Brain Overload


Lisa Alioto

20 August 2020 32 comments

Have you ever found yourself with too many projects or “heavy” things on your plate?   I think it’s natural to want to be all to all.  But that’s definitely not realistic.  So how do you find a good middle ground?

Choose Wisely

Doing so is much easier said than done.  So many decisions go into evaluating a new opportunity.   What are the benefits of this project?   The drawbacks?   Will this project provide the opportunity to advance me toward my goals?  Will the networking that it provides be worth the extra work?  What do I already on my plate?  Do I have time for this project?

All great questions to ask yourself as you decide whether you want to proceed with an opportunity.   If you are anything like me, opportunities ebb and flow.  I either have an open schedule or an overbooked one.   Learning how to choose projects more wisely is definitely a way to avoid finding  yourself in a position that you don’t want to be in.

Learn How to Say No to Opportunities

As much analysis as we put into whether a project is right for us, sometimes we still struggle with saying no.  Our instinct is to be there for a friend, colleague, or as I said earlier, to be all to all regardless.

This is where learning to say no to a project and being comfortable with it comes into play.  I’ve come to think of it as a skill.  Something that you have to practice a bit to get comfortable with. At least for those of us that it does not come naturally to.   I am in the boat where I need to do a lot more practicing.   For me, the hardest time to say no is when I want to do the project but the timing is wrong – I’m already booked up.   The pay-off is great – much less stress and more self-care.   Yet saying no is still hard – I don’t want to disappoint and I still want to be thought of for more projects.


I think that a lot of being able to say no with ease comes with confidence.  Knowing that if you say no that people will understand.  That more projects will still come your way.  It’s definitely a work in progress for me but I’m a firm believer that the more you learn to say no comfortably, the easier it is to choose your projects wisely and confidently say no to projects that are not the right fit or at the right time.

How about You?

Does saying no when you don’t want to do a project come easily to you? Do you struggle with it? Do you proceed with the project anyway?    Have you found that perfect balance?

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32 thoughts on “Brain Overload

  1. I’m fairly good at saying no when I know something isn’t right for me but I am still prone to piling too much on my pate and getting a bit of brain overload every now and then. It’s a tough balance, especially when you work for yourself! x


    1. Lisa Alioto

      Exactly – that’s what I’ve found to be the case. I work part-time for myself and I like to help people so much I struggle with saying no. Though my experiences with it have all been positive and understanding when I have

  2. Dan "Jay" Reyes says:

    Good read. Yes, my brain at times overload me with too much information 🙂

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thanks Dan – I hear you. That is where mine is at right now

  3. I firmly believe in saying “no”… a lot! haha I don’t like being busy and I know my limits. Having the confidence to say no is key! Although saying no without giving a reason why is something I need to work on. Great tips here 🙂

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Good for you Karen – I need to get to the place you are at with being comfortable saying no

  4. Yes! I do have problems saying “no”. See? 😛 Wanting to be supportive and helpful is just in my nature, but I have certainly found that not setting those healthy boundaries can quickly lead to feeling overstretched and ultimately affecting my productivity. Good thoughts, Lisa.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thanks Scott – I completely agree with the sentiments that you have shared. It’s in my nature too – and a hard habit to break. But a good one to break for our own sanity at times! 🙂

  5. I’m facing this right now. We just got a new pool and I have so many things to do to finish it up. And all the other things around the house that need to be done. Such an overload on what to prioritize

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I am in the same boat too – it’s overwhelming isn’t it. For me it was this week, which I am glad it over. So many deliverables in one week. Only two left (it seemed as I took one off the plate one more came on!)

  6. I can relate this to an incident which happened to me recently. I got 3 projects at once. The stress was too much for me too handle lol. My computer crashed while i was working and all my hard works erased in a second! Yes my hard disk crashed and all my data got erased. Even my laptop couldn’t handle that stress lol. All my softwares got erased which i couldn’t retrieve them back unfortunately:(
    This all happened this month btw

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Oh no Nisha – I’m so sorry to hear that! That definitely sounds like brain and computer overload!

  7. I feel like I’m always on brain overload. So much to do and so little time. Always multitasking but not seeming to finish. Good tips. Thanks.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thanks Mike – hopefully they help us both avoid so much brain overload 🙂

  8. I think saying no is one of the most important skills. You’re not obligated to give your time and no one truly knows how much is on your plate other than you.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Excellent points Maura!! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Learning how to say no to opportunities is something ppl need to learn. Its a lesser spoken about topic. People always talk about grabbing the opportunities but not many have spoken about choosing them wisely and how to decline them. Really useful post

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Thank you SM! You are so right!

  10. Oh yes I can relate to this brain overload a LOT. I’m often thinking of a hundred different things I want to do or work on.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Me too – I have a very ambitious mind but overworked one!

  11. Jimmy Clare says:

    This sounds like my brain 24/7

    1. Lisa Alioto

      It’s a tough place to be 24/7 – I hope you are taking good care of yourself; you deserve it!

  12. I say no most of the time. I have an elderly mom so I’m trying to be there for her as needed.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I’m in that position now as well and am finding it’s easier to say no when it comes to the other choice to be there for another person..

  13. Yes, it is the common behavior we can see all around to get lot of things in your plate that remains unfinished forever. And the next day the same routine and style go on. I think it is simply the definition of procrastination style to accomplish so many but not single one perfectly.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      Very well said – I really appreciate you sharing those insights. They are spot on to the problems many of us face daily.

  14. Your blog is one of my favorite to read this quarantine. I do have a lot of mini-projects aside from my 9-5 job, and it can get really overwhelming. I still struggle in managing my time but I find it really helpful in having a planner and dividing tasks over the week instead of piling them up all in one day!

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I’m really glad to hear that Miragail – it feels great to be here for people during this challenging time! We will be continuing to post so stay tuned and enjoy! 🙂

  15. I’ve totally been in brain overload zone for the last few weeks. Saying no does not come very easily to me, but I am trying to get better at that.

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I hear you Shirsha – saying no doesn’t come easy to me either; it’s a work in progress. 🙂

  16. I love keeping bust and sometimes I can definitely overload myself.

    Nathalia | NathaliaFit – Fitness & Wellness Blog

    1. Lisa Alioto

      I love keeping busy too – though sometime I too tend to overload myself up with work accidentally

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