We all juggle lots of different plates right? Most of us have a job, perhaps two jobs, a family to look after, children to perhaps look after, taking time to look after ourselves and our health, making sure we are eating the right things, spending time with friends and we are all expected or at least we put the pressure on ourselves to do this all at the same time!
And due to us putting all this pressure on ourselves to achieve everything in one 16 hour day (making sure we have 8 hours rest too...) we often become overwhelmed and question whether we can do it, are we good enough, why am I stressed, have I taken on too much or we suffer from burn out and are then fit for nothing!
Well to help combat these negative thoughts, help prevent burn out and try to help you juggle multiple plates a little bit easier, I thought I would share with you some tips on how I help myself from feeling overwhelmed.
Before we begin, I thought I would share with you the projects I have running at the moment to help give the tips some context. I of course make time to run Lifeful Lifestyle but I also have a Body Shop at Home Business as well as two 20 hour jobs. I also ensure I spend time with my partner, family and friends as well as have some me time. So as you can see, a lot to fit into my day and week however I appreciate some people may have more or less to fit into their day which is ok. The purpose of this blog post is to share the tips that have helped me and in turn I hope they help you also!
So let's begin....
Have a To Do List
At the end of every evening or the beginning of your day, organise your thoughts and to do's into one gigantic to-do list. I would recommend also having a to do list that is on-going so you can add various different tasks that crop up or that you think of so you can then priorities them into order of importance (we will get into this in a second).
Ensuring that you have something to refer back to throughout the day, like a to do list, so you can stay on track and tick off your to do's as you go is both rewarding and effective.
Have a Plan + Prioritise
From your gigantic to do list, I would then suggest prioritising your tasks in order of importance. For example, paying your car insurance on time may be more important than going out with your friend of a coffee. Of course both are important and mean something to you but if you don't have a insured car to travel in then you won't be able to meet up with your friend...
To help with prioritisation, I like to use the Time Management Matrix. It helps you to distinguish what is a urgent and an important priority to what would be nice to do if I had some free time.
Once you've worked out your priorities, you can then plan your day or week based on this. I would suggest having your more important tasks to do at the beginning of the week and then your not so important to do's either scheduled into free time or pushed back to the end of the week.
Break It Down
Following on from my previous point, if you are working towards a big goal or you have a project at work that is on-going and has multiple layers and tasks attached to it and you are feeling overwhelmed by it, then break it down.
Write your goal at the top of the page and then work backwards. Something I like to use in coaching is the overarching plan. You start with your end goal and then come up with 4-5 milestones (mini goals) which signal to you that you are getting closer to your goal. Then within each of these milestones, write down 4-6 manageable actions to help you achieve each milestone.
Now you have your plan and to do's in order you now have to put in the discipline to achieve the tasks and plan you have set in place. However don't be too hard on yourself as life happens and plans change but if you have the intention of trying to stick to your plan, you are half way there.
Carry a Notebook With You Everywhere!
It can be so easy talking to someone and saying 'yes I'll do that' and then forget what it is that you said you would do. Or at least it is for me! So I like to either carry a notebook around with me or I will write down to do's or notes on my phone so that I can try and stay organised and efficient.
Make Sure to Take Breaks
No matter how busy you are, making time for self care, even if it is making your favourite drink or saying no to something is super important. You need time to allow yourself to recharge and reset ready for the next task or challenge you may face otherwise you will just burn out!
I hope from this blog post you are now feeling less overwhelmed and ready to use this Bank Holiday weekend and the start of the new month to prioritise your tasks and feel more accomplished in whatever area(s) of life it is you are looking to improve or juggle.
Let me know in the comments if you have any further tips for dealing with overwhelm. Let's all help each other :)