Time. Not enough time. A busy time. Lack of time. Sorry, no time.
You’ve probably been there, feeling like you don’t have enough time for what should be done.
Deadlines, agendas, to-do lists, calendars, expectations, post-it notes, they never end. There’s so much to do, in so little time. So, how do you cope with this reality?
Mind shift is the key but it’s not an easy one. Spending energy thinking about the fact you have so much to do won’t help when you’re actually on the journey to get things done. You need to have the right headspace to prioritize, accept changes and hustle through.
When I’m in the wrong headspace, confused with the amount of tasks I have to do such as disorganized post-it notes all over my wall and an agenda full of unchecked boxes, I know a melt-down is near!
Thankfully over the years I’ve learned how to acknowledge the symptoms of the time-lacking-swell-of-anxiety and I go through these few steps to get back on track.
Let’s break it down shall we:
- Get your thoughts all on one page whether it’s a sticky note, notebook or whiteboard, take your pick! We’ll call this the BIG LIST.
- Look at each point on the list and draw a star * beside the time sensitive items. Be sure not to star them all even if they’re all supposed to be done ASAP... they really need to be prioritized, try to star around 5-10 points only.
- Out of those stared points, choose 3-5 of them. Add an estimated completion time beside each one and label them #1, #2, #3 depending on importance or convenience.
- Once you’re done with these 3-5 stared points, check them off your list, pat yourself on the back and choose your next 3-5 starred points. Once all starred points are done, continue the same process with the other items on the BIG LIST.
When you’re compiling your small lists into the BIG LIST keep these questions in mind to help you actually accomplish all of your points.
- Do I really need to do this task or did I take this on because I couldn’t say no?
- Does this task actually benefit me or can I live without getting it done?
- Is there someone else who can help me with accomplishing this task or fully take it on for me?
Often we add things to our list almost as “filtered tasks” that can overwhelm us.
Let me give you an example.
For the longest time I would literally write “make my bed” on my to-do list for the day and if I didn’t get that done because of other high priority, I’d get all stressed out about it! Finally, one day I asked myself “Will my day be ruined if my bed actually isn’t made?” The answer was no. I let that task go. Now there’s one less thing on my already full list! Now, I’m not suggesting making your bed isn’t a good idea (and for the record I do make my bed now on a regular basis!) but it's definitely a "filler task" and I choose not to stress over it!
We all have the same 24 hours in the day, so make yours count!
I would love to hear what tasks are bogging you down or making you feel overwhelmed! Let me know your questions and comments below!