Life sucks. And then some.
Especially in these dark, depressing weeks after Christmas and the New Year.
Sometimes life just gets too much, too hectic, and we can feel like we have no control over our own lives.
I want to share with you the top five things that have helped me in the past to get back on track and regain control of my life when my life felt very much out of my control.
I’m so busy! But then, who isn’t?
I’m not moaning. I love my work. I wouldn’t have it any other way but sometimes it feels like there’s just too much stuff to do!
So what do you do?
Take one day at a time!
Rome wasn’t built in a day (I know, it’s a terrible cliche but still very true!). You don’t have to do everything in one day. Prioritise what needs to be done.
I follow a red, amber and green system where I assign every task a colour ( red being the most urgent, green the least – I know, I know, it took me ages to think of that ;)). I make sure I do the urgent (red) jobs first. Usually, this is based on time constraints and as we progress through the week or month some jobs that were green will go to red. To do this you need to:
Make lists! Every week I write a list of things that need doing. This is a big list with everything on, even things that I know can wait for a while. Then I assign them a colour so I know what needs to doing and when. I update the list every day, knocking items off that I’ve completed (Sooo Satisfying!). At the end of every working week, I rewrite the list fresh for the next new week.
I print off a calendar which allows me to plan long term. This is especially good for planning blog posts and, in my jewellery and gift business, allows me to plan for big occasions such as Halloween, Christmas and Mother’s Day. It also allows me to see when my kids are going to be on holiday so that I can do all the planning, writing of blog posts etc. in advance rather than trying to do it all with the kids off.
Even with all this planning, I can still get that awful overwhelming feeling that I’m sinking into the mud, never to return.
Lists are great for planning but sometimes looking at a long list can give you the heebie-jeebies. When this happens I walk away.
It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But, it really works. Go and have a cup of tea, take an hour off, go for a walk, watch your favourite T.V. programme. Whatever you need.
Just take the day off. You’re not a machine. Sometimes when you’re feeling like this it’s because your body and your mind need a break!
Just because you’re sitting at you’re desk doesn’t mean you’re actually working!
If you take the day off you’ll probably find you’ll come back fresh the day after and actually get more work done!
Blimey, there were a lot of exclamation marks in those last few sentences, weren’t there?
Learn to chuck things in the fuck-it bucket!
Ask yourself; do I really need to do this? Does this add anything to what I’m doing? Do I really need to go to Aunt Sara’s party tomorrow when she can’t stand me and I haven’t seen her in ten years?
Learn to say NO. Learn to turn things down.
And, I’ll say it again for everyone at the back; LEARN TO SAY NO.
This, my friends, is very important because the majority of us are brought up to be people pleasers and that means we’re not very good at saying no.
A great resource I go to whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and needing help to sort my head out (and my priorities sometimes) is the fabulous book by Sarah Knight, called, The Life-changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck. I urge you to try it. It’s full of useful advice. As I said in a previous post (Books that have helped me with my writing), this book has changed my life! Knight teaches you “how to stop spending time you don’t have doing the things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like.”
Oh, and an extra tip; look at pictures of cute animals. Like this:
Damn it, cute animals get me every time 🙂
What tips would you give to people who are feeling overwhelmed?