Friday, February 25, 2011

I Can't Believe It - What Happened?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and wondered, "What happened?" It seems all of a sudden there is more to do than you can possibly handle. You can't figure out where to even begin. You just want to go back to sleep and forget it all.
You are not alone. This happens at some point to all of us - but what to do now?
First, accept that, yes, you are not going to be able to do it all and a lot of it is important. So, you do a little triage. If I only do 3 things today, what should they be?
Write them down and figure out how much time you will devote to each of those big three. Then look over your list and prioritize the rest of the big items. Are any of the tasks ones you can delegate to someone else, get help on, or hire out? If so, a first priority would be to get someone else to commit to helping or do the tasks for you.
Put the "last possible" or deadline dates by the rest of the big items along with how long you think it will take to accomplish the task. Calendar in hand, mark the due dates for each task. Then go back in and schedule the times you are going to work on the tasks. Remember, we are now in overwhelm mode, so we are not striving for perfectionism. We are just trying to get these tasks off our back.
As you work on the big 3 each day you will have a little time here and there to do minor maintainable tasks- eat, sleep, take care of pets, laundry, etc. Do these tasks when you can. If you work from home, they can become breaks between the BIG projects. If you are in an office environment, many of these tasks can be done at home when you are too tired or your brain is too fried to do the BIG thinking tasks. Don't do the routine, maintenance tasks at your peak working times.
Now, this is not my favorite way to handle time management. I would much prefer to plan waaay ahead and be proactive. But when it comes to overwhelm time, this works best for me.
I would love some input as to how the rest of you handle overwhelm.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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