I don't have many days like that in my current job. But I have many days that start to feel like riding a carousel. Work, kids, dinner, bed, work, kids, dinner, bed, work . . . and on and on it goes. While I'm stuck on the carousel the rest of world keeps moving on, the weeds need pulling, the fridge needs cleaning, the laundry is piling up, and the basement looks like a disaster zone.
I get overwhelmed. It makes me tired, when I haven't really done anything! And instead of tackling one of the problems, I avoid them all. This only makes things worse!
So what can we do? Of course the Frequent and Consistent Method will help you stop feeling overwhelmed and help you take steps towards your goals. Here are a few other things you can to do get through a particularly overwhelming day.
I'm a big fan of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In that book, he talks about prioritizing work. I've tried this with my oldest daughter when she was overwhelmed with homework and tests. The act or prioritizing her work was soothing and helped her focus. You start by categorizing your "to-do's." Take a piece of paper and separate it into four squares.
In the top left corner list all your tasks that are Important and Urgent. Top right gets all the tasks that are Important and Not Urgent. The bottom left gets tasks that are Not Important but Urgent. The final quadrant are Not Important and Not Urgent. Start working in the top, left corner first. While you are working in that quadrant do not answer the phone and do not look at your email. Focus!
Then you are on to the Not Important but Urgent, followed by Important but Not Urgent and lastly, Not Important and Not Urgent. The quadrants should be updated as needed and tasks may move from one to another as time passes. This can be helpful when you are having a hard time knowing where to start on your "to-do's."
Too much? Do you lay down to sleep only to have your mind race with tasks you forgot? Keep a notepad and pen by the bed and write them down. Rest easy. In the morning, or when you next have a moment, pick up the list and get to work!
Do you a have method that helps you deal with feeling overwhelmed? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!