The overwhelm of my to-do list…
About two years ago – and before I learned that it was okay to say no to things – I PACKED SO MUCH into my schedule…
There were sooo many times that would fill up pages of my to-do list. As I’d stare at my list, I could feel my heart rate start to rise…
Ok, start here. I can do this first, then this… Still, the rise would continue and my mind started to race. The overwhelm swirled through me as I attempted to try to talk myself down. It would be fine… right?
But it always seemed to go the same way… I’d start on things, go to work, and drive home with a plan in my head. I was going to do this first, then that, then have some time to start this…
So, I’d get home, with my plan.
And instead, I’d fall to my exhaustion and decide to take a quick nap instead…
I was exhausted!
Even worse, my motivation would be lost when I woke to when I realized that I even lost more time…
Clearly, this wasn’t productive, and simply, wasn’t working!
How do you maintain it? How do you have enough? Or how can you have so much energy at times, and zilch when you think you really need it?!
Let’s just say I learned the hard way when it came to my to-do list…
Stress, anxiety, worry, overwhelm, spreading yourself thin, etc. are your biggest ENERGY SUCK!
Think about this for a moment:
Just today, how much of your energy did you spend in worry? On an issue? In a decision? In an overwhelming state that you really thought about and tried to fix or solve?
With that in mind, how much of this energy was spent focused on another person’s story, issues, challenges, or decisions?
Do you have it in mind?
Because those moments have become leaks in your energy system that you will need to find, recognize, and learn to patch them up before all of your energy spills out!
Now, I’m not telling you to ignore other people and their challenges. Especially when your friends and family may need you to listen and get your advice…
You need to be mindful of your energy, and gentle with where you use it.
I mean, think of it this way.
What would you rather be giving your time, energy, and attentiveness to?
Family? Passions? Business? Traveling?
Or just simply enjoying taking the moment in as you sit soaking in everything around you, and find an inner peace within your energy. Right. In. That. Moment.
I can say first hand, that I’ve been through this realization: Overwhelm was not a place I wanted to be. Nor was it serving me and my plans, goals, and visions!
Even more, I knew I had to make a clear change in order to grow.
To help you in your overwhelm, I want to share how I recreated the purpose of my to-do list and shifted to better reserve my energy.
How to Prioritize & Alleviate Overwhelm
Get everything out.
I know lists are overwhelming, but this is where you have to start and we’ll work off of this from here. I’ve always hated having to try to remember everything in my head – my biggest energy leak! When you keep everything inside of your head, you miss things, you forget, or you remind yourself over and over again so that you try harder to remember it, expending way more energy than you need to. Write it down! Get it all out of your head – anything you can think of.
Tip: I always have a notebook with me. I can easily write down ideas, thoughts, reminders, or anything I need to just get out of my head and know that I can come back to it later.
What are the things you can group together? Are they under the same project? Will they work like steps in a process? Or you may even group things that happen on the same day – deadlines.
Tip: Post-it notes are AMAZING for this!
Assess & Purge.
Ok, this one is more difficult. Look at each thing you listed. First, what are some of the things that have been sitting on your list FOREVER that you still haven’t done yet? Do you really need to do it? Or did you think you needed to do it? Really assess these. Maybe you at least don’t have to do it right now – it can wait. And second, what do you NOT need to do? Take these off your list!
Tip: If it makes you feel better, you can always start another list. One that’s out of sight and that you can come back to later. I call my my Ice Box – things I freeze and can thaw out later if I need to.
Quick Check Offs.
Take another look through. What are some of the things you wrote down that you could complete quickly? Maybe you need to start the laundry. Maybe you need to call your mom for her birthday. Maybe you need to send a confirmation or reminder email to a client. The quick things – under 10 minutes – that you can start with and quickly complete them and get them off your list. Do these FIRST!
Tip: These first things will kickstart your motivation! Why? Because you will get instant gratification getting these done, checking them off, and feeling accomplished. CELEBRATE these little successes! Because the feeling of accomplishment is a feeling you will start CRAVING!
Which projects need to be done first. Do they have an order – first, second, third? Are there ones that can wait? Organize your list by this first.
Tip: Again, Post-its are great because you can easily move these around as needed to quickly re-prioritize if something else comes up.
Look at the calendar and determine when a certain task or project needs completed. If I have a coaching call on Thursday, then by Wednesday I want to have my prepping complete and I know that I will need to follow-up by Friday. These are dates you can easily associate with each task, while easing your psyche that you don’t have to do all tasks all at once. Instead, you have one scheduled per day based on your timeline – allowing you the time and energy to to conserve.
I LIVE off my Google calendar! I can schedule anything and everything, set reminders, and even color-code everything to make sense to my creative brain. Clearly, this is what works for me, but I encourage you to find a scheduling system that works for you. Maybe you have a written day planner, a wall calendar, a Kanban board. Whatever you find and enjoy, use it to simply schedule in these tasks by the day and hour you will work on them – getting them off your list, into your plan, out of sight and mind until the time you actually work on it. No worry. No stress. No overwhelm. Voila, energy saved!
Bonus Tip: If there is still too much and you can’t possibly fit into your schedule, especially by the deadline, you need to assess where you can give tasks away. This may mean you need to ask your husband or family for help or finding someone to outsource to. Don’t ever be afraid to ask and delegate!
Getting out of the busy-ness and the state of overwhelm can be extremely difficult. Especially when you are so used to living in it… I encourage you to try this. Allow yourself to adapt to it. And understand that you need to make changes in order to up-level and grow, personally and professionally.
You have to become your own mechanic:
You can generate time and energy by mechanically patching up and re-designing the flow of your engine – reserving it for the things that matter most.
p.s. Still feeling a bit overwhelmed? Are there too many things you still have on your list that you need to do to get your business started? I can help you work through what you think you need to do and what you actually should to, design and schedule out your plan, and get you feeling confident about your to-do list! Let’s chat about it!
Schedule your Free Discovery Call I want to help you create a plan of action that you feel excited about, and will be successful in completing!
Is your soul screaming yes at this post? Share your to-do list overwhelm in the comments below! Or share on your social profiles!
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