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

The List


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Two Great Secrets to Happiness

Double Rainbow! Taken from the side of Hwy 1

Double Rainbow! Taken from the side of Hwy 1

It always makes my heart hurt a little to see people rush through their lives. Statements like “ I wish this week was over so I can…” or “ I’ll be happy when…” are toxic. They create a constant underlying unhappiness and stress our systems. Let me tell you…when the week is over…You still won’t necessarily be happy and you are in no way attracting happiness to you.
I am a busy chick. I have my hands in a ton of pies. I am the first to admit I need to cull my activities a bit and it is something I am definitely working to change. Sometimes it can be completely overwhelming but most times I am happy with it even if my level of time commitments is significantly higher than most. I have a secret. Actually I have two of them.

Secret #1:
Eliminate the sentence “I’m bored” from your vocabulary.
Yes. I am being serious. This world is chock full of beauty, amazing people and new things to learn. My mom told my when I was 10 or 11…that only boring people ever get bored. I have to say of all the Mom-isms in my world…this is the one that has stuck with me the most. I have never wanted to be boring for sure! So…the next time you are feeling bored…stop immediately. You can. Go appreciate the beauty around you. Take a walk. Pay attention to your pet. Fix one of those 10 minute things that have been nagging your subconscious. Phone a friend. Learn something new. Get ENGAGED in your life. We are not put in these bodies to sit back and let the world entertain us. We must be the ones to put ourselves in motion. Ditch the words “I’m bored” for 6 months and I can virtually guarantee that you will not go back.

Secret #2:
Be Happy NOW…and Later too!
You can be happy when you win the lottery. I will even be happy for you. The thing is….if you are not practicing being happy NOW…even winning the lottery will be a short lived form of happiness. You are relying on OUTSIDE sources to make you happy when happiness is really an INSIDE project.
Take the time to allow joy into your life. There was a time that I thought that other people’s opinion of when I ‘should’ be happy was more important than mine. I allowed their practice of dissatisfaction to permeate my being. I became silently depressed and didn’t see a way out of it. One day I ‘woke up’ and said ‘Yes’ to myself, to my wellbeing. Even though some evenings I am running kids to 3 yes THREE different towns for activities…or I have 3 million (okay, 8 but it FEELS like 3 million some days!) projects on the go…I will still take a moment to pull over and take a picture of a rainbow. I will smile at 2 year olds in the grocery store. I will drop everything to help a friend in need. I look for opportunities to create random acts of kindness. Now, people wouldn’t blame me if I didn’t…but the thing is…you have to fill your cup daily. Many of these things take seconds. Take a moment to smell the roses, literally. Stop putting off being happy. Allow it into your world NOW.
If you adhere to the Law of Attraction then you will understand that being at a higher vibration will allow good things into your world, so you are really doing yourself a favor. If you think Law of Attraction is all hokey then consider this….If you are a happier person…will you be more relaxed? Will people find you more approachable? These are natural ways you can improve your relationships. The other thing is…it shifts your perspective. If you allow yourself to be happy…you will fight to keep that feeling. Your body and mind will crave it. You will rewire yourself to look for opportunities to be happy.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all added a few extra smiles to our day? What are your best secrets to win the Happiness Game?

©Jolie Engelbrecht 2013