Feeling like you are behind is the biggest mood killer of them all. You have so much to do… ALL the time! Things to do for the kids, things to do for your job and then there are your own goals. No worries, you got this. Here’s how to catch up when you feel overwhelmed.
Do a brain dump
I’m not talking a to-do list. I’m saying take everything that’s swimming around in your head – nagging you how you should be doing it, berating you for being lazy – you know what I’m talking about. Write it all down on paper so it can’t bother you anymore.
Put that to-do list to the side. You won’t be needing it for a while. The reason we feel behind is that we feel like we have to do everything. And you know what, we don’t.
What happens is that we see our massive to-do list and it’s a little too overwhelming.
Those are the days that I retreat into Facebook and scroll through feeds – hoping that something will spark my attention. All to put off doing what’s on my to-do list.
Are you guilty of this?
- Putting off the stuff that’s hard for the lower brain power activities?
- Checking email?
- Checking Instagram?
- Keeping up with who needs which flavor of Girl Scout cookies?
I recently discovered this about myself.
I mean, I knew I procrastinated. But I never realized the reason why I was always rushing last minute to do things.
I put off what’s hard.
The laundry doesn’t get done because I need to sort all of my hand washed items out and I can’t remember what I can hand wash and what I can’t.
My desk doesn’t get cleaned off because I’m scared I’ll throw out something important.
These are semi-difficult decisions that our brains feel uncomfortable with. So we put off the discomfort until the last possible second.
And then, holy stressballs Batman… watch out.
So what to do when you have this desire to do EVERYTHING but you don’t have enough time? And your brain is working against you EVERY STEP of the way?
Plan Your Priorities
But doesn’t that just waste the precious few moments you have? I used to think so – which is why I never did it. In fact, it does the opposite. It helps me determine my priorities. Planning takes everything out of my head and puts it on paper.
I actually work on a series of 12-week goals.
- First, I plan my big goals for the 12 weeks.
- Then, I Iist the necessary tactics to get there.
- After that, I plan what I’m going tackle from those tactics this week.
- Then, I plan my specific day.
It’s crazy effective and keeps me focused. My brain can no longer put off what’s hard, because it’s right there on my list in front of me.
Now that you have your goals, you need to set aside the time to work on them.
This is the hard part. I don’t know if you’re this way, but I used to set goals and then magically think I would have the time to do them. Like just setting them would be enough to motivate me to change my entire habits and routines and spontaneously accomplish my goals.
It sounds silly, but please tell me I’m not the only one who operates this way.
Here’s the truth: If it doesn’t work on paper, it’s not going to work in real life. That’s why now, I set aside everyday from 9AM-12PM specifically for goal work.
During that time,
- don’t check facebook
- don’t check text messages
- don’t go catch up on last night’s Scandal
- don’t go searching for food since my first inclination is to eat when I have to do hard things.
Instead, I sit down at my computer and figure out whatever problem is plaguing me at the moment from reaching my goals.
Ever since I started time blocking, I’m making huge progress in reaching my goals. In fact right now I’m wrapping up one of my three hour blocks. In the past three hours, I’ve written SIX blog posts.
By doing a brain dump, setting your priorities and time blocking, you can get more done than you ever thought possible. Not only that, but you’ll also feel a lot less stress and won’t feel nearly as behind as before.