When I feel overwhelmed, I try to prioritize. If I can’t do everything, what can I do to keep moving ahead? Below is a list that will help me get back on track.
1. I don’t let my to-do list get too long.
“No” is a good word. Have I overcommitted myself? Where can I cut back? Not everything on my daily to-do list needs to get done. If it doesn’t need to get done, I let it go!
And as for the things that I want to do but just can’t fit in? I let that go too! Too often, I overbook our schedules, only to realize that we all would have been much happier staying home and making cookies. I cut back when I feel life getting too hectic.
2. I let go of unrealistic and unnecessary expectations.
Once I’ve cut out unnecessary to-do’s, I can focus on prioritizing what’s left. Where can I take some shortcuts? Can we order takeout tonight instead of making dinner? Can I clear the clutter into baskets and save a deeper clean for later? What will help me make progress but still free up some time?
3. I cut the distractions by getting out of the house.
My home and all the chores that go with it can be a huge distraction. I’ll sit down to tackle my to-do list and get distracted that breakfast is still out, the kids’ rooms are a mess again, the clothes are piling up in the laundry room, the dog wants to go for a walk, the fish tank is turning green, and everything else.
At this moment, I want to do the things that are tangible right in front of me. It’s easier to fold the laundry than reply to emails. It’s more satisfying to clean the kitchen than sit inside and make phone calls and appointments.
If I leave my house to finish these things and give myself a set time limit, I can do them much more effectively.
4. I know when my most productive time is.
My most productive time is in the morning. It makes a difference if I can get some emails out and breakfasts made before my kids are awake.
Once the kids are at school, I prioritize the day. Do I focus on organizing the house? Do I need to get some work done first? If I can’t do it all in one day, it’s best to get the most pressing thing done in the morning before the day gets away from me.