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Famous Japanese Solution For Being Overwhelmed With Work

Japanese Solution For Anyone Who Is Overwhelmed With Work

Let’s begin with admitting that we all are overwhelmed at some point or the other. More so now with a shift in working cultures. We have work, family, friends, and so many personal agendas that need more than 24 hours in a day to fit in. Work sneaks into our personal space and time more than we realise. We are constantly worrying about too many tasks to complete, too many emails to respond to and too many deadlines. The tiniest of things begin to overwhelm us and nearly stop us from functioning. I have had these moments too. 

It’s surprising but true, sometimes we are overwhelmed even with the good things. Planning for a trip, a special event with friends, a get-together or activity with your family, if you have too many of these good things too, it gets overwhelming. 

Here’s a famous Japanese solution that has helped me personally and I’d love to share it with you. 

Dan-Sha-Ri, this famous Japanese technique is a philosophy of decluttering in relation to organising a house or space. This technique is effective when applied to one’s life as well. 

Dan sha ri -
Dan Sha Ri

The term ‘Dan’ means stopping input; to stop adding to already existing things, stop buying anything new. 

The term ‘Sha’ means to clean what one has and organise the clutter and throw what’s not needed.

The term ‘Ri’ means to let go and overcome the attachment and detach from what is no longer needed. 

Acknowledge and Stop

The first step is to acknowledge that you are overwhelmed. It may sound easy but it is one of the hardest steps. We feel obligated and overlook the fact that it takes a toll on us both physically and mentally. For example, if you open too many tabs on your computer, it will begin to slow down, the performance will get affected. Likewise, when our human brain is overwhelmed with too many things to settle, handle, treat, it feels too tired and disturbed to function. So stop the input of things that are adding up to your already existing list. Having a coach and doing sessions occasionally will help you navigate through this state.

Declutter and Organise

The second step is to put anything and everything on a piece of paper. I recommend you to write down everything that is bothering you, worrying you, even fascinating you. If you don’t write it down, you’ll be overwhelmed worrying about forgetting the things you have in mind. This procedure releases your brain and makes you feel lighter. As I mentioned the Japanese technique above, let’s look at the ‘Sha’ process which takes care of decluttering unnecessary things. Check the list you wrote down on the paper and determine what is a priority and needs immediate attention.  Everything else needs to go. That makes it achievable and not overwhelming. 

Detach and Let go

There are tasks that we assign ourselves knowing it is either not going to be solved or is too much to take at the moment. We must break free and detach ourselves from those tasks and let go. Holding on and not being able to do it is only going to overwhelm you. 

You can use this technique for your team as a team leader. As a coach, I help my clients through this technique and it makes life and works less overwhelming.