How to Keep Calm & Carry on When You’re Overwhelmed as a New Manager

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? I know exactly how it feels to be thrown into the deep end of the managerial pool, struggling to stay afloat amidst a sea of responsibilities and expectations. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, trust me. Here’s the good news: you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, and some days we are still there. So I’m here to let you in on a little secret—it’s possible to keep calm and carry on even when you’re knee-deep in the chaos. Yup, it is doable, even though it looks like a huge mountain that’s tough to get to.

Being a new manager comes with its fair share of challenges. Suddenly, you find yourself juggling deadlines, managing a team, and trying to make sense of the paperwork on your desk. It makes anyone want to hide under their desk and pray for a miracle. So how to calm yourself?

In this blog, we’ll explore some tried-and-true stress management strategies to help you navigate new leadership’s treacherous waters with grace and composure. I’ll share some practical tips to make this journey less daunting.

a)  Don’t rush, reflect:

Picture this: it’s your first week as a new manager, and you’re hit with a whirlwind of tasks, meetings, and urgent requests, making you feel overwhelmed at work. The pressure is mounting, and it’s tempting to dive headfirst into the chaos, trying to check off as many items on your to-do list as humanly possible. You may hear your manager tell you, “well, it’s all about time management, when you’re just thinking, ‘I literally am prioritising everything I need to and my calendar is chock-o-blocked already, I barely have time for lunch even.’ This may trigger you even and make you feel extremely annoyed for some time. Your mind may tell you to drop it and not do your best. When you feel a whirlwind of thoughts all at once. Take a step back, breathe, and reflect.

In the frenzy of new responsibilities, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that speed equals success. We live in a world that values instant gratification and quick results. But as a new manager, it’s crucial to resist the urge to sprint before you can walk. You may make hasty choices or miss essential details by rushing through tasks and decisions without reflecting.

Reflecting allows you to gather your thoughts, evaluate the situation, and make more informed decisions. It’s like pressing the pause button in a chaotic movie scene, allowing you to analyze the plot and determine your next move. By taking the time to reflect, you’ll avoid costly mistakes and develop a deeper understanding of your team, their strengths, and their pain points.

So, think about it and understand how you can manage and control your thoughts and emotions?

b) Pursue one task at a time:

We live in a world that glorifies multitasking. We’re constantly bombarded with messages about being productive superheroes who can conquer a dozen tasks with a single bound. So, how to calm yourself? Let me tell you a secret—it’s all a myth. The reality is that our brains aren’t wired to handle multiple tasks simultaneously effectively. When we try to do too much at once, we spread ourselves thin, make mistakes, and feel overwhelmed.

Instead of diving headfirst into a chaotic pool of tasks, take a step back and prioritize. Identify the most critical and urgent task on your list, and commit to giving it your undivided attention. By focusing on one study at a time, you can devote your energy, creativity, and problem-solving skills to that specific task, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

By pursuing one task at a time, you’re maximizing your productivity and efficiency and reducing the stress and overwhelm that often accompany multitasking. Set your sights on the task at hand, and watch as your ability to tackle challenges with precision and clarity improves.

How can you effectively prioritise and focus on tasks to increase my productivity?


Remember, concentration is like a muscle that needs regular exercise to strengthen. It might feel challenging at first, but with practice, you’ll develop the ability to sustain your focus for extended periods.

c) Have a work buddy:

When navigating the challenges of your new managerial role, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities. You might find yourself overwhelmed at work, unsure of how to handle certain situations, or even questioning your abilities. That’s where a work buddy comes in—a trusted colleague who understands the ins and outs of your role and can provide a listening ear, advice, and a fresh perspective.

Think of your work buddy as your sounding board. You can vent to them when dealing with a problematic employee or struggling to meet a tight deadline. They’re also the person who can celebrate your wins with you, offering a high-five and a “job well done” when things go smoothly.

So, how do you find a work buddy? Start by looking within your organization. Seek out someone who has experience in a similar role or has gone through the same challenges you’re facing as a new manager. It could be a colleague from a different department, a more seasoned manager, or even someone at the same level as you. Finding someone you trust, respect, and feel comfortable opening up to is critical.

How can having a work buddy enhance collaboration and productivity in the workplace?

Final thoughts:

Being a new manager is a challenging feat. It’s a role that demands resilience, adaptability, and a touch of finesse. With the stress management at work strategies we’ve explored together, you can navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of new leadership with grace and composure. 

Remember, keeping calm and carrying on doesn’t mean you have to do it all perfectly or without moments of doubt. It’s about finding your rhythm, discovering what works best for you, and continuously learning and improving.

If you ever need a friendly reminder or words of encouragement, remember that this blog is always here.

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