Running To Stand Still

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Got Overwhelm? 12 steps to making a list that actually works.

Overwhelm have you frozen? Do you feel a bit like you are drowning?

Sometimes the amount of things we have to do seems completely beyond what we can handle. Our list is just too long and it seems to paralyze us. Sometimes the result is …we just shut down and do a whole lot of nothing.

“I have a million things to do…but I will get to it after one more (insert your favorite game or sitcom here!)”

It just seems easier to stare at a screen, veg out and do everything BUT the important things.

I totally get it. I have been there many times.  I have also figured out there ARE ways to get yourself back on track.

I am going to share with you a 12 step method that I have used for myself and with clients with GREAT results!

  1. Take a deep breath.  ( Yes…it really DOES help. )
  2. Clear yourself a space. Get rid of the pile on your table, your desk and free your mind a bit.
  3. Get yourself a nice blank pad of paper and pen (or a word document if that works better for you) Don’t be afraid to use some colours.
  4. Make a list. Make it as long as it needs to be.
  5. Have some big things on the list? Can they be broken down into smaller chunks? Do it!
  6. Beside each thing on the list, in brackets put how much time it will take ( Note: I almost always overestimate the time~set yourself up for success ! )
  7. Pick 3 things that are totally a priority and put a star beside them.
  8. What 1 item is causing you the most stress? What would it ACTUALLY take for you to accomplish it? Think about how it will feel when it is done. Can it be broken down into manageable slices? What can you do to accomplish this today?
  9. What is NEVER going to get done? Is there something hanging out on your list that is actually not needed anymore? Not even relevant or important? Not going to get done in the next year no matter what? Ditch it. Cross it off. Let it go.
  10. Add some SUPER EASY things to your list. I even put some things that are pretty automatic for me…like making the bed.  I use these to create some momentum for myself.  Momentum rocks.
  11. Get up and do something…and then use a bright colour to mark it off of your list.
  12. Take the time periodically to smile at the things you have checked off. Give yourself the credit you deserve for rocking your list!

A couple of hints…use the times to your advantage…only have 10 minutes? Take a glance at your list…what can be done in that time? It REALLY helps to knock off those little things.  Also…do you just LOVE playing Candy Crunchers or Farm Fixers? Great…do something on the list and then reward yourself with a SINGLE round, then another item, another round and so on. It is not as effective, but at least you will have some stuff done rather than find yourself 2 hours later with nothing accomplished. Have fun!

What are your best strategies to avoid overwhelm? Leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you!

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2014

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