May 14, 2014

Stress Paralyzed: ROW80

On Mother's Day, I went with my mother and three girls to see Mom's Night Out. I had never heard of this film until Mom suggested it. It was wonderful. Not only was it funny, but it was poignant--whoever wrote it truly understands the life of a mom. 

In the movie, the mom is overwhelmed with all the things she's not doing right and the multitude of tasks she faces in her everyday existence. Several times, she says she's stress paralyzed from it all.

That's it. That's me!

I have so many things in my head all the time, and some days I honestly don't know which way to turn. Before children, I was organized and prided myself on my time management skills.

I realize I'm blessed, yet I feel heavy with the pace I've let my life become. By having unrealistic expectations of what I can get done in any given day, I set myself up for failure. Worse, I can't see the wonderful achievements I have made through the thick smog of to-dos.

My goal--yes, this is where my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) mid-week update comes in--is to simplify my life. To do so, I'm going to do what works for me in times of confusion and frustration... put it down in black & white. 

Lately, every time I sit down and try to write a to-do list, I hyperventilate. But that's because I know I'm over-committed, and merely surviving each day is not good enough for me anymore. 

I realize no amount of planning can obliterate stress, but I refuse to be paralyzed by it any longer. I'm going to take a hard look at my load and decide what stays and what goes. What stays will get a dedicated schedule and plan of action. Wish me luck.

What do you do when you are stress paralyzed and life overwhelms you at every turn?

Writing this post was extremely cathartic for me, and I apologize if it seems overly Debbie-Downer. Please check back Friday when I'll share a few of the successes of my Chasing Shadows release. It'll be my way of getting back on the right track!


krystal jane said...

This is one of the purposes of get stuff off your chest. ^_^

I recently started making a schedule for myself. I have a planner and each day has three boxes for morning, afternoon, and evening. Whatever doesn't fit in the box isn't going to happen. Lol! It's a working progress to let yourself do a little less some days. I think we feel so much better though!

Jo Michaels said...

Yeah, what Krystal Jane said :)

Schedules are like mother's milk. Spread it all out before you on post-its (everything, down to laundry and cooking dinner) then decide what you don't NEED to do. Throw those away. Once you have a visual of what you NEED to accomplish, put them in some kind of order and make yourself a schedule for the next week.

After that week is done, do it again with adjustments to time (things that took longer than you thought, etc...) and try that. Keep tweaking until you get something that works for you.

Once you have a schedule, stick to it. When someone asks if you can do XYZ, look at your week and see if you already have the time available. Do NOT rearrange it or kill things that are on it. It's the only way you're gonna be able to get out of bed and breathe each day without going crazy.

Oh, and don't forget to schedule time for YOU. Even if that's with the kids and hubby, it's still time to take a stinkin' break from work and relax. Never, ever, give up that time to anyone else.

You can do it. I hope this helps in some small way.


Anonymous said...

I could have written this post, Tia. I am so paralyzed by everything I have to do!

I have written out the entire to-do list, and almost stopped breathing. However, I pick three small things to do each day. If I get those done, I'm happy. Of course, I have to work on the big stuff, but I'm still in baby step mode.

Hang in there, and feel free to vent. :)

Unknown said...

Totally get the overwhelmed aspect of things. We have white boards with the week's tasks on them. Actually we have two layers of scheduling, the whiteboards and cards. The point of two layers is to somehow trick us into not getting overwhelmed. Literally everything with any timeframe can go on a card. Every week we go through the cards to build the white boards with a manageable(hopefully) list of things. It does help to only see the whiteboard, even knowing the cards are lurking too. \

Wish you the best in getting the stuff organized and out of the overwhelmed stage.

alberta ross said...

oh those lists of 'to do today' ilk - I am still trying to be ruthless , getting there, find I sometimes have time to breathe! all the best with it all and keep smiling:)

Tia Bach said...

Krystal -- I like the idea of "fitting into the box"--only so much can get done in any day.

Jo -- I'm going to try this. I need to get my butt in gear.

Elizabeth -- I do need to breathe and simply tackle one thing at a time.

Andrew -- Love, love, love the ideas. Thanks.

Alberta -- Ooooh. Ruthless. I need to be that, too.

Thanks everyone for caring enough to comment and for being there. I appreciate it SO much!

Shah Wharton said...

I fault, trying to do everything all at the same time. I mind cannot organise nor be organised. I seem to say this so often in comments... but that along with everything else work against me no matter whether I keep a schedule or not. My calendar is always filled with things to do, I have alerts up to three days before sent to my inbox and I still miss stuff.

All the best for you productivity Tia!