The Real Issues Behind Overwhelm

And What To Do About Them

Being overwhelmed is not about having too much to do, but rather, having too much you feel you should do.

Imagine a room filled with senior leaders. The surprising reality is that the majority will silently grapple with feelings of overwhelm. Why is this significant? Because it’s not just about the long hours, but the lingering stress, the perpetual cycle of mounting responsibilities, and the misconception that by merely cramming more into the day, the storm will subside. So, if you're nodding in agreement, and thinking, "Tell me more!" here’s what you can do about it.


1. Lack of Delegation: Ever heard the saying, "If you want it done right, do it yourself"? It’s catchy, but it’s a trap (one I’m all too familiar with!). Holding onto tasks often stems from fear of letting go. Here's an insight: Overseeing is not micromanaging. So, take a breath, allocate tasks effectively, and watch your team soar.

2. Troubled Team Dynamics: Teams are a bit like jigsaw puzzles, intricate, unique, and sometimes downright challenging. Spotting a lack of trust? Time for a team-building session. Hesitating to address that one underperformer? Let's be honest; that chat isn't going to get easier with time. So, remember, postponing might feel like a short-term win, but the issue won’t go away by itself.

3. Fear & Avoidance: We all have that task. The one we've colour-coded in red moved across three planners, and remains. Procrastinating? Sure. But at what mental cost? Dive in, break it down, and tick it off.

4. Mismatched Priorities: Ever felt like a juggler running out of hands? That's juggling urgent and important tasks. Hint: They're not always the same. Give your to-do list a once over, separate the wheat from the chaff, and watch your productivity spike.

5. Inadequate Resources: A painter without a brush, a chef without a knife, a leader without...well, you get the drift. Work smart! Utilise what you have, and if there's a shortfall, take action to resolve it.

6. Information Overload: Emails. So many emails. And let's not start on reports. The solution? Filters, folders, and the occasional digital detox.

7. Lack of Clarity or Vision: A ship without a compass is...well, probably lost. Time for a vision refresh. Gather your team, reassess those goals, and set that North Star.

8. Personal Life Stresses: Think of life as a seesaw. When one side's heavy, the other's up in the air. A disagreement at home, a flat tyre, a missed deadline, they all add up! Reflect, regroup, and remember – we all have off days.

9. Unrealistic Expectations: You're a leader, not a superhero. While ambition drives us, overreaching can lead to burnout. Assess your goals regularly, adjust as needed, and ensure you're being realistic.

10. Lack of Self-Care: Ever noticed how cars run better with regular servicing? Humans aren't so different. Physical health affects mental prowess. Eat well, move regularly, get enough rest and see your efficiency soar.


Overwhelm isn’t just a 'busy' status; it's an alarm bell. As you've journeyed through these insights, perhaps a light bulb or two has switched on. Recognising the root causes is half the battle. Now, it’s your move. Reflect, reset, and revolutionise your leadership game. After all, leadership isn't just about facing challenges; it's about finding solutions and adapting. Stay tuned; there's more to come.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,


👋 PS. A big hello and very warm welcome to everyone who has joined us in the last few weeks! It’s so great to have you all here.

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