My go-to trick when I’m feeling overwhelmed
We’ve all been there — our mental to-do list is piling up, the day is flying by and everyone & their mother decides they need to contact you all at the same time. So naturally, after trying to do everything at once yet somehow accomplishing NOTHING, you shut your devices off & binge watch the Great British Baking Show a good bit past your bedtime.
And then you can’t sleep because your mind is still racing.
That’s been me more times than I can count. BUT I’ve found a little trick that helps me cope with feeling overwhelmed and underproductive.
I write everything down. And I mean EVERYTHING.
I used to keep my to-do list to just things that were work-related. “Check in with this bride, send this questionnaire, edit that session.” I kept my to-do list nice & tidy.
But honestly, that’s not what my days look like. In between sending emails and editing photos, sometimes I need to do laundry. Or wash dishes. Or go to the gym. Or schedule that appointment.
One day I realized something. If these extra things are adding to my stress, why am I not rewarding myself for completing them like I would any other task?
I unlocked my golden rule: WRITE. IT DOWN. Anything I need to do that day, work-related or not. I might feel silly checking off a box that says, “Meal prep for tomorrow,” but at the end of the day I’m going to be much more content with what I was able to accomplish because I recognized that meal prepping took a chunk out of my day.
The same thing applies to big projects. I’ll take one look at a massive bullet on my to-do list and immediately move on to the next, smaller box that I know I can check by the end of the day, leaving that first box unchecked for days/weeks/months.
Then I started breaking it down. That big, scary checkbox? It’s now 15 smaller boxes. 15 separate tasks. Even if I do one of those tasks each day, that means I get my big project done in just 15 days instead of pushing it back for months.
Focus on the little things, and do them well.
Then, in time, the little things add up and suddenly you’re doing the big, scary things you were intimidated by, and you’re hitting them out of the park!!
That’s what I was reminded of by this week’s quote in my daily planner: “Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.” – Lord Chesterfield
I think that can be taken many different ways. But right now, as I’m overwhelmed by my goals and visions, I’m reminded to focus on doing the little tasks well. And I have hope that they will, in time, turn into those big things I’m dreaming of doing.