My life is awesome! In fact, I’m living the life of my dreams. But lately there’s been a little too much awesome. There’s so much great stuff in my life, but I’m having a hard time fitting everything in. There are all these great projects I’m working on, and there’s so much I want to do every day, and I’m not able to get it all done. Help!
Too Much of a Good Thing
Dear Too Much,
What a fabulous challenge. I’m happy to say that I’ve dealt with this regularly in my own life too! I think it’s one of the best problems to have.
But I also understand that being overwhelmed is not a fun feeling. Being freaked out about not getting things done by deadlines is also stressful.
I have a few favorite methods of facing this issue, each of which have worked for me in varying degrees at various times.
Start each morning by making a list of your highest priorities. I suggest keeping this list to no more than 5 things you must accomplish this day (some say 3 is even better.)
The key is that after you make this list, you start out doing tasks related only to item one until it is completed.
If you are working on a large project, and know that your focus will be on it for days, break down the project into specific steps. I don’t know about you, but I find it deeply rewarding to check off my lists! The list helps to keep me from getting distracted, allwoing me to be more productive.
There are many stories about gurus who meditate longer than usual before an especially busy or event-filled day. I understand why. The longer I meditate in the morning, the more focused I am able to be throughout the day.
As you move through your day, remember to breathe deeply. Holding the breath is a natural response to stress. This is great when you need to run for your life. But when you need to keep focusing on a task? Not so much.
Decide what you might use as cues to remind you to take deep breaths throughout your day. Then follow-through after the cues with deep breathing.
4) Step away
This one is the least intuitive. Take a break, you say? I don’t have time to take a break! But studies have shown that when we take more breaks throughout executing a task, we get more productive.
So stand up. Stretch. Walk around your block. Whatever you need to do so that you feel refreshed.
Often, I find that when I do this, it’s almost as if I’ve re-booted my own internal computer. I get more focused and successful at whatever it is I’m undertaking.
5) Let go
This one might be tougher. In fact, it might not even be right for your situation.
But sometimes, I need to look at my life and choose one thing to (even if temporarily) let go of.
There are times in life when we simply and truly have taken on too much! The only cure for this is deleting something from the list entirely, even if it is to be added back in later.
Finally, I have found in my own creative, packed-full life, that often all I need to do is remember that I LOVE having lots to do! Stress can be reframed as a challenge. I love challenges.
When I remember this, my stress changes. Then it’s not stress at all, but a game to see how much I can get done in a day – while, of course, being kind to myself in the process.
So yes – don’t forget to be kind to you!
Blessings and Love to you in all you do!
What is your experience with hectic schedules? Share your comments below!
Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org