hours run smoother. Define what works for you and run with it.

*Nerd Tip: Don’t get hung up on how different your coping mechanisms may be than other people. If it works for you – DO NOT overthink it!

Pump the Brakes on Distractions

It’s so freaking easy to get distracted. Silence your phone. Turn off notifications. Put a limit on your distractions!

We all get Overwhelmed.

We all get overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter what your stress threshold is – overwhelm seizes us all one way or another. Knowing that it happens in itself is a way to prepare for it. Know that it will pass, (until next time).

Find YOUR ways to cope and mix around your methods. If you work at it, you will find a way to tame overwhelm šŸ™‚



Krissy October is a professional freelance writer, aspiring novelist and knowledge nerd who is dedicated to consistent self-improvement and finding clever ways to solve everyday problems.


  1. These are all such great tips. I think planning is essential for me! I know when I fail to plan, I totally feel overwhelmed and wish things played out differently. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Stacy šŸ™‚ I’m glad it was helpful!

  2. I think where most people go wrong is step 1. It is amazing how some people don’t understand which tasks to prioritize. I had so many sales people that would concentrate on selling small, low margin items rather than the larger, higher margin ones. If they had a rational reason (like path of least resistance) I could maybe understand, but usually just nothing logical

  3. These are great tips having a plan and writing it down is always huge for me but I will be working on taking breaks since I tend to forget then get wiped out.

  4. I feel like this is my week way too often. Iā€™m overly optimistic about how much I will be able to complete. Writing it down and ranking is super helpful for me too.

  5. These are really great tips! My life would be so chaotic if I didn’t plan out anything.

  6. Writing lists is the thing that helps me the most :).

    Lola Mia x

  7. I write list after list šŸ™‚ it helps me prioritise and tidy my brain.

    Lola Mia x

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