I'm learning that I can take steps to avoid feeling completely overwhelmed by the busyness of life. I'll provide some of those in this article. You might find that these ideas help you personally, or can be shared as an educational tool with the individuals with whom you live or work. If you have others to suggest, I hope you'll share those at www.socialincites.com, on our Facebook page, or by emailing me.
1. BE REALISTIC! If you always have too much on your to-do list or calendar, you're creating an environment where you're likely to feel constantly overwhelmed. Is there something you can skip (at least for today), or delegate to someone else? Are you spending too much time on one thing, whether it's a worthwhile pursuit or a bit of a "time-waster?" This week’s Social Incites™ is arriving in your inbox later than usual because I spent time with extended family over the weekend and decided my work could wait. (I hope no one minds!)
2. SPELL IT ALL OUT. Some people are better list-makers than others. But sometimes seeing it in writing can make it easier to identify things that can be eliminated and/or to designate top priority items. Sometimes I email myself a "to do" list or enter tasks as specific items on my calendar. And I typically hand-write little lists—although I don’t always remember to look at them, writing the items tends to help me remember to do them.
3. GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF TIME. I'll admit that I'm frequently tempted to stay in bed "just one more minute" in the morning, and to write "just one more email" before walking out the door for a meeting. However, those little details often end up making me feel like I'm rushing through my entire day, struggling to arrive or complete a task on time. Forcing myself to get out of bed or out the door a few minutes earlier (even if I need to set my watch a few minutes ahead of the true time) can make a huge difference in the way I feel throughout the day!
4. LIMIT DISTRACTIONS. Sometimes multi-tasking or sensory overload can negatively impact our productivity. When I really want to get things done, I turn off the TV, radio, and sometimes the telephone, and remind myself not to jump up to put in another load of laundry or to sort through the mail. I'm often surprised at how quickly I can complete a task when I devote myself to it 100 percent!
5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Eating healthy foods at regular intervals, getting physical exercise, and taking time to get a breath of fresh air can greatly improve both our attitude and our ability to get things done. Take time to nurture your friendships, especially if time with friends and loved ones lifts your spirits. If you find yourself overwhelmed to the point where you are unable to accomplish anything, you may need to consider getting some outside professional assistance.
Often, we simply need to keep things in perspective. Our activities, schedules, and deadlines can be managed, (if they can't be eliminated), with relatively simple steps so that they do not completely overwhelm us.
Wishing you an enjoyable week…and some time to just relax!