March 05, 2008

Overwhelmed - how do you cope?

Last week I had a really, really hectic Monday - blood tests in the morning, very full, busy day at work and a plan straight after work until late.

I actually considered not even going out even though I'd been looking forward to seeing my friends for nearly 2 months.

I felt totally overwhelmed and it felt like I had a huge pile on my plate (like the picture above).

So this is what I did:
  1. I decided to go out even though I felt like I should be working to try and catch up. Had a great evening and totally forgot about all my "problems".

  2. I printed out 10 of my master to do lists and used one page for each of my projects.

  3. I wrote down every single little thing I had to do - phone x, send email to y, check z on website, etc, etc. Somehow seeing it all and getting it out of my head freed me.

  4. The next day I had another blood test so had another short day. But this time, armed with my lists, I just focussed and ploughed through those lists.

  5. I actually finished all those tasks in about 3 hours ;) and was on track again.

So you see even a time management coach also goes through periods of overwhelm and craziness :)

How do you cope with overwhelm?

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JanMary said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Organising podcast - sounds like just what I need.

I too do what you do, making lists etc. Problem being I keep avoiding the things on my list i don't want to do, but at least I get the other smaller jobs done.

My other tip would be using the 15 minute timer (as in flylady) to get something done before I check my email, blog etc.

Playful Professional said...

When I get overwhelmed, I take a break (normally about 15 minutes) from everything else. I'll either just lay in bed, read a book, or listen to some nice music. Once I'm calm things don't seem quite as overwhelming.