3 techniques to choose a finite amount of things to focus on to reduce feeling overwhelmed

Many of the working women I help to declutter and get organised have one thing in common. They are trying to do too much and they feel overwhelmed. Doing too much or expecting too much is not a bad thing. However, doing too much whilst raising kids, running a household, feeling like they’re missing the mark on most things AND feeling like they’re doing it on their own is a one-way-ticket to overwhelm town.

That being said, many women successfully “do it all”. However, an important thing about “doing it all” is to be clear on what “all” is.

Here are 3 techniques I use personally and that I use with my clients to choose a finite amount of things to focus on so they can say they are “doing it all” because this is all they have chosen to do. Doing a small number of things well quickly reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Weekly routine

To make priorities clear I help clients create a weekly routine so they consciously choose the tasks they take on and allocate time in the diary to do each task. See my Facebook videos on creating an ideal day, or pop over to spaceandtime.com.au and search “routine” for heaps of tips.

This blog Create a life that you love with a daily routine also gives clear steps on creating a weekly routine.

Brain dump

Another way to be sure my clients are working on the right stuff is to get it all out of their head on a list and then sort through the absolute necessities. I love this technique. It is both confronting to see all the stuff written down that women do to run a household, business, career, life AND liberating when they start to make conscious choices about which of these tasks to spend their time on. I use the below brain dump, priority setting matrix and accompanying next step sheet (see download).

Brain dump to-do list

Write lists of ideas

To take the brain dump a little further, read this interesting article “The ultimate guide to becoming an ideas machine” by entrepreneur James Altucher. James is a list and ideas man and loves to encourage others to write lists of ideas.

Personally, I have lots of lists and lots of lists of ideas. Ideas for my business, business products, topics of interest including health and wellbeing, mental health and of course getting organised at home. But what should I do with all these lists of ideas? Some days I feel as though I should stop thinking about ideas to give myself a break!

James taught me is that it’s OK to come up with ideas.. BUT they won’t all be good ideas AND I he’s also taught me I don’t have to action every idea I ever thought of.

James says “I make a list of ideas and then I usually just throw them out.
The whole purpose is to exercise the idea muscle. I know most of the ideas are bad ideas so I there’s no sense keeping them around.
If one of the ideas is good then I will probably remember it and build on it for the next day”.

Coming up with and then discarding these ideas is such a great practice to help decipher what IS important and what is NOT important in your life.
Try writing a list of ideas today that could make your life simpler and more fun at home or more techniques to feel less overwhelmed and then try some of James’ other frivolous ideas lists eg: 5 books you’d like to write or make up your own random list. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

diary of things to do
image thanks to Stil Classics

Next steps

Getting ideas out of your head, onto the page and into your diary is a sure way to reduce feeling overwhelmed. You may also like to read “5 strategies to get the kids involved in running the household” and “Professional Organiser shares 9 techniques to stay up

Need help?

Does it still seem like too much to do on your own make a booking below or tee up a time for a chat:

Make online booking button
Let's chat button

Who is Julie Cliff, Professional Organiser?

Being organised with your space and time can help you feel calmer, happier and less stressed. By being organised you can focus on the important things in your life: more time with your kids and family, write that novel or finally get those odd jobs around the house done. With more time to focus on yourself you can really start achieving your goals!