Do you ever have one of those days when you can’t see even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel? I bet you know what I’m talking about … it’s one of those days when to do lists and templates and time boundaries, as helpful as they are, just don’t look like they are going to cut it. You do your best, but you are still absolutely overwhelmed and starting to feel discouraged.
Believe me, I know. I hit one of those days not very long ago. Even if I had been able to tack on another four hours at the end of my day, I still wouldn’t have come close to “getting it all done.”
So, what can you do? Well, the first key is to take heart. Remind yourself that, no matter how overwhelmed and trapped you feel, you still have choices!
At such moments, you are at a crossroad. If you give in to feeling overwhelmed, you can easily sabotage your good efforts, start feeling like a victim, succumb to procrastination, and end up sapping your energy and diffusing your focus with worry. One good, practical alternative to those depleting and self-defeating choices is to look at things like your values, the urgency of tasks, who will be affected if tasks are not completed … and to then prioritize based on those factors.
But there is another way ...
While those are excellent ideas and useful, practical skills to develop and practice, when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, you may not be able to make good use of those tools. So, I’d like to share another option.
Most recently when I was feeling overwhelmed, here’s what I did:
I took a deep breath, stepped back, and told myself, “I’ll never get it all done.”
Now, at first glance, you may be thinking, “That sounds more like giving up!”
But bear with me. Saying those words to myself gave me very powerful, reality-based, self-nurturing relief! Why?
Those words, spoken in a factual (not a self-pitying or victim-driven) way released an impossible burden I was making myself carry and had an immediate, positive effect. Rather than spinning my wheels, I was standing up, putting my feet squarely on the ground, accepting my limits and giving myself permission to stop trying to achieve the unachievable.
This is realistic and grounding information, because even if I live to be 500 years old, I will never get everything done. There will always be more. Always – as long as I am alive. The point is not to bemoan this fact, but to take in the reality and allow it to temper our expectations.
Those words – “I’ll never get it all done” - are self-caring because they free me to do what I can do NOW. They help me clear my energy, take some emotional breathing space, and refocus on my top priority in this moment.
Here’s what happens, when I say those words to myself:
• I take all that diffuse, unfocused and panicky energy that I spend on feeling overwhelmed about EVERYTHING, and
• I transform it, concentrating instead on the particular thing that is in front of me … the thing that I can do right now.
Can’t you just feel the shift … even as you read this? Taking in this important, reality-based information, I relax my shoulders and breathe deeply. I step out of panic mode, and I let go.
Admitting your real limits when you come to them and accepting your humanness doesn’t make you a victim. It is actually a fundamental key to your success. Acknowledging that you’ll “never get it all done” allows you to return to your tasks unburdened. You’ll have renewed energy, a clearer focus, and the ability to be that much more efficient and effective … NOW!
Not only that, but you’ll feel relieved, refreshed, and rejuvenated!
Does this sound like something you’d like to try in your life? What things have you found helpful when you are on overload? What is your next step to put one of them into practice so you can use your time more effectively?
Here’s something to get you started right now! Sign up for our free gift, "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" at http://optimize.thetimefinder.com/templatesg/
This time template will help you move beyond overwhelm.
Using a workbook format, with room to record your answers, you will discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, PhD, The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD, the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Time Management, is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula's connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.
Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.
To learn more about Paula's unique, Heart-Based Time Management System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.