Survival When You're Overloaded

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but this week has run me over and I’m ready for the weekend. I’m feeling more like I’m in survival mode than in a really productive, “on top of things” mode this week. So I thought, what better to write about on Friday than survival when you’re sure the world is just about to cave in and you just know that the other shoe is perched precariously on the top of an unused card catalog and ready to drop. So let’s take some control over the chaos that is the library and archival world and get back to a good normal.

First, the incredibly helpful, practical, and fairly easy to implement tips for the end of your week. I don’t know about you, but I really dislike getting junk mail so Lifehacker’s article on the best sites, numbers, and forms for banishing junk mail was most appreciated. Let’s stop the resource waste and get rid of the junk mail.

After you’ve gotten rid of receiving physical junk mail, it’s time to tackle the dreaded email inbox. The “zero inbox” policy is one way of dealing with email overload (and I find it fairly helpful), but I also have become quite enamored of assigning email a 15-minute minimum to avoid unnecessary checking. This is great for those of us who feel the need to respond to everything within a minute of receiving it, when it is neither productive or necessary. Creating boundaries is not only healthy for you, but sends the signal that your time is valuable and not to be wasted or interrupted without good reason.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not a fan of meetings in general. It’s probably no surprise then that I adore this idea to increase meeting effectiveness by scheduling for brevity. Ten minute meetings? Completely would work for me. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to convince my colleagues that this is the only way to go when it comes to meetings.

Finally, on the tips and tricks front for survival is this WebWorkerDaily post on surviving sudden social network changes. Read it. Trust me, you need to if you are at all hooked into the online social world.

Switching gears, let’s talk about how you’re already perfect. zenhabits is one of my favorite blogs for posts to inspire quiet, balance and joy in life. This post is especially timely as being in survival mode means you rarely think you have time to pause and remember that you are already just fine. It’s also great to share with your friends who are always interested in self-improvement and doing things better. I know I fit into that category, especially with my work. So it’s nice to have such a positive affirmation: you’re already perfect.

I’m continually, pleasantly surprised by how much inspiration I find in Seth Godin’s blog which is obstensibly about marketing. I think his post on demonstrating strength is one of those inspiring posts. The best survival strategy when you’re overloaded (after figuring out how to stop being overloaded)? “Offer kindness.” The world could use a little more kindness.

And, if all else fails, remember:

keep calm graphic

Keep Calm by SchuleLewis

Thanks to Hanna for pointing this graphic out.

Have a wonderful weekend full of reading and recharging for the next week ahead. The Waki Librarian will be back next week.

One thought on “Survival When You're Overloaded

  1. The 15 minute “break” does work. You can manage this electronically, too.

    If you’re on Outlook, you can set the delivery options to have your email delivered at set intervals. We try to get people to set it for 60 or 90 minutes! Tools/options/mail set up/send-receive/check “schedule send-receive for (fill in the blank) minutes.

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