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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 things to do when you are overwhelmed

I take on too much. It's my thing. 
 I agree to basically everything and am often scrambling to make sure it all gets done up to my own ridiculous standards.

Right now? I'm prepping for Jake's birthday party in less than three weeks {we do a big blow out party in our backyard}, which means party prep and house prep. And I'm helping with several things for my brother's wedding the following week. March is a hectic month and at this very moment, I'm a little nervous about finishing everything in time.

How do you handle being overwhelmed with things to complete?
Well, here's my usual strategy...

1. Get organized. For me, this always means making a list. Some folks are paper list people. Others like to have something in their phone they can refer to. I'd say, whichever works for you as long as it works. 
One of my most used iPhone apps is the Do! app.

It's a great {and simple} app that helps you get daily or weekly to do lists super organized. 

Say you have a boring day of housework and errands. Just list your tasks, then use all the Do! options to organize them. You can assign dates, pin certain tasks to the top of the list, add alerts to particular tasks, and even color code things. When you finish something on the list, you still have the satisfaction of scratching it off your list and seeing how much you've accomplished. 
It's must have for me!

2. Prioritize. Once you have your list made, look over it and see what needs to be done asap and what might can wait. Take care of things that are weather, nap time, event (etc) sensitive first. Be realistic with your availability and the tasks that carry the most value. 
On your list, you can mark these items and you'll already know where to start!

3. Avoid distractions. Maybe one of my biggest issues. I always have things recorded on the DVR {y'all, I still haven't watched the season finale of Downton Abby, waaah!} books to read, things to shop for and fun creations to make. Add in an almost three year old and I'm Distraction City. 
But when you've set time aside to complete something, do everything in your power to make it happen. For me that might mean settling in a room of the house without a TV. Or setting Jake up with a stack of puzzles or a game to play by himself for awhile.

{distractions at my house.. }

4. Ask for help. I doubt your friends or family want to fold your underwear or take care of your dust bunnies, but I'd bet that if you're in need of an extra set of hands, you have some folks that would happily help you stamp envelopes or watch your minions. 
Truth? I'm really bad at this. As an independent to the core, I hate it. But in recent times, I have tried to rely on others more. J.B. is one of the most helpful people I know, lucky me! I might not ask him to use his chicken scratching to create all the place cards for my brother's rehearsal dinner, but he can certainly help me set up and prep everything so I can write them out quickly.
So ask for help! Share the burden!

5. Let it go. No, don't sing Frozen at the top of your lungs {unless that helps?}. But in the end if it all just can't get done, let some things go. Utilize your priority list and lighten your load. I wish I had a dime for how often I have to tell myself "you can't do it all, and that's okay".
It seems like there's so much pressure to to be the perfect mom or perfect employee or the perfect housekeeper. But no one is perfect. So take some joy in that and let yourself off the hook. You work hard. Keep that up and be proud of yourself!

Maybe this seemed like a post that was supposed to help you out. It really wasn't. 
It was a reminder to myself today. I need to take a load off and step back. I enjoy prepping for Jake's party. I enjoy revamping things around my house. And I enjoy helping out with my brother's wedding. But the craziness I put on myself robs me of any fun.
So know today that you're not alone. Just work hard and do what you can. And when all else fails... sing Frozen at the top of your lungs.


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