It’s incredible how we all work so hard to stay organized, but the moment life gets super busy and hectic, all that hard work flies out the window and back to square one you go. For some people staying organized is easy – you have your routines, a way of keeping track of everything and nothing veers off the path of production. But for others when that system gets shaken by life events, schedule changes or simply an increase in workload and social engagements, suddenly everything feels incredibly overwhelming. If you fall into the second camp, figuring out how to reel it all in can feel just as overwhelming as the situation itself. Not sure what to do? Here’s a look at some ways to stay organized when you’re overwhelmed.
5 Ways to Stay Organized When You’re Overwhelmed
#1. Make a list. Seems so simple, right? Here’s the thing: making a list will help you easily put it all into perspective. It’s funny – in your mind, the long list in your head can easily feel unmanageable and downright impossible to tackle, but when you write it all down and look at it on paper – it actually is doable. It’s funny how that happens! So, before you do anything, sit down and make a list of every single thing you need to accomplish – from personal items to work stuff – look at it all.
#2. Prioritize that list. OK, you have your list. You have a total understanding of everything that needs to happen, but how do you decide what happens first? You set some priorities by figuring out what the most important task is and what the least important task is – and go from there. Once you’ve got an understanding, rewrite your list in order of importance…you’re going to move from one to ten, in that order – and it will feel great.
#3. Clear the clutter. If you’re sitting there, working on this list, thinking about everything you need to accomplish, but you’re also drowning in piles of stuff…that’s not going to help. Take 30 minutes to clean up your work space and do what you’ve gotta do to have an area that allows you to easily get things done. No one can be expected to be productive when you’re completely overwhelmed by your surroundings.
#4. Update your calendar to reflect what you actually need to accomplish. Take a look at your calendar. Is it filled with conference calls and meetings that you could potentially delay in order to get through this enormous to do list? Look at what you can move around to accommodate your priorities and go for it. Block your schedule so that you have the uninterrupted time to do the things you need to do to have your mind and to-do list clear for new projects.
#5. Say no. When the to do list gets too long and you know you need some time to get it all done, say no to more meetings and more social events. Sometimes it’s really tough to say no – especially when you feel like you’re going to disappoint someone or you’re going to miss out on something really cool – but there are times when simply put, you’re only option is to say no. Don’t be afraid, don’t feel guilty – just do it.
What do you think? Can you put these five tips into play so that you can get organized when life starts to feel overwhelming?