Taking Stock

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Do you ever have those days where everything just seems to be too much? Yesterday was one of those days for me. With a to-do list the length of my arm and not enough hours in the day, I reached a flight or fight situation. I chose flight. Nothing too drastic I have to add – I just gave up on the day, giving in to a well needed early night.

Those types of days are normally few and far between, but just recently I’ve been feeling like I’m on the hamster wheel of life and struggling to step off it. So it’s time to take stock and look at when and why things started to go a bit pear-shaped.
With pen and paper to hand, I started jotting down the list of things that I needed to do, why I was feeling overwhelmed and what was stopping me from getting through my to-do list. It was very insightful actually. Some examples of things I learnt about my current situation:

I’m probably trying to do too much

With my day job and running around after the kids, housework, homework (or trying to convince the kids to do homework), exercise, socialising, voluntary work, this blog, starting a new blog and now blogging for the Huffington post (still very excited about that one!), I just have too much to do. Seeing it all written down made me realise that I need to make some changes.

I need to learn to prioritise

Not everything on my to-do list is a priority. There are definitely things on there that I can put off until another day (though perhaps I shouldn’t keep putting off the housework). But when all that stuff I need to do is running around in my head, I focus on what I’m not getting done. The magic of writing it down is that it not only gets it out of my head, but seeing it there, in front of me, helps to put things in perspective and to focus on those things I really need to do.

I need to cut myself some slack

I’m sure we all go through these phases, when life just seems to be a bit of a rollercoaster and we feel like we can barely keep up. But I started thinking about what I would say to a friend in the same situation. We can be our harshest critics so I’m going to be a bit kinder on myself. So what if that load of washing doesn’t get done or I watch Trolls with the kids (for the zillionth time!) rather than getting through the next item on my to-do list. Those things can wait and I’ll try not to feel guilty about it.

What am I going to do to get back on track?

I’m going to take stock of what’s really important. My plan is to plan (I’m a Virgo, apparently that’s what we do) and to look at how I can make changes to my days, weeks and months to prioritise and make things more manageable. I’ll let you know how I get on in a future post but any tips in the meantime gratefully received!

One thought on “Taking Stock

  1. Helen, it’s great to see you blogging again but I’m a little concerned that after your post in February saying you had realised you were trying to take on too much, you’re now saying you’re trying to take on too much. Is this progress my dear?

    other than that I find lists an absolute godsend but I have different types. The work “must be done today” list (constantly changing and sometimes intertwined with must be done this week”); the home “needs doing NOW/today/this week” list and then (usually) one or two others stuck to the fridge/calendar reminding me that there are things that need doing at some point. I usually start those with a “Do by xx date”. I won’t achieve them all and some will get purposefully delayed but the important thing is that I won’t forget about them! And I do think it’s the “what have I forgotten to do?” thoughts that are far more stressful than the actual things that need doing! xx

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