Feeling overwhelmed with too much to do? Worried there is SO much to be done but only so little of you to go around? Stressed beyond belief? Don’t worry, you are not alone!
Below are helpful tips and tricks that help people combat that overwhelming sensation once and for all, while simultaneously tackling their (rather lengthy) to-do list!
TOP 10 TIPS
1) One task at a time.
When your to-do list begins to extend to multiple pages, it is easy to start and stop multiple projects. Instead, try not to dabble in too many areas at once. Giving all your attention to one task at a time will help you to check if off (not having to worry about it again) before going to the next. Not only will you complete tasks quicker, but you will also relish in the joy of checking off one item.
2) Determine what HAS to be done.
After determining what all has to be done, make sure you investigate what actually “has” to be done. In other words, address all urgent topics with upcoming deadlines putting the rest on the back-burner and future to-do list for when you are a bit less overwhelmed. Sure it would be nice to get that one particular thing done now, but not feeling completely overwhelmed is that much nicer.
3) Delegate as feasible.
While it often may seem that only you can complete things in a certain way, chances are others can complete the task for you with just a bit of direction. Additionally, those closest to you are not only willing but wanting to help whenever possible. If you aren’t opposed to delegating but fear others can complete a specific task of yours (i.e. perhaps it is specific to work and only you have the knowledge), than delegate other tasks that take very little direction or previous knowledge (i.e. cleaning the house).
4) It’s okay to say “NO”.
As much as you may hate having to let someone down, you are only human. As humans, we can only do so much. So while you may temporarily struggle with the idea of saying “no”, chances are you will be very grateful later on.
5) Ask for extensions.
Can you push that project back at all? Can that gathering with friends that you agreed to host be rescheduled for a couple of weeks from now? If at all possible, reschedule when you just have too much going on.
6) Choose a modified version.
Change up your original plan for a modified version. (i.e. If custom designing a large birthday cake for your child’s party is super important to you but you don’t have the time, perhaps create a smaller (much more feasible) cake and order a complimentary one to go with it for the remainder of your guests.)
7) Wake up early/stay up late.
You may be surprised how much extra time you achieve by waking up early or going to bed a bit later. Now, don’t be confused with limiting overall sleep. In fact, nothing is more critical than taking care of yourself with proper sleep, nutrition, etc. when you are already feeling overwhelmed or you will soon be fighting a sickness on top of everything else. However, even just waking 30 minutes earlier or going to bed 30 minutes later adds an extra hour to your day and your ability to conquer that to-do list.
8) Take advantage of the little stretches of time.
Sitting in the waiting room waiting for a doctor’s appointment?… why not use the time to make phone calls and order your food for an upcoming party. Waiting in the carpool line to pick up your little one from school?… why not use the opportunity to practice your pitch for work? We often tend to wait until larger stretches of “free-time” before we dive into our to-do list… however, often times, there are endless shorter stretches of time that can add up quite beneficially!
9) Take time to relax.
Now this may seem a bit ironic. After all, isn’t this entire list about finding time in the day to get done what NEEDS to be done… how is there possibly time to schedule relaxation? The beauty of finding time to relax/do what makes you happy is that you will likely return refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list with that much more motivation. The best part is that relaxation time can be very brief in nature (think a bubble bath, watching a 30 minute television show, or going for a run).
10) Stay organized.
Often times we think we are beyond overwhelmed when we have a million thoughts swimming around in our head. However, when we then take the time to jot them down, we often find that our list is rather manageable. This leads to my core strategy and recommendation for how to overall cut back on feeling overwhelmed when you have just too much to do…
- Make a list of what needs to be done by jotting down a master list. Ideally break up tasks into main categories (i.e. work related, housework, party planning, etc.)
- Determine how long you have to complete the tasks. Does everything need to be done in the next week? Do you have two weeks? You will next want to get a weekly calendar or two (dependent upon how many weeks out you plan to schedule). (Download one for FREE here)
- Now, one by one assign the items on your list to a specific day (can span overall several weeks as needed). Make sure to only assign as many things per day as seems reasonable as there is no need to overwhelm yourself further.
- Now that your list is completed, stick to focusing on only one day at a time trying not to worry about the next day or week. By only focusing on the present day, you cut back on the overwhelming sensation. Once completing all the tasks in a certain day, if time allows, you can then move on to the next day ahead of time.
I’m most hopeful you will find the above tips helpful! Above all else… don’t forget to breathe!