(this one if a bit long but there is a reward at the end)
Today I was feeling especially overwhelmed to the point where I thought to myself, what do overwhelmed people do to feel less overwhelmed? Well, I did a little research and this is what I found. All of those out there who are giving advice about lessening overwhelmededness say that we need to prioritize and eliminate things that are less important. And although I get this and I think that this is a valid strategy (if anything to help prioritize what to stress about) when all items considered are requirements, not choices, things get more complicated.
Tina Su of thinksimplenow.com suggests 8 ways that we can overcome this feeling. The first three are “stepping out”, prioritizing (told you they all say it), and journaling; all good but none really jump out to me as fixing anything. The fourth strategy is to delegate, something that we can do, if not with work stuff than with personal stuff to make way for work stuff – but this seems pretty horrible, to replace the stuff you love with more overwhelming work stuff, but it might be something… Then she continues with asking for help, creating boundaries (this is good), shutting out noise and thinking good thoughts before going to sleep at night. Tina makes some very valid points, but I feel even more overwhelmed as I decide how to handle my overwhelmededness (which wordpress still tells me is not a word but it has to be).
She also talks about “designing your life” and when I read these words they practically jumped out of my screen and smacked me in the face. Tina reassures us that yes, we can and should design our lives (doesn’t that sound like fun?) We are in control of our lives and we should be the ones calling the shots. If you are feeling like you are overwhelmed a majority of the time then it is your responsibility to make life changes to help lessen that feeling.
I made a quick list of what I would include when designing my life and they are: to do work in the field of creating something, to help a child/children to grow and learn, to be surrounded by nature and fresh air, to be one of those people who always has a clean apartment, to get home before dark and to have full access to my family (like to live close to them or be able to travel to them easily). Just making this quick list helped me to, you guessed it, prioritize.
SO – instead of thinking about how to prioritize your workload, stop and think about how to prioritize your life. Then, all of your other problems will literally seem ridiculous (and you won’t be able to believe how worried you were about them) and you will be left to focus on how the hell you are going to organize yourself into realizing your dream life.
Thank you Tina Su for sharing your wisdom.
(well done – your reward is hopefully a feeling of relief or at least slight amusement at my attempt to sound a little bitter and sarcastic)