Monday, January 31, 2011


I don’t know about you, but there are some days when I sit down at my desk to begin my workday and I feel as though my “To Do” lists have “To Do” lists. Within minutes I feel completely overwhelmed with the myriad of tasks confronting me. I decided to look carefully at the word O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M and see if it could offer me any clues. Here’s what I came up with:

Organize – Good organization can actually save time, energy, and wear and tear on your nerves.  You do not have to organize everything in your life all at once!  Try this---take one small project, a single drawer, shelf or pile and organize it. Observe the impact it has on you.

aVoidance I am not suggesting you practice avoidance, but rather avoid it.  Avoiding something that you know needs to be done simply adds to your sense of overwhelm. Instead, try doing one small task per day that you would rather avoid, and notice how it makes you feel.

ExerciseAlthough sometimes it can seem like a real effort to get to the gym or outdoors for a walk, paradoxically, you’ll feel more energetic if you exercise. I find writing exercise into my calendar as a scheduled activity makes it more likely to happen.

RealisticAsk yourself if what you are trying to accomplish in a single day is realistic. Look at your daily schedule as though it belonged to someone else. Is it realistic or is it bound to make you feel overwhelmed? 

WriteOf course, you knew I would say this as a journaling expert. Even if it’s only for ten minutes a day, writing can help you focus, clarify your goals and clear your head of ongoing chatter.  Get it out of your head and onto paper.

HealthySometimes when faced with a decision, I’m not quite sure what to do. I might ask myself, “What is the healthiest choice for right now?”  Suddenly the answer becomes clearer.  

Excellent vs. Good EnoughAlthough this will be annoying to perfectionists, changing your standards from excellent to good enough will work about ninety percent of the time. Reserve perfection for those things that absolutely deserve it.

LeverageThis is not the same as multi-tasking, but about how to best leverage your time. Make a larger amount of soup than you need, then freeze the rest in meal-size portions. Buy everyday household items in as large a quantity as you have space to store. Purchase gifts as you see them and put them away in a particular place. 

Meditate Like writing and exercise, making meditation a daily practice pays big dividends. Start with just a few minutes a day to quiet your mind. Attach meditation to some other activity (like before you write) and notice what happens.

I hope this list of ideas hasn’t overwhelmed you!  If so, let me know.  

Take good care,

If you find you could use some help managing overwhelm, schedule a GRATIS SAMPLE COACHING SESSION via phone or in person to find out if writing & creativity coaching is for you.

Phone (800) 552-WRITE, that's (800) 552-9748 or write to me at to find out more.

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  1. Awesome post. Do you mind if I ask what your source is for this information?

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