Guest Blogger: Kelley Dawkins
Everyone feels overwhelmed at times. I find myself in this position more than I would like to admit and thought I’d share a process that has worked for me.
Step 1: Make a List
Make a list of everything that needs to get done, including the small steps necessary to complete the larger tasks. Everything!
Step 2: Figure Out What Can Wait
From that list, write everything that can wait until next week onto another piece of paper. Then, put it out of sight.
Seeing everything that needs to be done adds to the sense of overwhelm. Your tasks still need to get done, but not all are urgent. Your separate list will be there when you are ready to deal with it.
Step 3: Prioritize Your WeekPrioritize what remains on your list for this week. Number each task according to when you will perform it.
- Start with two things that can quickly be finished because crossing something off of the list is the good feeling. It kick starts the motivation, which makes it easier to move on to more complex tasks.
- Next is what must get done for life or business to continue functioning, like what is urgent due to time constraints or what causes you the most stress. Get it over with to relieve the stress!
From these, identify the longest tasks. This early stage is when you have the most energy and drive to get things done. Might as well use this energy to its fullest.
- Batch your tasks. For example, if you have to leave the house to do any of the items on your list, consider the location and take care of multiple errands in one trip.
- The last things on the list should be the least important or the quickest.
Step 4: Get It Done
Work your list using these tips:
- At the end of each day, write the next day's to-do list. This sets out a plan and ensures that nothing is forgotten.
- Review the list each morning to double check that it is prioritized correctly.
- If you can't fall asleep because you keep thinking of all the things that need to be done, place a piece of paper and pencil next to the bed so that you can write them down.
- Think about future projects and events. Are there things that can be done now to relieve the pressure later?
If the overwhelming feeling comes up again, stop for a cup of tea and remind yourself that you can only do one thing at a time and it’s okay to be human. Taking a breath in the middle revives the sense and renews your energy to continue navigating the list.
Repeat each week.
How do you organize your tasks?
About Our Guest Blogger
About her art, Kelley Dawkins (update: site no longer active) says she wants people to “feel like they have stepped into an alternate universe where they can play inside of color and feel the mood that the artwork conveys, like a wholesome acid trip.”