Overwhelmed? What’s Your Trick to Gain Control???

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog titled I Need a Vacation.  So I followed my own advice and I took one.  It was short and sweet.  I simply drove to Chicago, only three hours away, and spent a few days visiting my friends – laughing, sipping wine and enjoying our time together. 

I purposely didn’t take my laptop.  I committed to FUN and no work.  Now that I’m back in my office – YIKES!!!  I don’t even know where to begin.  How will I ever catch up???

So here’s my question to you:

What’s your biggest time saving trick?  When you feel so overwhelmed that your head is spinning, how do you gain control?

I just tried the timer trick.  You’ve probably heard of this one before.  You set a timer for 50 minutes and concentrate on one task at hand.  That means no interruptions – absolutely none.  No phone, no coffee break, no emails.  It keeps you focused on your project so you can complete it – or at least get a good start.  It really works for me, but today I need more hours to work than the day will give me.

So what do you do to gain control of those never ending emails and ever growing piles?  I – WE can all use a little help!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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Overworked? Overwhelmed?? Sound Familiar???

I walk into my office and there it is, staring me in the face, almost laughing at me…piles everywhere, otherwise known as:  My Massive TO DO List.  So many times I feel so overwhelmed that I just turn around and walk out the door.  I don’t know where to start, so I do nothing.

We all have them, there’s no denying it.  Maybe your piles are like mine scattered all throughout your office, maybe you have color-coded them and filed them in your computer, or maybe you’ve downloaded one of the many apps on your iPhone.  But no matter where you keep them, they always seem to be lurking in the background, reminding us that we don’t have enough hours in the day.

So what can you do to gain control?  Well, I’ve come up with three easy techniques that have helped me master my piles – at least, most of the time:

Learn to say “no.â€:  Stop adding to your never ending list of things to do.  There is always another book to read, another webinar to watch or another podcast to listen to.  But the real problem is that you already have so much great information from the past books and webinars and podcasts you’ve invested time and money in.  Take that hour and apply it to all that valuable information you already have sitting in those pretty color-coded files.

Make a file folder for each day of the week:  Label them Monday through Sunday.  Then, as something comes up that you need to accomplish on a specific day, put it in the appropriate folder.  This has helped me immensely.  I check my day folder each morning and it helps to keep me on track for the day.  There, right in front of me, is my “to do†list for the next 24 hours.  I can stay focused and it keeps me from chasing the next shiny object.  Pick a file holder that is fun and inspires you.  Check out the office supply stores -I’ve seen some lovely ones there.

Celebrate your small successes:  Many times we are so focused on the big projects and what we didn’t get done that we get frustrated and overwhelmed.  But what if we celebrated our small successes along the way, like making it to your appointment totally prepared, or serving a dinner that was actually pretty good.  By celebrating our small accomplishments, it gives us the courage and belief to tackle the bigger ones.

I can’t lie – I still have piles, but by using these three “tricks,†I find them more manageable and I’m not driving myself crazy.  Give these a try and let me know which one works best for you.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
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I’m Just Too Busy!!!

“How are you?â€


That seems to be the standard answer these days. At a time of instant everything – emails, text, twitter, facebook, instagram, and a whole bunch more – we have all become so overwhelmed and we struggle just to keep up.  We are busier now than ever before.

So when I decided to spend the day with my big brother, my first thought was:

YIKES!!! I don’t know if I can do this.  I just don’t have the time.

And that’s when I remembered the saying that goes something like this – no one ever goes to their grave wishing they had spent more time at work.

It’s so easy to say, but so, so hard to live by.

Many years ago when my mother was still alive, I would visit her weekly.   But every time I entered her room, the first thing out of my mouth was to tell her when I had to leave:

“Mom, I have to leave by noon to meet with a clientâ€.

“Mom, I have to leave by 4:00 to avoid the rush hour trafficâ€.

Even though we were chatting and laughing and enjoying our time together, I always kept one eye on the clock.

Well, you know what? My mom is gone now and I can never visit her again.  And the sad thing is – I can’t even remember who that client was or what was so important that I couldn’t stay just a little longer with my mom.

So today, as I drive to the southwest suburbs of Chicago to visit my brother, I decide not to repeat the same mistake. Today I take a deep breath, shut off my computer, and decide not to look at the clock, or even my phone– not even once.  Today I will enjoy the time we have together, creating laughter and memories that will last me until the end of my time.

I don’t have any words of wisdom for you, and I don’t have any secrets to share. Just an acknowledgment that it is hard to carve out the time for everything we need to do - it is a conscience decision.  You just have to decide what is important to you – and you will find you own way.

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