5 Easy Steps for Catching Up When You Are Overwhelmed

When tasks and to-dos pile up it can become overwhelming and difficult to catch up; and if you’re anything like me, you might tend to procrastinate when you are overwhelmed. It can be hard to stay motivated when it feels like there is no end in sight. Below are the five steps that I take whenever my plate seems to be overfull.

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  1. Block at least ten minutes to sit down and do a brain dump. Sit down with your planner, notebook, or a loose piece of paper and write down everything that is on your mind. Tasks, appointments, reminders, notes, projects you want to start, chores, literally everything.
  2. Take that list and prioritize your actionable items. If there is anything on your list that will take you less than 5 minutes, keep that on a list of its own. You will do those items as soon as you finish this planning session.
  3. Time block the day and/or week. Calendar blocking is becoming a very popular method of time management and it’s something that I have resorted to, since high school, whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or behind. Take the tasks you have identified during your brain dump and block them into your calendar. Make sure to start by including a block, right after our done your planning session, to complete your list of 5-minute tasks. And make sure to give yourself 5 minutes per task, so if you have 4 -minute tasks plus 5 minutes for a short break. Therefore, this block should be 25 minutes long. Remember to include travel time, rest breaks, meals, and some buffer time.
  4. Start with your list of tasks that will take 5 minutes or less each. Getting these done in quick succession will help boost your momentum and will motivate you to continue. Take a short 5-minute break.
  5. Carry on through your day, keeping as close as possible to the schedule you blocked out but understand that it can be flexible if need be.

I hope these steps help you out when you feel like your to-do list is bigger than what you can handle. Remember, that simply is not true, you just need to prioritize and do what truly needs to be done first.

Until next time, keep on keeping on my friends!

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