Many busy professionals and entrepreneurs list one of their biggest challenges as being too busy or overwhelmed. The to-do list gets longer…and longer. A once simple task has grown so many off shoots that it’s become that thing that you’ll do “someday.” There never seems to be enough hours in the day to fit it all in. Over time it is easy to become frustrated with the endless tasks list which ultimately leads to inaction and indecision. Welcome to Overwhelm.
This is where the power of organization comes in. Organization with its mind clearing clarity and action plans is the antithesis of overwhelm. Being organized breaks the paralysis cycle of inaction and frustration with a few straight forward steps:
Breathe. Acknowledge. It’s ok that you have a lot on your plate. Recognizing that you have a lot going on will prompt you to ask yourself the next question “How am I going to accomplish everything?” Remember to give yourself a minute (or 10) when you began to feel stressed out. Get out of the office; take a walk or talk or sit in your car and just give yourself a few minutes to breathe deeply and refocus. Your mental well-being will thank you.
Your Space: You’re only able to perform as well as the space around you allows you to. Take some time to clean up your office by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, filing the stuff you do need and establishing a designated place for everything. Keep the things you absolutely need within arm’s reach. There is something about a tidy office that eases anxiety and helps you focus. Not to worry-this is something that should be done a little at a time instead of in one afternoon.
Mind dump: Now that your physical space is taken care of, it’s time to let go of some of the mental clutter. A mind dump is an opportunity to let go of all of the stuff floating around in your head. Get it all down on paper. When things pop into your head, don’t try to remember them! Jot them down. This stops your mind from running in circles and frees you up to focus on one task at a time without the nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something somewhere.
Turn it into action: Now you’re ready to focus! Work through the results of your mind dump. Group the like tasks. Organize by due date, projects type and strategic work. Establish determine each step required and determine due dates. For ongoing activities that may not have a set deadline-set one and stick to it. All deadlines should be noted in your calendar.
Keep your space (and your mind) tidy: At the end of the day do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day. This is also the time to take a look at your calendar and your to do’s for the following day. You will be better prepared.
Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into maximizing organization and minimizing overwhelm will pay off big in reduced stress, more focus and less frustration.