Do you ever have one of those days? You know – when you have so much to do that you actually become paralyzed by the feeling of overwhelm. Instead of getting things done – you end up doing nothing. It's time to put an end to that. This is how.
I have a confession to make. These past few weeks have nearly done me in.
My life is moving faster than I can keep up with – which is a good thing.
But when things start falling through the cracks, I know I need to step back, take stock, and figure out how best to use those 24 hours each day that I am given.
Can you relate?
With the holidays just around the corner, the last 3 months of the year always take me by surprise.
In my own little corner of the world:
- I almost bought a house which would have meant a move was in our future – but instead we are going to remodel the kitchen which means lots of decisions and planning instead.
- My kids activities are taking up much of my time
- This blog is growing fast and I am enjoying it – but lots to do
- I hosted a huge family gathering and have another coming up
- Paperwork is piling up
- and so on and so on and so on.
But you don't need to add my to do list to your already busy day.
What you want to do is take control of your own.
I was going to write a quick list of 10 things you can do to conquer the overwhelm, especially right now before the holidays.
However, I realized that a list like that could also be overwhelming.
So, I decided to break it down into a series of posts instead.
Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps.
Related Post: How to Get Organized – Focus on These 3 Core Areas
Make a List of Your Open Projects
Here's the gist – you can't get it done, if you don't know what it is.
So this list is key.
First, let's define a project.
A project can be anything you have going on that goes beyond 1 task.
Paying bills is a project.
Planning Thanksgiving dinner or a holiday trip is a project.
Taking on a kitchen remodel (that's me!) is a project.
Cleaning out your car is a project.
You get the idea.
I used to think of projects as sort of a DIY thing – like when you decide to make something or do something out of the ordinary.
All the everyday stuff like cleaning, errands, and paperwork were all what I considered to be “everyday life”.
If it has more than 1 task, it's a project.
If it takes more than a few minutes, it's a project.
So, make a list of all those things that you need to do that are weighing you down.
Related Post: Conquer Time Management and Master Your Life
Where to Make Your Project List
Don't overthink this.
You can use a fancy app or just plain pen and paper – just make sure you have easy access to it and that you will remember to check it often.
I prefer the old fashioned pen and paper method because I can hold it, feel it, look at it, and jot down a thought whenever it pops into my head.
Time for a brain dump.
Take all those “Oh yeah, I have to that …” ideas that are cluttering up your mind, get them out of your head and put them on paper (or virtual paper).
Just Create Your List – Nothing More
Remember, this step in conquering your overwhelm is just about creating a list of all the projects that you have going on in your life.
The to-do list will come next.
So, don't jump ahead – or guess what?
You will start to get overwhelmed all over again.
Have fun with it – and take your time writing everything down.
Tackle One Project At A Time
Now that you have your list of open projects all listed out, your mind should feel a little lighter.
Am I right?
Now, don't make the mistake of stopping here.
The next step is to TAKE ACTION!
Prioritize all those projects.
Simply number the top three that need to happen now.
Then create a deadline for each one, make a plan and get started.
Here is the next post in this series: How to create deadlines and improve your time management so you can start getting things done!