Getting Things Done, For People Who Get Overwhelmed

We like to imagine that one day the stars will align and we’ll suddenly have the perfect amount of time, resources, and emotional energy to accomplish what we want: our schedules will magically clear, our clients will respond to our emails right away, all the money we desire will be in our bank account, no one in our family will get sick, our kids will love the healthy-yet-delicious dinner we made and will not only not complain about the food touching but effusively thank us for taking such good care of them, and the dog will stop tracking mud into the house. 

Deep down we all know that all of these things occurring at once is unlikely to ever happen. As a result, we often get overwhelmed as we allow everything to pile up. 

I read once (I’ve long forgotten where) that Amazon makes small edits to its website every day. If you look at their site in January and then again twelve months later in December, the difference will be striking. But if you look at their site multiple times a week as most of their users do, the changes largely go unnoticed. This method allows them to not only get big changes made on a realistic timetable, but also improve and implement new things they’ve learned as they go along.

Whether the task is big or small, things get done when we prioritize time to do them. The best way to prioritize time is to include it in the routines and rhythms we set for daily life. Creating overcomplicated systems or waiting for a sizable chunk of time to coincide with the perfect circumstances only ensures a life spent spinning like a a hamster wheel and never moving forward. 

In addition, if accomplishing a necessary chore or task feels like a mental hurdle you just can't seem to get over, reframe it so that you instead focus on the benefit of it being done.

If something takes less than a minute to accomplish, do it right away. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from not having tasks or literal things pile up more than they need to. 

Set 15 minutes aside every day – which adds up to more than two 40-hour workweeks per year – to work on a dream project, or the item on your to-do list that you keep procrastinating. You deserve to live up to your potential. 

Take five minutes to unload the dishwasher every morning while the coffee brews, fill it as you go along all day, and then run it every night. You – and your family – deserve a clean, stress-free environment where you can all relax and be yourselves.  

Choose one piece of art to frame, especially if it’s not in your budget to have your entire collection framed at once. You deserve to enjoy and be inspired by your home. 

You deserve the good things that life has to offer, so stop self-sabotaging and start creating incremental ways to get to where you want to go. 


(PS: If you need an uncomplicated solution to help you keep things organized and prioritized at the same time, my favorite is the Day Designer. This isn’t sponsored – just something that has made my life easier and might do the same for you.)