It can happen to the best of us. All of a sudden you glance around your space and can’t figure out what to do next. You realize there are 100 ideas and tasks vying for your attention. Right Now!
Opportunities start coming quick and fast and lesser ideas get put aside. Then you put off doing the laundry to do an interview and in your hurry to put in a load after the interview, you knock a pile off the side of your desk. The next thing you know, everything you touch is going wrong and taking twice as long to redo.
Full lives can be very overwhelming and frustrating at times. Luckily a few simple, quick and easy strategies can get you back on track and feeling super good about all the good stuff you have said yes to.
Realize that all overwhelm is temporary. It will go away with a deep breath. So, when you are feeling particularly frazzled and about to unhinge, STOP. Just stop. It is like hitting a reset button. With one deep breath everything can look different and you can recognize what needs to happen next.
That next thing is to actually create some visual space. Look at your immediate area and straighten up the piles. Square the corners on piles of paper so they are neatly stacked. Clear a little surface space by combining a couple of stacks. Remove all the packaging, used napkins, not needed receipts and other quickly identified trash. Only take about a minute to do this and continue breathing deeply.
Now, set a timer for 10 minutes and write a list of everything that is spiraling around in your mind, all the to do items that are piling up. Use a piece of paper and a pen if you can. No prioritizing, just dump the thoughts onto the page.
Take another deep breath and work on the most important thing on the list. Now you have a good idea of what that is because you have a list right there on your paper.
Now you are in forward motion and working on something that needed to get done.
After the most important thing, set a timer for 30 minutes and work on the things on the list that are quick but take more than a minute so you have been putting them off. Once you have several of them out of the way, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Now you are still in forward motion and are productive too. No more overwhelm.
There might still be things, important things, on the list but it will feel much more manageable now.
I like to go back and forth between next most important and 30 minutes of quick tasks on days that feel particularly overwhelming. You can play around with what works best for you. I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.