Overwhelm: Causes and Cures | Too Much To Do

overwhelm too much to do
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Do you ever experience overwhelm?
Overwhelm caused by having too much to do?

I know there are days I do.
It might be that a bunch of meetings and appointments all happened on one day. Or maybe there was procrastination involved. Or, maybe the day just got away from us.
All of these happen, and when they do, we just do our best and move on.

We can have some control over our time, however.

 

CAUSE

Busy, Busy, Busy. So many things to do, and, seemingly, not enough time to do them

 

 

PREVENTION & CURES

 
Time Mapping

This needs to occur every week. Map out your responsibilities each week on a time map. A time map is a layout of the time we are awake laid out in 30-minute increments. A time map gives you a clearer picture of how much time you actually have.
Doing this will show you if you have more time than you think or if you are trying to do too much and really don’t have enough time.

Prioritizing

If you find you have too much to do, it’s time to prioritize. Take a look at the time map you created.
First, make a list of your to do’s for the week. Out of that list, choose your top priorities for the week. Then, schedule these things into your calendar.
Please be sure to include play and relaxation into your calendar. It can’t be all about work.
Do you find you still have things that need to be done? Then it’s time to take a serious look at the things that are left to do.
Can they be either deleted from your to-do list or be delegated to someone else?

Delegating & Deleting 

In this day and age, there are a lot of people that are doing it on their own. Singles and single parents. And, there isn’t anything they can do to change it, so, they have to figure something else out.

Single parenting is hard. I was one, so I know how hard it is. You are doing the job of two people. If you don’t delegate and ask for help, it’s and even harder job!
Maybe there are some things you need to delegate, or just let go.
I had two small girls and not one bit of help from anyone. There was no way I could afford help so  I had to prioritize and delegate.
I delegated age appropriate chores to the girls and I assigned a time to do them. I did the same for myself.
They were posted on the fridge even when they couldn’t read. That way I didn’t have to commit to memory their schedule and my schedule. A quick glance and it was clear what needed to be done.
Once they were old enough to read, they were expected to look at the chart and do what had been delegated to them. I will admit though that some chores weren’t  our number one concern.
Work, school, playtime, and activities were.

Because of this choice, our house was clean, but sometimes messy. There were often dishes in the sink, but, I was ok with that because I had clear priorities, and they weren’t necessarily chores. Things got done, just not maybe as often as they should have been done. 

Single is hard. You are the one and only responsible for everything! If you can afford to hire help, do. If you can’t, maybe check out YouTube or ask a friend or family member for help. If that can’t happen, please give yourself grace and know that things are either going to take longer since you are doing it for yourself, or, maybe it’s not time to undertake another thing at this time. Delete that thing from  your list for now.

Scheduling

Once prioritization and delegation have taken place, you can schedule time in your calendar to do the things you want or need to do. Make sure you allot enough time for each item. We often underestimate how long something will take. If you think it will take an hour, schedule out 90 minutes, and so on.
After awhile you will get the hang of it and will be able to schedule more accurately.

Creating Routines

I mentioned the girls had chores, and they were assigned times to do them. This may sound rigid, but, it was the only way things worked.
Were we perfect? No, we weren’t.
There were times we went going out of town or playing in the sunshine took priorities over our chores. We eventually got the chores done in order to keep our house livable. There were chores that couldn’t be overlooked though, like feeding the cat.
Routines established order and calm in our home. The girls and myself knew what we needed to do and when we needed to do it. And, most of the time we did just what we had planned. In 5 Routines to Simplify Your Day, I share some routines that will make each day a little easier. 

 

Use time wisely

If we choose to wile away the hours in front of the television, on social media, Pinterest or playing video games, we generally aren’t using our time wisely. These are distractions that often keep us from getting things done and realizing our goals.
How do I know this? Because I am guilty of this.

One day when creating a time map (see above) I mapped out my time and found I had more than enough time to get the things done I needed to do, but, I wasn’t getting them done. What I discovered is that I was letting other, less important things get in the way of  getting the important things done.
I am working hard at changing this, but, it’s not easy.

This may not be the case for you. You may truly be lacking in time. Take a look anyway and see if you are spending time on inconsequential things.
You may be surprised where you are spending your time.

Take Action:

Give one of the above cures a try each week for a month. And then let me know how things went and which cure was helpful.

 

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