Emotionally, it was frustrating me as it felt like my internal thought "wires" weren't quite connecting and I wasn't getting anything done. I was irritable, short on patience, and couldn't keep a thought long enough to implement action on anything.
After going through the exercise below, I was shocked to find that I had 50+ tasks zinging around in my mind (NO WONDER I couldn't get anything done). After going thorough the process below, I felt back in control, became a nicer person to be around, and definitely become more productive.
I am running into more and more people these days who are feeling the same who are saying statements such as:
1. Start with a blank piece of paper and write EVERY "to do" item flying through your head. Use 1-3 word descriptions and don't spend a lot of time on this - write it quickly and continue to write as things come to mind.
2. Continue writing until you have EMPTIED the swimming to do tasks around in your brain.
3. STOP and look at your list. Give yourself credit for being incredibly intelligent to have that many thoughts roaming around your head!
4. Highlight the items that will take you less than 5 minutes to complete and write them on your IMMEDIATE to do list. Carve out some time immediately after your brain dump session to knock these out. If you have more items than you have time, give yourself a break and accomplish what you can. Be intentional and carve out time to complete the rest when you can (note, if you are still not able to complete these, take a look at your schedule and determine if time wasting things like TV can be knocked off the list to make room for the essential things you want to get done).
5. Highlight up to 3 things that are MOST important to you to get done this week. What things are going to make you feel great if you accomplish those key things this week. This is now your "Top 3 Priority List for the Week." As you accomplish each item for the week, be sure to cross them off.
6. From there, list out up to 3 things you can do today to get you closer to your goals for the week. This is now your "Top 3 Priority List for Today." As you accomplish your priorities, be sure to cross each item off that you accomplish.
7. Set aside your "brain dump" list of things and review them after the week is done. When next week comes, cross off the things that are no longer relevant. Carry them over to your "new brain dump list" for the week and go through steps 1-6 to start the process for this week. Lastly, be sure to dump the "old" outdated list from the week before so you don't get overwhelmed with outdated list - TOSS it away and keep starting out fresh each week.
So if you having issues with feeling overwhelmed in the moment, give my " brain dump " exercise a try. For me, it has helped to bring clarity, focus, and perspective in during those times of "frantic panic", feeling overwhelmed, or just plain drained from having too much on my plate. It gives you the sense of accomplishment for the things you did do versus beating yourself up for the things you didn't do.
Question: Let me know what works for you for getting through "the moment" of feeling overwhelmed.
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