So, you are trying to catch up; running late; anxious about what you should have done or ought to do; worried about what you have forgotten to do; you cannot focus on any one thing; you have gone into overwhelm. In fact, you may find that you now have become indecisive, started to procrastinate, and feel like you are running up a downward escalator and getting nowhere.
First of all, let’s get realistic about how much time there is if you are lucky enough to live to 80 years or even 100 years. 80 years is 960 months or 4,174 weeks or 29,220 days. 100 years equals 5,217 weeks. When you think about it like that, it really does not seem very long so perhaps now is good to plan what you do want in your given time. Find out what is important to you, really important.
I can help you to clarify, plan, create calmness, fulfilment, and a new perspective in your life. I have been doing this for over 30 years and even if you only choose a couple of strategies or techniques, from the few I will discuss, I believe they will make a difference.
Why do I know this? Firstly, because I needed to make changes for myself. I wasn’t called a “dreamer” or “Butterfly Brain” for nothing and simply had no sense of time. I was late for everything and did not understand why. I would be working all hours and still not be able to catch up. Secondly, in my private practice and also my Life Coaching Training I have found the main cause of overwhelm and stress is to do with the expectation of unrealistic time pressure. This is usually self-inflicted by what we believe we “should” achieve. There are of course many other factors, and we are all unique and what might work for one person may not work for another, so the last thing I want is to bring more pressure. Just choose what may work for you and try it out.
This is not about how to manage all the things on your to-do list, but more about creating a different approach to time and a helpful mindset. I have in the last 6 months set up an Instagram and TikTok with the help of my 25-year-old granddaughter to give some insights as to how to do this. The need for these tips is simply massive because the feedback I have received shows how much stress and overwhelm there is in the world. It has definitely focussed my mind to help others overcome this.
Do you find yourself thinking – There is not enough time in the day – no time to stop. If I do not do it today, will there be even more to do tomorrow? Does that sound familiar?
- If you are constantly telling yourself (like I used to) “There is not enough time” it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy and your subconscious mind starts to believe this because you are affirming it to yourself. Well, this is definitely putting you on the path of rushing even more to cram everything in. Stop, (unless you want to put your body into fight or flight mode deliberately – your normal functioning will become impeded. ) Change the thought to something more helpful such as “I am using my time effectively” and strangely, this seems to happen because you are giving your mind clear instructions. It certainly takes the pressure off. Try it.
- Do you have an inner voice that is a very harsh taskmaster, which is constantly telling you what you should have done and what you ought to do. Is it trying to drive and push you to do more and more. If you can relate to this, then you are not alone. Try the three-chair method. One chair for the Taskmaster, one chair for the part of you that has gone into anxiety or overwhelm. And the third one for your rational or observer part. I use this a lot for my clients, but you can have a go yourself by sitting in each chair and having an internal dialogue until you come to some sort of negotiation through the rational part. Hopefully commonsense and insights will be the outcome for you to put into practice and make choices that put you more in the driving seat of your life.
- If you have a “pleaser part” that cannot say no and pleases everyone else except yourself, then there is no time left for you. Assertiveness training may be helpful but, in any event, just for one week, give yourself a break and decide not to say “yes” to everyone that asks you to do something because it is OK to say “No.” They won’t be as upset as you think and will ask someone else so there is no need to feel guilty. Then you have given yourself some valuable time.
- Get yourself a planner and plan only the things that are really important and essential and time for things that you really value. Leave 40% as space and time for unexpected things (this is the 60/40 rule). The benefit of this is that you get things out of your mind and on the plan. The timing of the plan can be changed if you need to, but at least you have a visual of your week or weeks. This enables you to relax, be in now and focus on the present issues without worrying about the future.
- Check what is important in your life and do some elimination of non-helpful stuff. Declutter to give yourself space and time. Easy said I know and not so easy to do especially when there are people in your life that depend on you. If this is the case, use the words “I choose to do this” instead of “I have to.” It really does change the energy.
- If you have made goals about the future, check that they are still goals that you want. Are they fulfilling and do they feel exciting and motivating? Then the planning and the path towards the goals are clearer and easier but remember to take some time out to relax.
- Have you tried mindfulness? I use just a 3-minute session with my clients to start with as it helps them to become calmer, think more clearly and has the effect of changing their perception of time. If interested I have a version on my Mindconnections.com website and on Instagram.
Here are just 7 ideas and each of you will have different lifestyles, responsibilities and people that rely on you to provide and support. Do you want to create a lifestyle where you don’t just survive but have much more energy, aliveness and fulfilling time. .