I can’t take anymore!
I have too much to do!
I will never finish!
I must be crazy or something to have thought I could do this!
I can’t be everything for everyone!
I wish I had some help!
I can’t do everything!
I’m doing the best I can!
Do any of those statements sound familiar? Have your everyday task become overwhelming? Are you “too busy”? Are your responsibilities taking over your life? Do you find there are too many things to do? If only you had a few extra hours in the day… Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you will NEVER get more hours in the day. But I have good news for you – you have all the time you NEED to do the things you have to do!
It’s clearly a matter of changing your thinking and how you deal with projects. There are basically two types of people in the world (and of course those that think they are a combination of both):
The Result-oriented thinker. They focus on the end results. The Process-oriented thinker. They focus on the process needed to accomplish the end result.
Here is an example: A result-oriented thinker will say I have to clean my house. They focus their attention on everything that has to be completed and the time needed to accomplish it. They usually keep a running list in their mind of the things to accomplish. Usually resulting in them becoming frustrated, irritable and overwhelmed. Because of these feelings of frustration, most result-oriented thinkers get little done. A process-oriented thinker usually has composed a list of things needed to clean the house. They choose one thing at a time and focus on it. If they are cleaning the kitchen, that’s what they focus on, the bathroom and so forth. They don’t focus on the time it will take. They usually get more accomplished because they focus on small accomplishments providing them more victories.
You see when you focus on the big picture you become overwhelmed and ultimately give up; therefore, NOTHING gets accomplished. My grandmother would say it like this “You will never eat the elephant focusing on its size”. Instead of focusing on all the things you have to do, do one thing at time and enjoy your accomplishment.
Being overwhelmed is a CHOICE!
I know that sounds harsh but it’s a reality!! You are overwhelmed because you decide to be! You have taken on more than you are capable of accomplishing at one given moment. NEWSFLASH: You are the one to decide what you can successfully accomplish each day. You are overwhelmed because you are focusing your attention on the big picture instead of breaking it down in to bite size pieces. Again, you are overwhelmed because you choose to be.
6 WAYS TO STOP FEELING OVERWHELMED
- WRITE IT DOWN – Write down everything you need to accomplish. This frees your mind from the burden of trying to remember. Should you “forget”, it is right there in black and white.
- PRIORITIZE – Ask yourself “Is this something that has to be done right now or can it wait?” If it has to be done right now- DO IT! If it can wait, pull out your planner and schedule a time to complete it and stick to it. NOTE: Putting off too many things will cause for another overwhelming day.
- DO THE THINGS YOU ENJOY, DELEGATE THE OTHERS – I hate cleaning the bathroom and my husband hates making the bed so I will never ask him to make the bed and he never complains when it’s time to clean the bathroom. We compromise and it works. We are both happy and not overwhelmed when it comes to those chores.
- SET A TIMER – I mentioned in a previous post, I am a bit OCD and the simplest task can consume a lot of my time and throw off my schedule. I’ve learned to set a timer. I give myself 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. depending on how much time I think I will need for the project I’m working on. Then I work as quickly and as efficiently as I can, when the timer goes off I look to see if there are any things that “have” to be done. If not, I’m finished. Remember done is better than perfect.
- STOP THE “SHOULDS” – We look at what society says our lives “should” look like. We believe what others say we “should” be doing. What will make your life easier? What will make you happy? What will keep you from being overwhelmed? Those are the things you need to focus on. Don’t let someone else’s “should” control your life.
- GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS: If you know you have work to do, don’t log onto social media. I love social media but it can be very time consuming. You log on to check on one notification and before you know it – it’s 2 hours later and you have accomplished nothing on your to-do list. Maybe your distraction is the telephone. Do you have that one girlfriend who always call when you have a project to work on. Learn to set boundaries. Let your girlfriend know you will call her later and she will have your undivided attention but right now you must finish this project. The distractions MUST go!
- EAT THE FROG! – Just do it. Do that thing you have been putting off. As long as you put it off, it will NEVER get done. So many times our overwhelmed feeling is not from what we have to do but what we have put off doing.
I hope this helped with those overwhelming feelings. Remember life is too short to focus on things that don’t matter. I’d rather have a semi-cleaned room than to find myself yelling at my child to pick up the one sock laying in the floor. Making a game out of cleaning the backyard will help it not appear as this gigantic chore that no one wants to do. Sitting down on Sunday and preparing lunch for the week will provide me with a little extra time to spend with my children or my husband each night. Small things add up. But it all starts with your thinking and the choices you make.
Until Next Time,