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Life Is Busy - Part 2

MAKE SMALLER LISTS


Life is busy.

Do you ever feel like you’re going through your day, just running around, doing All The Things, and feeling like you are putting out one fire after another?


When I’m stressed out and not using my day timer it often feels like All The Things become a swirling cloud. It feels dark, ominous, and threatens to collapse on my head when I am too tired to hold up my Umbrella Of Control any more.


In Life Is Busy – Part 1 I shared how writing down All The Things became a habit for me that took away their threatening power. By learning how to break through the power of confusion, indecision or forgetfulness and turn the thoughts and tasks into bite-sized possibilities by writing them down, they became things I could realistically tackle and manage. I could prioritize now rather than scrambling to complete (or ignore) the next pressing thing that demanded my attention. The words themselves, when put down by my own hand into a weekly schedule, became their own accountability check to ensure that they were addressed and completed in a reasonable timeframe.


But what happens when it doesn’t work like that? What happens when writing down all the things in a giant To Do list just becomes another thing that stresses you out? When the list is as long as your arm and only serves to shame or condemn you with another list of failure and insufficiency?


Feeling overwhelmed with all the things we need to do can be totally normal.

Work – schedules, pressures, and things we need to do

Home – meal planning, cooking, cleaning, shopping, social activities

Personal – hobbies, exercise, appointments for doctors, beauty and well everything

Spouse – romance, relationship, expectations

Kids – more and more and more of the above!

It can be enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed!


Give yourself a break


Some days, you don't have to be a rock star and do it all.

Look over your list and determine the Top Three things that must get done today and create a plan to get them done. I know it might not feel like it makes a difference in the big picture but three today, three tomorrow, and three the day after that can whittle down that list while ensuring that the most important things get dealt with. Once you get on a roll and start feeling like things are under some semblance of control, you can check off more and more tasks until you are back to your regularly scheduled program of adulting awesomeness.


HOWEVER, if you're in a really rough place (and I know I have been at times) give yourself enough grace to choose the one thing that is the most critical. Do it as soon as possible - don't procrastinate, it's only one thing and today it's just not optional.


How did that go? Can you possibly take on one more of these three? If not, that's okay too but you might just feel encouraged enough to give it a shot. If two is all you can manage today - that's perfect. You're probably two steps ahead of where you were yesterday.


If by now your mood has picked up, go for the hat-trick and do all three. But only if you feel like it. Your non-negotiable was one thing, your goal was two things, three is a bonus on those rough days!


Yes, I understand that only doing two or three things a day isn't going to make a dent in that list because new things are going to get added each day. But life can be tough, and looking after your mental wellness can be too. There are so many things that can take us down: grief, sickness, loss, chronic pain, depression and so much more. By creating a structure that encourages you to keep going, however slowly, you may find yourself able to handle the larger day timer reminders on a more regular basis. Trust that not every day is going to be this bad forever.


If you're finding that it really is dragging out far too long; please consider seeing your doctor or another health professional who can help you find and utilize additional supports you may need.



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