Breathe, dump, prioritise, repeat
When you can’t think straight because you have so many things to do and you don’t know where to start, or which job to start with, you get that sinking feeling. The pull on your heart, your tummy turning, and the weight on your shoulders. You then feel frustrated and even more overwhelmed. You sigh!
How do you get through that? How do you lift that weight and allow yourself to take a full deep breath again?
1. Breathe. It sounds simple, but just breathe. We tend to forget to take a full deep breath when we are feeling a bit stressed, so take a few minutes to do some deep breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Inhale slowly and fill your lungs and when they are full, keep inhaling until your tummy fills with air too. Hold for a couple of seconds and let go. Imagine letting go of the tension by blowing it away.
2. Brain dump. Start making a note of all the jobs that need doing. Write them all down. Every one that jumps into your head. Get it on paper. Dump all your jobs here. It’s hard work holding them all in your head and trying to remember them all. Let’s get that brain organised.
3. Prioritise. Now categorise all those jobs you jotted down into a to do list with three columns. A, B, C.
For each job, ask yourself:
Is it urgent and important? Does it need to be completed today? Put it in column A.
Is it urgent or important, but does not need to be completed today?
Put it in column B.
If it is not urgent, if it is not important and if it is a routine job, put it in column C.
A = Complete today
B = Set a deadline for completion
C = Leave for a quieter time
Start with column A.
As you cross things off the list, and new work comes in, the priorities will need reviewing.
I recommend spending the first half an hour of your day, every single day, going through all three steps.
Feel the elation as you cross things off your list. It’s a great feeling. Remember to smile. :0) and breathe!
Breath, dump, prioritise, repeat.