Do you say to yourself things like “when I’m less busy” or “things will calm down soon?” I have done that for a long time but I’m figuring out that things never seem to calm down and I’m always busy.
I’m starting to see that I can’t just wait for things to “calm down” to stop being so stressed and overwhelmed. I have to learn to use my time better and be more productive. There are just too many things I want to do and have to do to keep being overwhelmed and stressed.
I can’t say time management is something I’m naturally good at. I’ve never been one that can focus on one task that well and I just don’t seem to be one of those people that can keep track of time well. My mind wanders too much.
You may think “why should I take advice from you if you aren’t good at this?” Well, who would you rather learn from? Someone that has struggled with time management and found things to help with this struggle or someone that naturally finds it easy? People that are naturally good with time management have a lot to share but if you struggle with it hearing from someone that understands that struggle can be really helpful. And I have found a lot of great tips to help.
5 Things to DO When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed
1. Set up good routines. I have fought having schedules my whole life but I have to admit that good routines really do make all of the difference. Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings ecourses have really helped me set up routines. It takes some trial and error but once you have good routines you will feel at least somewhat productive even if you do nothing else all day.
2. Use a planner. I used to do just fine without a planner but these days I have too much going on to think I can just remember everything. Now I take time each Sunday to plan out my week and each night I look at it and add what I need to. There is something really satisfying about checking things off of your to-do list.
3. Take care of yourself. This is something I’m still working on. It’s easy to remove all self care from our schedules when we get busy. We think those things only impact us so they should be the first to go. However, when we don’t take care of ourselves everything else suffers. I’m making a point to make time for exercise as well as things that help my mental health. I’m also building in time for education. I believe it’s important to always be learning and I haven’t been making the time for that, that I should have. There are a lot of great free and cheap ecourses out there, I really like Craftsy for the fun, hobby type courses. I’ve also been using the Duolingo app to learn Italian.
4. Have freezer meals on hand. This goes along with taking care of yourself. Eating healthy food gives us more energy and helps us to be our best selves. When we get busy we often make bad food choices. Having healthy meals in your freezer can prevent this. I used to be better at doing this but have gotten out of the habit lately. To help learn more and get back in the habit I’ve been taking Freezer Meals 101, an ecourse. It’s really great, especially if you are new to freezer cooking.
5. Build in margin. This may be the hardest thing for me. Crystal Paine preaches this in her courses and she is right it’s very important. It’s easy to try and pack everything we can into our day but we need breathing room. Not only do we need breaks but having this time built in makes it less stressful if something takes longer than you planned on or something new comes up. When planning be sure to allow extra time for everything, it’s better to have more time than you thought you did.
And finally be sure save this list somewhere, on Pinterest or your bookmarks, and look back every once in awhile. We all need reminders, I will be looking at this often as well! Stress is making us unhappy and unhealthy. It’s time to take control and stop being overwhelmed all of the time.
I’d love to hear other tips you have, share in the comments below!