4 Steps To Overcoming Your A.M Overwhelm

By Josh Barad

February 23, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

This morning, I felt on edge. It ‘s just two days before I make the biggest move of my life and I’ve got so much to do. I’m facilitating my first online class for over thirty extraordinary individuals on overcoming imperfections and there’s also a book launch that I’m helping a friend with that will be released early next week.

Oh, and there’s also the packing thing. I’ve researched all of the things that Colombia doesn’t have so that I wouldn’t be left without coconut oil, peanut butter and Sriracha sauce.

It’s all about priorities, right?

Can you see why I was feeling a bit uncomfortable this morning?

In 48 hours, I will be packing all of my belongings — a suitcase and a backpack — and setting on a journey of nomadic adventures. My first stop is Colombia, where I plan to spend quite some time learning Spanish, expand my business and make time for anything else that piques my desires. Yet, I couldn’t help but to stay focused on how much I needed to do.

I could feel a current of panic washing through my body and I knew that I wasn’t going to get anything done in this state.

So I began to check in with myself — what do I need? What would help me relax so I can accomplish all that needs to be accomplished?

Let me walk you through my process:


I was frantic upon rising, and in this state nothing worthwhile is ever achieved. I needed to ground myself back to the moment that was just in front of me. What did I need? What could allow me to feel calm again? It started with some breath work. I could feel how shallow my breathing was so I just started taking some deeper breaths.

I reached for my HRV sensor (Heart Rate Variability) which gamifies the process of calming your nervous system through a sensor that I attach to my ear. It works magic regardless of how weird it might sound.

I could feel how achy I was from some deep massage work the night before so I decided I needed an epsom salt bath. “Wait a minute Josh, don’t you take those at night?” That question was the voice in my head attempting to tell me that I shouldn’t be taking one in the morning because I’ve never taking one in the morning.

After I laugh off the critic, I hop into the tub filled with warm water and a couple cups of epsom salt (one of the best hacks to calm the body and detoxify) and melted away for twenty minutes.

For the first 10 minutes, I leaned into some gratitude, appreciation for what I have, and the day that lies ahead of me. I could feel ever so slightly the calmness begin to wash over me. I knew I was onto something.

This immediately shifted my state and could already feel myself becoming more productive.


Since I was feeling so overwhelmed, I decided to do a quick brain dump. Over a warm cup of coffee, I took about 15 minutes to write EVERYTHING that was in my head related to this day. What did I need to get done for business and personal? What would I need for my trip? My tele class? This book launch?

I wrote down EVERYTHING. Not just the immediate things, but also anything that was taking up mental RAM in my head. So basically, every single thought. The point of this is to clear space in your mind so you can focus in on what’s truly important.

After making the two separate lists, I divided them up again into NOW vs LATER lists. What needs to get done right now for business? What needs to get done right now for personal? What can wait within my business? What can wait with my personal stuff?

This allows me to see only the urgent pressing matters that are in front of me today.


I’ve listed only the things that I must get done on one piece of paper and divided up my day into 60-min slots to accomplish each task. Some take up only 1/2 a slot while others take up two slots (two hours). It’s all relative to what you need to accomplish, but this allows you to plan out your day accordingly.

Make sure to leave room for lunch, dinner, other breaks and miscellaneous things that could show up. It’s always better to give yourself a bit extra time so you don’t feel as rushed.


After I complete something, I simply take a moment to acknowledge what I just finished and how this improves my life and the lives of those around me. This allows me to reflect on what I did, why I did it, and how it’s affecting my life.

This is one of the most important things any one of us can do because all too often we wind up jumping from one thing to the next without acknowledgment. This is what causes burnout. Make sure to attach some form of appreciation to every single task that you complete — even if it’s simply saying “thank you” to yourself.

What do you do when you’re feeling a bit stressed out on those *certain* days when things are feeling just a bit overwhelming? Let me know in the comments below so we can help overcome this within the community.

Josh Barad

Josh Barad has mastered the art of breaking society's rules and is an expert at helping you do the same so you can live a life that excites you and get paid to do what you love.

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