Are you constantly doing one thing but thinking about another? Do the jobs you still have to get through daunt you? You are definitely not alone. This post has been written to hopefully alleviate some of the feelings of overwhelm that can strike at any time, and help you to move towards your goals much faster.
I often get emails from readers (thank you so much for taking the time to write to me, I love to hear from you) about how you are going with getting more organised. You are loving that there are projects to follow in this blog, and so many tips and ideas – and you are getting started on implementing some of them in your own home.
However – once you get started you realise that there is just so much to get done. You are constantly being reminded of what you need to tackle and it can feel like there’s a massive TO DO list scrolling past your eyes as you walk around the house.
You start one thing, only to be thinking of the other 101 things there are to do – and you don’t end up getting very far with anything.
You may have thoughts like ‘Where do I start?’, ‘What should I be doing right now?’, ‘Surely I should have made more progress by now’, ‘Why is my home so hard to get control over’, “Oh no, THAT needs doing as well, but so does this, and that, and ARRRGGGHHH’ ….
It’s overwhelming to say the least – and that’s the exact opposite of how I want you to feel in your own home.
so, what’s the answer?
As with anything in life, small and steady progress tends to win the day (remember that story about the Hare and the Tortoise!).
Your home is a work in progress – and it has taken maybe years to create the home you have right now – a little at a time. There will be things that you have worked on that work brilliantly for you right now, and there will be things that don’t work so well (we all have them I can assure you).
The only way to tackle things is one step at a time – literally.
It really is OK to concentrate on one thing at a time – give yourself a break and I promise you will get more done (just as this blog didn’t just appear overnight, I had to spend many weeks, months and years writing each post, one at a time…).
The trick to getting more done, in a less overwhelming way – is focus.
Focus on the job you are doing – get it done properly- and move on to the next thing.
You may be thinking that racing around the house and tackling multiple things in one go is a good use of your time – but chances are none of those things are exactly as you would want them.
You are being busy, but not getting very far. You are rushing around and by doing this you are reminded of all the other things there are to be done.
You end up more frustrated and maybe with extra TO DO’s to add to your list at the end of the day – and just as overwhelmed as you were at the start.
I spend the time I have doing just that one thing, and if anything else comes into my head, I carry a notebook with me to jot it down and then I simply get back to what I was doing.
I really do find that when I focus on a job, it takes a fraction of the time, and I can therefore tackle something else – and really feel like I am making progress.
As soon as I start to think of the bigger picture – and how many little jobs there actually are to get through – that’s when I start to stumble. Doubt sets in and I kind of get into the mindset of “well, if I can’t do it all, I may as well not bother starting in the first place”, or “there is just so much to be done I am tired even thinking about it, and I won’t make that much difference today so why bother” – which is lethal to any sort of productivity as I’m sure you’ll agree (and can probably empathise with).
You can’t do it all – so acknowledge it’s there, and then get back to the one thing you can do right now in that moment.
Trying to multi task constantly just creates a busy and stressed feeling – things take longer to complete and so stay on that TO DO list for longer – you don’t feel as motivated as it feels so exhausting all the time, and basically you run yourself down.
So do what you can, when you can – and give yourself a break.
Some things may have to wait – but they are working OK like that right now (and maybe have been for years), so a few more days/weeks won’t hurt in the scheme of things.
Tackle what’s important (where the pain is) first – and you will get there – slow and steady and focused.