No matter how much you do all you hear is: how am I going to get it all done?! Seemingly inescapable, overwhelm has crept in. Now you are trying to figure out how to skim through this post, call the doctor, and wipe down the mess on the table next to you, all at the same time. How can you get on top of IT all when you are collapsing under it? Life seems as overwhelming as a to-do list; applying a few Life Hacks can set you free!
No sure what a Life Hack is? Read more about what Life Hacks are here. You’ll love it because, you’ll probably discover you’ve been a hacker for some time now!
More importantly, do you want to shut off the worry?
Go to a tropical destination in your mind. No, we are not going to meditate. Just go somewhere pleasant. Me, I like childless tropical destinations.
No picking up, putting away or repeating myself. I hate repeating myself! It’s one of the reasons I wrote Overcoming Groundhog Day Parenting.
In this place I’m free from the mundane tasks of day-to-day living with more me time.
If I were really going on vacation I would start planning. I would be downright happy with anticipation. I would start a list of everything I had to get done before I left. I’m sure, doubling my productivity in anticipation of the great escape! The reward/vacation is what makes it special.
The to-do list grows and grows like a blob attached to my backside slowing me down.
Three simple hacks can bring clarity to your to-do list:
So, when you ask yourself How Am I Going to Get IT All Done Apply Life Hacks in as easy as 1, 2, 3!
No. 1: Clear the Fear
Remember the tropical paradise and how relaxing it would be. Escaping responsibilities for a time. No worrying about dishes, checking the mail or whatever you hate any way. It is relaxation brought to you by solitude.
True, finding solitude where you are, not where you might be at some point in the future, will help you hear what is important.
- Sit down – just sit for a few moments and let your mind and body come together.
- After taking just a few moments, jot down what your most important goals are of the day. The mound of piling to-dos can create panic you might not even be aware you are experiencing. Think irritability.
- Ease the fear of not being able to get it all done by identifying what has to be done.
If you don’t remember anything about this post, PLEASE remember this:
Separate reality from the [time] monster under your bed, or rather, in your head by getting the to-dos out in the light of day. Think of it this way.
When I was a child, I was always TERRIBFIED something was under my bed. OMG, I would stress and stress about it. After wayyyyy too much time had been spent worrying I would finally muster up the courage to look under my bed. Always, to my chagrin, nothing would be there; I still struggled with it each night. Never being able to sleep well until I had looked. You’re to-dos are no different. So don’t waste time stressing, just look!
Still wondering How Am I Going to Get IT All Done? Life Hack No. 2 is awesome a way to approach denial of the monster.
No. 2: Prioritize or Get Paralyzed
Sadly, this one gets me more than I like to admit. It is similar to No. 1 except you deny you go through it every. damn. day! Depending on your brain to remember, you’ll soon find things falling through the proverbial cracks. When the to-dos begin to swirl around the gray matter you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Moving without confidence. Commitments pile up quick with four children! Like the way daylight makes you forget about the nighttime monster: soon, I feel as though I do not know what to do first. Things to ask yourself:
- Rank Tasks by Priority.
- Don’t Do Too Much at One Time.
- Review Your Schedule for Conflicts.
Know what is important. By not doing to much at one time you avoid neglecting tasks. For example, if you are preparing a document and booking a doctors appointment on the phone, odds are you will have a grammatical error in your document. No biggie; the errors and frustration adds up! I’ve double booked several times. Now, I review my calendar then commit.
No. 3: Schedule or Be Scheduled.
I once heard someone say if you don’t tell your money where to go, someone else will.
Time is no exception!
Is it your time or someone else’s time. An unscheduled lunch can hijack afternoon productivity. Schedule your day. If time with friends is important leave an hour open on Tuesday, if that is when Sally usually comes calling for a lunch buddy.
DO NOT forget to schedule me time. Recharge your batteries! REWARD yourself! This is IMPORTANT.
My fourth, and final (bonus) tip if you are still asking yourself How Am I Going to Get IT All Done:
No. 4: Mind the Time.
When the schedule becomes hectic, getting out of bed feels like a job in itself. Everyone experiences that. Remind yourself of that.
To loosely quote another blogger:
Wonder Woman isn’t real and neither is SuperMom. -Ruth Shoukup
All of the sudden, you have no energy. How can you get back on track?
Pick a task, big or small.
Start small if you feel weighed down. That means, during times of this mindset, even the smallest tasks can feel like they could break you.
Doing dishes in a good example. As soon as you are able, go to the sink. Begin the timer on your phone or some timer, and start washing. When the task is complete, stop, check the timer.
Create real time data with this data management exercise. It reminds you (and your brain) what is happening.
Here are the principals:
- Processing past data can lead to depression (e.g., I’ve failed here before and so on),
- analyzing future data creates anxiety because of overwhelm (e.g., too many variables), and
- present data is light, energy driving data, that IS really happening.
The result is freeing you from the past and future, thus experiencing real time.
Alternatively, allow a certain amount of time for a task. Set a timer for 10 minutes and clean the bathroom for 10 minutes. This discipline allows you to move on.
Practice. Task timing will combat feelings of not having enough time to get it all done.
New data input begins to overcome the confusing data.
Be cognizant of overwhelm. Implement task timing, especially when you do not want to do anything at all.
Having a plan WILL lower anxiety. Action WILL move you out of the past.
Slow down, write it down and in order of importance. How Am I Going to Get IT All Done? Ask yourself one question: have I shut off the worry or just stopped listening? Face your schedule, prioritize it and figure out what time you’re willing to share. If it all seems impossible, Mind the Time. Set your timer and get present. You are real and you ARE doing your the best you can with what you have.
Take a vacation. Or take staycation in your bathtub while you read 35 Ways to Get More Energy Naturally. I love number two!
Me time can recharge the lowest batteries. And if you are feeling your batteries are draining too fast, or you’re just having trouble staying charged up all day, check out my post on A Five-Point Assessment to Stay Charge Each Day.