Recognise any of these?

A meeting is cancelled and you’re relieved.

You freeze and you’re not sure what to do next.

Previously simple tasks feel complex.

The quality of your work decreases.

You don’t have time for your health.

You keep forgetting things.

You’re ALWAYS tired.

You’re prone to headaches, muscle tension, picking up every bug, etc

Increased irritability.

When you do find the time to relax – you can’t.

If you’re currently familiar with three or more of the above, then maybe you’ve taken on too much.

But what to do? Take on less is pants advice. Too simplistic and if it were that easy we’d all do it.

But there are three ridiculously obvious things you can do – NOW.

Discover the joy of saying ‘No’, I write about this A LOT in How to Save An Hour Every Day


Ditch the To Do list and replace it with a Must Do list – you’re only allowed 5 things on it.

Delegate one thing that gives you heebie-jeebies. You might have to pay, ask a favour or (and this is a new one) delegate to a point in the future. Yes, I am suggesting it is ok to put some things off.

Do all three and you’ll feel better faster.

What are your tips for coping when you’ve taken on too much?

I’ll send a copy of my book How to Save an Hour Every Day to our favourite. Please leave your thoughts and ideas below.


  1. April 11th 2024 by lisa

    At the end of the week capture successes. Review the beginning of the next week and this sets me up well.
    Also exercise mid day, even a short walk, have this as protected time.

  2. April 11th 2024 by fiona Patrick

    Rather than moaning on and boring people with saying how busy you are (which is also a phycological damper) , change your attitude. Say to yourself and others how much you love being busy, focus on what you enjoy and know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. April 11th 2024 by Bolatito Lawal

    I try to note down what’s urgent and important and do just that then I take a break to do something else for myself (maybe catchup with friend over the phone or just drink a cup of tea) and I start over again. 🙂

  4. April 11th 2024 by Linda Starr

    I learned how to say ‘no’ a few years back and it is the most powerful thing! My tip is to ignore emails that are asking you to do ‘really urgent’ things because ‘really urgent’ things are a conversation to see if it’s even within your gift to help! If they don’t care enough to physically speak to me, then it gets ignored! There is no Service Level Agreement on emails!

  5. April 11th 2024 by Angela Marden

    its nice to have a ‘busy’ problem as long as it allows you time for yourself. I prioritise. I divide my page into 4 and mark it as very urgent etc etc. Im all for saving an hour a day!

  6. April 11th 2024 by Susan Albrighton

    We often don’t celebrate the small wins on our way to the big goals and overlook any positive change as not being enough.

    My biggest barrier was perfectionism and gpung off on tangents, having a big word with myself about it, has completely changed my outlook and when I fall into these traps I try to refocus on the present.

    A great small win for me was moving my hand written notes onto a programme called One Note, I can now edit, search and share with ease. It’s helped me be more organised and knowing they are there, helps me to focus on other tasks and come back to my Must Do list. Any I don’t complete, I simply copy over to my new day and my colleagues can access too.

    Game changer!

  7. April 11th 2024 by Jacqueline Watson

    It’s been a funny old three months and I’ve been trying to keep my head above water. Figured out how last week taking advice from some dear friends. Jackie stop now and prioritise. I’ve stopped everything. So first priority – my health and well-being. 2,3,4 strictly grandchildren, children and mothers then lastly me and Les chilling together in every other possible minute. See how long I can keep it up.

  8. April 12th 2024 by Sue Collinge

    I just have this technique.

    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (not necessarily in that order- Morecambe and Wise reference)

    The Good – a nice thing that involves friends, coffee and socialising or gentle proof reading or marketing.
    The Bad – something dull, boring but essential finances, tax returns, cleaning, ironing, spell checking
    The Ugly – anything with dread attached to it eg, an awkward conversation, facing up to a reality, rewriting a whole section or changing tack altogether.

    I set these as targets and switch between them, I always write this in a list, as ticking things off is rewarding.

    Just my coping mechanism that makes me divide things into different sections to be worked on when the mood is right.

  9. April 12th 2024 by Barry

    All of the above…..

    But avoiding saying how busy I am (& not feeling guilty for it) but then also looking at requests from colleagues (emails, meetings, WhatsApps etc) and realising that if it isn’t a strong “YES”, then it’s either a no or one to ignore. So many times where colleagues have asked something (help, sign off on a purchase etc) and then when I delay a response, I think 50 % disappear and so it clearly wasn’t that important.

  10. April 13th 2024 by Sarah

    I’m currently working on ‘sacking myself’ from jobs in the business that don’t add value. I’ve spent too many years being a busy fool!

    The load is lightening already and I no longer feel guilty enjoying down time.

  11. April 14th 2024 by Dawn Booth

    I have taken on so many good ideas about coping such as breath, prioritise, ask for help, say no, inner script etc but my absolute best coping method is to do something you love, work within your passion, make your dreams and goals a part of everything you do. The overwhelm dilutes when you give a purpose for what you do.

  12. April 14th 2024 by Pauline Olding

    I simply STOP and B.R.E.A.T.H.E, with my outbreath being longer than my inbreath. Breathe in for 6, pause, breathe out for 9, pause. After just one minute, I become calmer and have better focus. Because I’m only asking myself to do this for one minute, it’s easy, I can do it often and it’s like pressing a vital re-set button. Breathing like this for a luxuriant 5 minutes, is bliss!

  13. April 24th 2024 by Scott Hardy

    Simple but affective and sometimes easily overlooked. Tick all 5 off and know that it’s chosen progress – No is ok 👌

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