Nowadays life goes on so fast, and I often find myself extremely busy and overwhelmed. There are so many little things one has to do and when they pile up, it causes immense stress. Did I forget anything? Is there anything I missed? Did I actually do it all? And your brain goes round and round trying to keep track of it all and make sure all gets done.
Do you ever feel like that? This is definitely not a way to live, don’t you think? I was stressed all the time and kept forgetting more and more things. So one day I said basta, time to change! I found a few techniques, which are now helping me to deal with such situations, and I’m sure they will help you as well. Of course it all starts with my Bullet Journal, my main tool.
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Of course the first and the most effective way to fight such a stress is planning. If you plan your day and organize your tasks efficiently, it’ll definitely take the stress away and give you more control. For the most part, this will be your number one tool to relieve your busyness.
Of course, my to go method of planning is with my Bullet Journal, and you can read why I think it would be the perfect tool for you as well.
However, there are times when planning isn’t possible: new circumstances arise and you have to act quickly, sometimes you get more, newer and unpredictable tasks which need to be solved immediately. I know we all have days like that when even planning can’t help you out. Days? Heck, I have MONTHS like that! And that’s where my second technique comes into play.
Sometimes, it’s good to stop, take a step back, and relax. Once you find yourself overwhelmed, trying to keep that rhythm will only stress you more and might actually make you less productive. So it’s time to drastically hit the breaks! I had times, when I said yes to too many things, took waaay too many responsibilities, and in the end, I was just lost and tired and didn’t achieve or accomplish anything.
What did I do the next time I got myself into the same situation? (yes because it took me a while to learn from the first mistake) Well, I just stopped doing everything. Everything besides the most important things, that is. I cleaned my schedule and planned it in a way that I would only spend time on priority tasks, and the rest’d be dedicated to having a good rest. You can notice that from my Bullet Journal spreads as well: once I slow down they become minimal. I only write down 2-3 very important tasks for the day.
It worked magically! In just a few days (ok, maybe like weeks) I got all my energy back, I was full of new ideas and eager to get back to my busy days. I already had a plan on how I’d follow my goals step by step, and I was ready to start right away.
There is also an exercise I do while I’m on the break, to unburden my poor busy head.
Unburden your head
This is a pretty easy exercise, which I recommend doing every time you feel like too much is happening. It can help you get rid of the feeling of being overwhelmed, give you more control and relieve the pressure you feel from so many tasks.
What is this magical exercise you ask? Well, it’s simply a master list, a term well known to all fans of Bullet Journaling. Let me explain in detail how it work.
First, you create a list of all the things you have to do – work related, personal, anything you need or should do. Absolutely everything, from cleaning up your summer wardrobe to writing down that yearly report. Write down books you want to read, movies you want to watch. Just sit and poor it all out.
Now when the list is ready, read it again, and whatever tasks you think of while reading – write them down! Do this a few times until you can read the list without coming up with more things to write.
What is this for? It unloads your head. You will release your shoulders and mind from all the nagging things you believe you have to do, and get them out from the back of your head. You won’t need to try to remember them all. You’ll get more energy, and with the list in front of your eyes you’ll find it easier to accomplish it all.
There is also a second part to that exercise. After making the list, wait for a day or two. Then come back and analyze the list. See what tasks are not relevant anymore, what things you don’t really want/need to do and let them go – no need to waste your time and energy on those.
Next, highlight easy tasks, those you can do in 2-3 minutes and do them all today. Don’t have time today? Allocate 20-30 minutes (or however you can spare) every day to complete them.
After making your list you’ll find you have extra energy, and with all the easy tasks written down you’ll be able to complete at least half of your list in no time!
I really recommend to do this on a regular basis. As for me, you can see my master list in my Bullet Journal every month. It allows me to make sure the month will be productive and non stressful. And it allows me to start it with some extra energy! But this technique helps in other situations too. If you already have a plan to follow, but still think like you miss somethings, or you are not too productive – this exercise will help you out.
So there it is, using these three tools I manage to avoid being overworked and stay productive at all times.
But what about you? How do you try to not overwork and have a balanced mind? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
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