Pastor Jonathan kicked off a new series called “Rhythms” this weekend with a great message called “Way Too Fast.” If you missed it, catch it online here.
One of my favorite points in his message was about overload, and how going too fast, with too much, at an inconsistent rate will only lead to stress and being overwhelmed. There are so many things in our lives that we let overwhelm us.
Here are five practical ways to avoid overload:
1. Plan your week; write it all down.
It’s amazing how you can feel overwhelmed by all that you need to do, but once you write it all down and plan it out, it suddenly becomes way less stressful. It becomes easy to see what is doable and what is not. Organizing things takes the guesswork out of your head and helps your mind relax.
Side note: It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, or your level of busyness, or the job you perform. It’s all relative to you. If it’s causing you stress, don’t belittle it–deal with it.
2. Check your priorities; maintain balance.
After you have looked at the week, can you say that everything is in the right priority? Where is your time going? You may be overloaded because you are working in way too many things that are unnecessary. You may be causing your own problems and be the source of your own stress. Don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t matter. Be honest enough with yourself to drop some things that you know you should. Make sure family and relationships are not suffering because of bad priorities.
3. Don’t neglect relationships.
Spring-boarding off priorities, you will see your sources of stress begin to melt away when your time is focused in more fruitful areas. Focused quality time with your spouse will strengthen your relationship, and arguments that cause stress will diminish. Quality time with your kids will grow your bond as a parent. Quiet times with God will refresh your spirit. Many times, the things that take more intentional effort get neglected. You may think you are making the right decisions, but in the long run, you are crippling yourself.
4. Don’t neglect the Holy Spirit.
There is no deeper well of peace than the Holy Spirit. Don’t ever forget that you have access to Him anytime you need. In moments of overload, stop and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and peace. We can easily get so caught up in our own minds and thoughts that things spiral out of control and we lose perspective. Nothing can realign us better and faster than the Holy Spirit. From His perspective, things look quite different. Start setting aside time every day to pray and seek God. Train your mind to respond to stress spiritually instead of emotionally.
5. Become a creature of habit and routine.
Getting into a healthy rhythm starts with having a healthy routine. Practically speaking, things like meal planning or getting up and going to bed at the same time every day can help to build a good framework for your week, giving priority to rest and wellness. Spiritually and emotionally speaking, putting points 1–4 into practice in a consistent way will help to alleviate unnecessary stress and overload.
Avoiding overload takes intentionality and time, but with consistency, you will be amazed at the pressure and stress relieved by the five guidelines discussed above. What are some ways that you avoid overload in your weekly routine?