Saturday, October 1, 2011


     When I am overwhelmed with things to do, what helps me most is a plan. I take a few minutes to list everything on a piece of paper and look at it. Some things on the list I simply do not have to get done right now, and I cross them off. My priority is for right now. Still, the list seems impossible so I break it down further.
     There are always things I have to do, things I want to do, and things I need to do. The needs have to do with self-care and cannot be skipped, though some of them may not even have made my list; things like meals, and breaks, and sleep. I have to include them somehow in my plan or I will not be able to sustain my momentum. On the "have to" list, I prioritize most to least urgent, and if I am really crunched for time, I let go of my entire list of "want-tos."
     I resolve to let perfectionism go and accept in advance that I can only do what I can do and no more. I'm not expecting miracles. Contrary to what many of us believe, we don't always have to do our very best work... sometimes we just have to do the work period. I start on the most urgent "have-to" and set a reasonable "stop" time. I commit to stop even if I'm not finished, and move on to the next thing. A little bit of everything is better than a lot of nothing.
     The plan helps me focus and gives me a scaffolding on which to balance. It supports me and directs me, and somehow or other, everything always ends up getting done.

I stay calm when faced with too much to do. I take a few minutes to make a list and to make a plan. I do not skip meals or skip sleep. I take a deep breath and begin.