Overwhelmed and Needing to Rally

September 17, 2010

in 30-Minute Homemaker,30-Minute Organizer


I’m a tad bit overwhelmed these days (okay, a LOT overwhelmed!). I feel behind the curve, behind the eight ball, just BEHIND in general. Too much to do, too many disparate projects, and a little bit of an energy lag (NOT like me — I’m a human dynamo!).

So instead of just suffering, here’s my plan of attack:

1. Remind myself that I feel overwhelmed with a lot of goodness. I have presents to buy for a baby, layouts to make with a fun new kit, blog posts to write on topics I love, meals to cook for people I adore, etc.). I’m not overwhelmed with gunshot wounds and head traumas, like an ER doctor, so what do I have to complain about?

2. Make a list of all my outstanding tasks and projects. This simple task helps me see that there is, indeed, an end to my seemingly never-ending list of things to do. Then when I cross off items, I get a great rush of satisfaction. Crazy how much joy I can get from making and crossing things off a list, isn’t it?

3. Take a break. I told my kids today that I’d like nothing better than to take to my bed for the weekend, reading books and having someone bring me soup and cinnamon toast (not together, duh!). While I can’t do it for the whole weekend, I might just have a lay-about tomorrow. :)

4. Start small. Once I have The Big List, I take half an hour and get rid of as many small annoying tasks as possible. Like I need to wrap presents so I can take them to the post office. I need to make a couple phone calls to make appointments so I can get other things done. These types of things mount up, but don’t take too long to complete — and they’re usually standing in the way of getting a larger task completed. Crossing them off lets me move on, AND it gives me a bunch of crossed-off items on my list — yahoo!

5. Get rid of the non-essentials. When I see everything on The Big List, it’s easy to remove items. For instance, with Layout a Day, my month-long scrapbooking challenge, taking place next month (AND a half-marathon I’m doing mid-month, AND a trip to Texas), I’ve got a lot on my plate. I feel completely justified in removing some less-important tasks, like buying new place mats.

Once I work through these five items, I usually have a much better mindset about my list, and some successes under my belt to fuel me.

P.S. I talk a lot about overwhelm and managing time better in my audio course, “Time Suck: How to Stop Wasting Time, Start Saving Hours, and Finally Enjoy Your Life.” Check it out!

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  • Mary Cody

    Lain, you must have read my mind when you wrote this. I am a housewife for crying out loud! I should never be overwhelmed. I don’t even have any kids at home! But sometimes I DO. The rental had mold, the brakes went out on the jeep, I can’t find a receipt to return something. A death in my extended family.
    Some of your ideas, I already use but you have reminded me to actually USE them.
    I love the idea of doing a bunch of small things to get going. I always try to tackle the biggest thing and then get frustrated that I haven’t finished anything.
    Plus, thank you for permission to take a break. I have a NetFlix sitting on the coffee table that has been calling my name for three days.
    Love you, girl!

  • http://organizedbyjenn.wordpress.com Jennifer

    Some totally great ideas! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jen McGuire

    Lain, I’m seriously overwhelmed too, so this was a great post. I need to go back and go over the time suck materials. Those were great! With working, volunteering at my son’s school, teaching Sunday school, getting my son to soccer three nights a week, helping with homework, training for a half-marathon, and just doing all the things required to feed and cloth my family, I get really stressed and overwhelmed. I really like what you said about reminding yourself you are overwhelmed with goodness. That definitely helps when I’m emptying the dishwasher on a daily basis! I’m just trying to take it day by day and plan ahead as I can. I’m loving the idea of taking a little break too. Luckily, running feels like a break!

  • sue

    I hear you loud and clear. My mother-in-law after a 3 week recovery after a fall and broken hip. It was a stressful time even though she was the model patient and worked hard on her rehab. She has returned home and we’re hoping for a full recovery. On top of that, I’m back a work with a full load of students and our son is getting married in October so there is much to do for that. I just need a weekend to bury my head in the sand (or maybe lay on the sand) and relax. Unfortunately, that won’t happen any time soon.

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