I was feeling overwhelmed last week. Some days, it’s downright hard to juggle all of life’s responsibilities. Working, parenting, and caring for my own wellbeing are all huge tasks on their own, and having to do all of them together can be intimidating.
When life gets crazy, it’s important to take a step back, take a breath, evaluate your resources and obligations, and devise a plan of attack.
First Things First
When multiple tasks are flowing in, I think it’s helpful to take an assessment of what needs to be completed right away. At work, for example, emails can usually be prioritized. To determine the urgency of something, I often ask myself, “How is this impacting the business right now?”
Parenting obligations can also be prioritized. Vital tasks, such as eating, are more important than laundry or chores.
Every obligation has a priority. If your list is getting to be too daunting, take a step back and decide what really needs to be completed now. It’s usually less than you think. Once the “importance queue” has been established, tackle one thing at a time.
Evaluate Your Resources (And Obligations)
I learned the hard way that you don’t need to go through life alone. In fact, you almost can’t. Everyone needs help sometimes.
I was always so reluctant to ask for help, even when it was being offered to me. I guess I used to think asking for help was a sign of weakness. Now, I see it as a sign of strength.
Take a look at each situation and determine what resources you have available at that moment. If someone is offering to help, take them up on the offer. Remember these kind gestures and repay the kindness by helping others when you are able.
It’s worth noting that if you consistently feel like you’re being stretched too thin, you may need to reevaluate your obligations and cut back.
Devise a Plan
Lastly, as Mark Twain said (and I will paraphrase): break the overwhelming tasks into manageable parts. Then, get to work!
Blindly going through life in a whirlwind isn’t the most productive way to live. To defeat the feeling of being overwhelmed, it takes a clear strategy and dedication.
Once the tasks have been divided by order of importance, consider the steps necessary to complete them. Some will be easy, like making a dentist appointment. Others will be more involved, such as planning a birthday party. No matter what the task, it always helps to have a clear, defined plan to execution.
I try to remember that with a little planning, help, and dedication, I can get through even the toughest of situations.