By the end of last week I was overwhelmed. There hasn’t been enough white space on my schedule lately. Fortunately, it’s been a healthy mix of business and pleasure (definitely not short on fun), but still a lot to juggle. I felt like I was getting very scattered and unfocused.
To give you an idea, I still had a few piles of laundry that had been waiting to be put away for awhile. In the pile was a dress I wore to a conference on 2/27. Also, the dress I wore to my Birthday party in March was still waiting to go to the dry cleaners. Yes, my mom is probably cringing, but we’ve all been there.
Friday, I decided it was time to pull out my best tactic for taming overwhelm. I call it the ‘brain dump’, but I’d welcome a better name for it! That’s a photo of the beginning of last week’s brain dump.
This is how it works.
I take some time to write down EVERYTHING, big and small, that’s taking up space in my mind and sapping my energy. I often even walk around my house with a notepad to do this.
I divide the list into categories. For me Personal, Business, and Home works well.
I include everything from scheduling my dentist appointment, to packing for my trip next week, to changing email providers. EVERYTHING that has taken up residence in my brain, no matter how big or small.
Then I review the list to determine if is there is anything that is no longer a priority or doesn’t serve me any more. If something keeps getting moved from week to week, month to month, year to year, I need to ask myself if it really needs to still be on the list.
I cross those things off.
Then I categorize the items terms of urgency or time. What needs to be done this week, this month, next 3 months.
I decide if a task can be done by someone else…and delegate it!
That’s it. I do refer to my brain dump list when I’m planning the coming days or weeks. But at least it’s all out there. Whew! What a relief it is.
Last step, take a deep breath!
If you ever feel overwhelmed like I did last week try this and let me know how it goes. And if you can come up with a better name than ‘brain dump,’ I’ll send you a bottle of Wild Orange as a thank you.
You got this.