If you’re feeling like there’s too much to do, things are backing up, and there’s just not enough time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed. Here are some tips to overcome:
- Gather up the “Action” items. Create a list of all the things you think you have to do — actions to take, bills to pay, phone calls, events, shopping, and anything weighing on your mind. Go down the list and ask yourself “what ACTION needs to be taken on this?” You may find some things are just “mental clutter” and not actionable and can be immediately eliminated.
- Say “No.” Remove extraneous items from your to-do list by writing down your top 5 “life priorities” and if items on your list don’t contribute, immediately scratch them off. Prevent future items from getting on your to do list by practicing this skill.
- Prioritize what’s real. Many times we identify tasks as high priority that really aren’t important and if everything’s marked “urgent”, nothing will get done. So review your to-do’s and be realistic about what’s a high priority.
- Delegate. Sometimes we get caught up thinking we have to do it all ourselves, but if you’re not getting things done the guilt and stress can be all-consuming.
So realize it’s ok to ask for help from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or hire someone to help, like an organizer or a virtual assistant like www.TasksEveryday.com. What items can you hand off to keep you focused on the “urgents”?
Be sure to tell the person you’ve delegated to the order you need things done, and assign deadlines for each task. It’ll prevent any confusion and frustration from either of you and hopefully keep them willing to help in the future.
- Estimate time-to-completion & block time. For truly urgent items you can’t delegate, split them two groups based on how long they will take:
- “2 minutes or less”
- “Takes longer to accomplish”
Then block a hour on your calendar to knock out as many 2 minute items as you can. Set a timer to keep you focused.
For “takes longer” items, schedule a specific time on your calendar you’ll work on them and just do it.
- Get a “body double.” If you work better with someone else around, ask someone to sit with you for a bit while you work things out.
Then don’t forget to reward yourself when you’re caught up and to express your gratitude to those who helped you.