What Not To Do When You Are Overwhelmed
When I’m overwhelmed and need to be really productive, I actually do something rather foolish. (Yes! I’m admitting it publicly on the internet!) Click below to watch the video or just keep on reading!
When I have a little bit of time to tackle my seemingly never ending to do list, I have a tendency to actually do NONE of the things on my to do list. I check Facebook. I get a snack. I dust the stair railings. I organize under the bathroom sink.
Why is it that when I have about five million things to do, and I finally have a chance to dive in and work on those things, I have a tendency to do nothing?
Well, the first reason is because I’m indecisive. The truth is, it’s unlikely that in the limited amount of time I have available that I'll be able to tackle my entire to do list, and so I’m going to have to say no to doing some of the things I’d like to get done. But it is hard to say “no” to doing things you want to do, and it’s easier to not start on anything at all, rather than to say “no” to a very good thing that you’re just not going to get to today. When I find myself “piddling around” – as my grandma would’ve said – it often means that I don’t want to have to decide what is and what is not going to get done.
I also tend to get very angry and very emotional when I find myself “wasting” the precious time that I have. I start to feel the weight of not being able to do it all, and honestly, I start to cry at any little thing. But instead of sitting in that negative emotion, I try and re-frame it. So many of the things I have to do are because I have so many wonderful blessings. I love my kids and family, I’m thankful for my home, I’m blessed to have a church family that I can participate in Bible classes with. When I re-frame my to do list and view it through the lens of gratitude, it makes such a difference. Because when I get up and start getting things done, I’m going to be coming at it from a place of gratitude.
Now, this may go without saying, but one thing I don’t do is I don’t try and multi-task or do it all. I ask myself what is most urgent, and I exclusively focus on the most urgent item on my list.
Brain dumping is a practice that also helps me clear my mind and figure out what to do next, and I’ve found that there is a good, better, and best way to brain dump. Check it out here!
I like time blocking my day. I make sure to book about a half-hour that I label “Regroup” It is a half hour of wiggle room that I give myself to catch up. (Afterall, some task finish quicker than I expected and others have some hiccups). But many times I use my Regroup time to just….do nothing, or nothing purposeful. And that’s OK. Little kids need their naptime, older kids benefit from quiet time. Why don’t we busy moms get to have a dedicated bit of downtime? We need to stop feeling guilty and start feeling more intentional about carving out time for a brain break.
Lynn R Says
I can’t wait for next week and brain dumping! This post is so very timely for me. I just went in to see my doctor because I thought I was depressed. Turns out I was just overwhelmed. I’m in a new-to-me house, so most of the things on my to do list revolve around organizing which means making decisions. After a year and a half of making decisions constantly (first selling old home, then buying new home, then having work done to bring new home to my standards), I’m so over decisions! It helps a tremendous amount to know I’m not the only one! Thanks so much!!