This article examines the reasons you may feel overwhelmed and suggests action to address that feeling.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Business studies, careers, entrepreneurship

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Why do I feel overwhelmed?
  • What is causing this feeling?
  • What can I do to correct the situation?

New Terminology:

Shoulds vs coulds; procrastination

Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity


All of us at one time or another have felt overwhelmed. As the great English poet William Wordsworth once described it, “the world is too much with us”.  When this happens it can lead to procrastination and a great drop in productivity. So, the question becomes, “What can we do about this malaise?” This article identifies some actions that one can take to overcome this feeling and embark on a positive course of action. Using this article as a basis for discussion, this lesson will have the students examine courses of action that can be taken when a person feels overwhelmed and swamped.


  • Ask the students if they have ever been in a situation where they have felt overwhelmed and have them explain those circumstances.
  • With this brief discussion as background, pair the students up and have the pairs discuss ideas about what to do when they are faced with such situations.
  • Allow the pairs time to discuss their ideas.
  • Having completed this, have one pair join another pair and exchange and compare answers.
  • Once the foursomes have completed their discussions, have each group report their ideas to the class and then hold a plenary session to seek a common list of ideas.


  • Hand out the article to the foursomes and have them read it and compare the ideas presented to what the class had discussed.
  • Have the foursomes report their responses.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will be able to:

  • Explain the feeling of being overwhelmed;
  • Outline some strategies to overcome this feeling.

Confirming Activity:

  • Have the students complete a personal writing exercise in which they will explain what strategies they will use in the future when they find themselves in a situation where they feel overwhelmed.