Feeling Overwhelmed?

Attack of the Sticky Notes

Do you sometimes feel that you’re drowning in details and minutiae? Have you got too many things running around in your head? Feeling overwhelmed by it all?  Does it make you feel that you can never reach the bigger goals because the little stuff is dragging you down?

Congratulations!  You are not an alien and you are not alone.

However, some people handle it better than others, and so there must be something that can be done about it.  And there ARE many techniques you can chose from, but let’s say at the outset that curling up in a ball in your bed and staying there, or taking medication to try and block it all out are not the most ideal solutions.

The first step really is the opposite of hiding … it is to fully confront or face up to the problems. You can re-organize your life or systems later so you never get to this point again.  But first, let’s clear out the noise and overwhelm.

One system that seems to work for a lot of people is to sit down in a quiet space and write down every single thing that is incomplete or on your mind. Don’t worry about the sequence of the items yet, just write them down as they occur to you. Don’t get into thinking about what to do about any of them yet.  This step actually may take more than one sitting … don’t get anxious about that.  Just set a time frame of two days to write everything down and take the paper and pen with you so that you can keep writing them down as they occur to you, even when you wake up and when you are going to sleep.

When that is done, you can do another step if you want or you can jump to the next paragraph.  The optional action is to put the items on your list into categories, i.e. home, work, kids, cottage, etc.

Next make a little box in front of each item on the list for putting a tick in as you accomplish each thing.

Now, you have to decide to play a game with yourself to see how fast you can honestly get each item on the list handled. Hint, you may find it best to start with the easiest thing and when done, make a short ceremony of ticking it off the list.   Then the next easiest and so on.  Build up momentum for when you get to the bigger issues.

You can diarize or put on your calendar when you will have each thing or the whole list done. Another hint:  the more pressure you put on yourself and the faster you get these things off your mind, the better you will feel and your morale will experience a nice boost.

Work out a major reward for yourself when you are done the whole list.  This needs to act as your “carrot” (prize) commensurate with the size of the accomplishment.

Once you have cleared your head, you can move into future planning!

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