Too much to do? No time to do it?
Do you find yourself feeling like a rabbit staring into headlights, not knowing what to do next? Get depressed as you think about all the stuff you really want to do? Not the everyday things; work, food shopping, friend and family commitments, etc, but things you’d like to achieve? Say in a month’s time? In a year’s time? 5 years’ time? Move home, get fitter, change jobs, eat healthier, re train, travel? You just can’t see how you can get moving in the right direction to make any changes when you’re stuck where you are with barely enough time to do everyday things.
Keep reading as this will really help!
How to not feel there’s too much to do and no time to do it
These past 2 weeks for me have just been toooo much! I’ve recently started getting back into the flow of (hectic) life in London as I’ve gradually managed to train my petulant teenager of a bladder to do what it’s meant to do. So I can now leave home without constantly worrying where the nearest loo is!
However this re found freedom came at a cost…there’s just so much I want and have to do…and apparently no time to do it! I couldn’t see how I was going to achieve doing the things I wanted; college work, support clients, teach yoga , pass my exams, get my new career underway, let alone create my dream life!
I’d tried the RIVAS mindfulness practice I previously wrote about but wanted something more long term.
So I decided to take back control of my thoughts and my time. Even though I didn’t feel I had any spare time, I sat down and listed all my goals. It was the best thing I could have done.
This is what I did and highly recommend. Put an hour aside this week and try it. It will help you to clarify what you really want to achieve and be realistic about the time involved.
Honestly it has helped me to re-focus and calm me down. Even get excited about possibilities!
How To Stop Feeling Like There’s Too Much To Do And No Time To Do It
List your top goals you’d like to achieve in a year’s time. You can break these down into categories such as Business/ job, Personal growth, financial wealth, home life, health. It’s best not to have more than 6 in each category so you keep focused. Really tune into where you truly want to be in a year’s time. E.g.’ I want to be able to manage my back pain and feel fitter’ or ‘I want to be in a job I love in a company I respect’
Now take each of these goals and see where you can be on the road to achieving them in 4 months’ time. These are your 4 month milestones. For example, under Health you could have ‘Attending a weekly yoga class’. Or under work ‘have at least 2 interviews lined up with companies I’d love to work for’.
Go for a definite action and use specific numbers and times, as this helps your brain visualise the future and become more focused.
Finally take each of those milestones and break them down into small action points. Think of these as really, REALLY small steps. E.g. For the yoga this could be ‘find local yoga classes- look online, on notice boards, ask friends for recommendations.’ ‘Attend at least 3 different classes to find the one best for me’. ‘Attend a weekly yoga class’.
For the change of job;’ Research one hour a week to find the top companies I’d love to work for’. ‘Compile a list of contacts at the companies’.’ Contact them and offer my services. ‘Arrange to meet for a chat.’ See what I mean?
Then put a date of completion by each of these small steps – maybe in one a month, two, even four months. Be realistic so you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself – feel the steps are do-able.
And then MOST IMPORTANTLY put in a celebration for when you’ve achieved a 4 month milestone. I sometimes choose to go out for dinner with my girlfriends or buy myself something special to mark the occasion. Make it an incentive to complete the milestone. Celebration is most important!
Below are examples of the charts I use. I have a dozen or so steps under each goal section – the more you have and the smaller the step the easier it is to achieve the goal…
What to do Each Week To Stop Feeling Like There’s Too Much To Do
Set Weekly Priorities Based On Your Milestones
Each week, take a few minutes to look at your short term milestones or monthly goals and ask yourself the following questions:
- What will I do this week to achieve these goals?
- What are the most important actions for me to take?
- Which actions will get the most results?
Based on the answers to those three questions, make a list of high priority actions for the week. Ideally, set specific, measurable goals for the week. For example, ‘spend an hour looking online for 3 different yoga classes’. ‘Research companies for 2 hours over 2 evenings’.
What to do Each Month To Stop Feeling Like There’s Too Much To Do
Review and Update Your Goals Monthly. Each month look at your priority goals and 4 month milestones and ask questions about each goal.
- Is this still the right goal? Is this where I want to be focused? If yes, great! If not, replace it with a new and more meaningful goal.
- Am I on track to reach this goal by the target date? If not, do I need to modify the target date or the goal itself so that it is realistic and achievable? Do I need to update my action plan or modify my behaviour in order to hit the target date?
- What else could I be doing to achieve this goal?
- What’s working? What could I do more of?
- What’s not working? What could I do less of?
It’s good to do your monthly review on a regular schedule, such as the 1st of the month or the first Monday of the month. Put it in your calendar so you won’t forget.
This may sound a long process but once you get into the flow and practice it, it will become invaluable!
Do let me know how you get on,
Photo thanks to Nile