Completely overwhelmed is what these two weeks could have felt like had I not took a step back and come up with a bit of a plan.
Let me start by telling you how I could have completely fell apart and let these two weeks defeat me, and keep me from enjoying two really big family occasions.
In a two week time span I've had, or will have the following things to do or participate in:
I don't know about you, but that list is enough to make me lose my mind if I don't sit down and think it all through and come up with some sort of plan as to how I can make all of this happen.
So here's how I approached this craziness that sometimes is my life.
Who am I kidding? This is USUALLY my life. ☺
With graduation approaching, I'm betting you too might have a very long to do list.
Gard cards to get in the mail, parties to plan, relatives coming to town to visit, etc...
I thought I'd share these tips to hopefully give you ideas to utilize when you have a super busy time in your life.
1.) Clean up: I know, I know, cleaning is probably on your to do list. But the first thing I did was go around and at least straighten things up. Clean off flat surfaces that tend to collect clutter. Sweep the floors quickly. Do the dishes. Just generally straighten up the things that make me feel overwhelmed when I walk through the house. For me, this helps me feel a little more under control and gives me a little more mental clarity. If you are a student, maybe this step is just cleaning up your room. That way when you're trying to focus on studying or doing homework, you're not overwhelmed or distracted by all the clutter around you.
2.) Brain dump Have you ever done a brain dump? It's super freeing to me. I just sit down and right down EVERYTHING I need to remember, think about, or do. This gets it all out of my mind, onto a piece of paper and allows me not to have to think about it all the time, and worry about forgetting something. When I know it's all safe somewhere that I can refer to, my brain suddenly feels much less burdened and overwhelmed. Which in turns allows me to work on the items on the list in a more focused way. After I put everything down on paper, I can prioritize what needs done and when. And sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can delegate some of the items to other people. If you are a student, this could mean writing down all the assignments that you have due, projects you need to work on, tests or finals you need to study for, things you need to do in preparation for graduation that is coming up soon, any tasks you need to do for college prep, etc... Once it's out of your brain, and down on paper, you can prioritize and start knocking things off your list. ☺
3.) Laundry Since this scenario included a trip for us, the next thing I did was start the laundry several days before we were leaving for the trip. As I finished laundry, I kept the items out that I knew we would need for the trip. My kids usually do their own laundry, but in the interest of keeping my sanity by not fighting with them to get their laundry done, I did it for them. After folding and hanging laundry, I kept the items that we needed to take on the trip, and gave the rest of it to them to put away. If you are a student, this step might be just doing your laundry and putting it away so that you know you won't have to worry about having your favorite clean clothes the week of finals when you're going to be so busy studying.
4.) Gathering place - The next thing I did after the laundry was started was set up a gathering place for everything trip related to go. Instead of having stuff scattered all of the house in various bedrooms, I found it easier to keep track of everything by keeping it all in one location. In this case, I used my dining room. I hung clothes that needed to remain hanging for the trip on the curtain rod, and used the table to gather other items on my list. Each time I think of or see something that needs to be packed, I can grab it and put it on the table. Again, easier for my brain to process and not get overwhelmed. If you are a student, maybe you're trying to pack for moving off to college and you need to set up a gathering place to put the things that you come across throughout the month before move in day, that you know you need to take with you. Instead of having items all over the place and rushing around last minute trying to remember if you have everything.
5.) Share your list - lastly I shared my list with the kids and husband. That way they are aware of everything that is going on, and how much stuff I have on my plate right now. I find that they are much more receptive to my request for help when they know I'm buried in work and to do's. For some reason they think I don't have much to do on a daily basis, and are shocked when they see that I don't just sit around eating ice cream and watching soap operas all day long while they are at school and work. If you are a student, and you have a lot of school work that you need to finish up before the end of the year, after you've done your brain dump, prioritized, and created you to do list, share it with your parents. This way they are aware of how much you have going on and won't be getting frustrated at you if your chores slip for a few days. Or maybe there are even some things on your list that your mom or dad could assist you with to lighten your load. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. ♥
Now that everything is figured out, written down, and organized, all I have to do is get to work on crossing off all of these tasks. There is just something about having an orderly space to work in, and a comprehensive list to refer to, that helps me stay focused and not panic. All I have to do now is sit down and power through!!!
I hope you found these tips to be helpful, and will be able to utilize some of them the next time your to do list is getting out of control and you're starting to feel stressed. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the brain dump if nothing else. I really does take so much pressure off, and allow you to have more clarity.
How about you? What tips can you share that help you stay focused, not overwhelmed and productive? I need all the ideas! Share them below in the comments.