You’re overwhelmed, I get it.
There’s just TOO MUCH to do, I get it.
But…. I also disagree. Stick with me here, let me explain that.
Overwhelm is not necessarily having too much to do, it’s most often a result of not knowing where to begin, which can FEEL like having too much to do. In reality, it’s too many options to choose from and is likely rooted in decision anxiety.
This is good news, because if you truly had too much to do, I couldn’t help you with a blog post. The only way to get that amount of things done, is to just start and keep working hard at it.
When we realize the issue is not knowing where to start, the solution is simple: decide where you are going to start.
The simple answer is that it doesn’t matter where you start. Just start and figure it out along the way. You could spend hours, days, weeks, years even trying to formulate your perfect plan of execution, which really accomplishes nothing, or you could start where you are with what you’ve got and figure it out along the way.
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
If you want to feel like you have your life together, you’ve got to learn to let go of some things. Get comfortable with the idea of not doing it all, ever.
You’d think we’d start with where to start, right? No, we’re going to start with deciding right now that we aren’t going to do it all. We’re going to do what’s important to us, we’re going to do what supports the people who are important to us, and we’re going to let go of our expectation to do it all.
You can’t do everything. What are you willing to let go of in order to hold onto what’s important?
Choose what’s important and impactful.
Before you make your master to do list, I want you to make a list of all your negative feelings and what’s causing those feelings. Get used to questioning what you’re feeling and why you are feeling that. Sometimes a negative feeling or thought can be easily overturned if we simply catch it before it manifests itself into a negative belief.
As we move into the next step, decide what is the most important and impactful – what’s really causing YOU the most stress right now and what 1 solution could resolve multiple problems? That’s a priority, friend.
Use a priority matrix.
1. If you don’t already have a master to do list, make one now by brain dumping everything that comes to mind that you feel needs to get done. Put a star next to the things that will help you overcome your negative feelings you listed earlier.
2. Plug it into a priority matrix.
Take each task on your to do list and determine its importance and urgency: chart it accordingly.
3. Now that you’ve organized your to do list, let’s do something about it. We’re going to work backwards, you’ll get why in a moment.
List 4, you’ve determined that these are neither important nor urgent, so why are they on your list? Cross them all off. These are time wasters and I’m not about to let you waste your precious time.
List 3, these are urgent but not important. This means they need to be done, but maybe not by YOU. Delegate what you can off this list. If passing it all off to someone else isn’t possible, maybe a family work day will solve this, recruit everyone to take a task or two and knock them out this Saturday.
List 2, these are important but not urgent. You need to do these, but not right now? Put this whole list in your planner for next week. You’re going to deal with these later.
List 1, finally. These are the things you’ve decided are important and urgent. This is your real to do list. These are the priorities that I want you to focus on this week. Pick 3 things each day to work on, set aside a specific time of the day that you’re going to work on these things, and get it done.
When all else fails…
Is using the priority matrix still stressing you out because you feel like absolutely everything needs to get done? If this is you, and it’s your entire life that feels like it’s falling apart because you just can’t decide what’s important for YOU and what’s important for home that’s too messy to even feel comfortable in?
Let me give you a few things here to start with.
1. Download my free Happy Mom’s Guide to Your Sanity. This is a quick mental reset to get you on track with finding quiet moments, seeking positivity and becoming intentional with your life.
2. Get started with systems and rhythms. I have found that the bane of my existence is dishes, laundry and toys, in that order. Determine what 3 things in your home are causing the most overwhelm for you every day – these are likely the 3 things you are putting on your to do list every single day and feel like you’re never caught up on.
Get into a habit of taking care of all these things every day by anchoring them to other activities. For example, I do my dishes before I cook dinner, then after dinner it’s easy to add what we just used to the washer and I only have one or two pans to clean. Much less overwhelming of a task than trying to do a full day or two of dishes when I’m ready to get the kids in bed.
Laundry, I start a load every day while coffee is brewing, dry it before lunch, and fold it in the afternoon.
For toys I have a rotation set up. I don’t want to spend more than 15 minutes cleaning them up each day, and I really want to teach my little kids how to clean them up themselves. If a 3 year old has 100 toys on the floor, they get super overwhelmed and can’t be expected to clean that themselves, but if they only have 10 toys out, we can teach them to clean those up pretty easily.
3. Set goals that move you in the direction you are meant to go.
Really think about the things that affect you the most. Too often we get into a habit of thinking things are important to us because we’ve been told they should be – things like cooking and cleaning and spending a lot of money on our kids. I want you to think about what’s really important to you, and WHY that’s important to you? Set your goals accordingly.
Pursue the things that bring you peace and joy.