Feeling Overwhelmed?

7 04 2009

One of the most common prescriptions for feeling overwhelmed is to write down your tasks for the day. Then, prioritize these tasks according to importance. Next, check off the tasks as you complete them. Although there is something bitter-sweet about checking tasks off a list, I have been experimenting with something quite the opposite the last few days. Instead of writing down the tasks BEFORE I complete them, I write down tasks AFTER I complete them. In essence, I am creating a what I accomplished today list instead of a to-do list.

Writing an accomplishment list makes me feel like I had a productive day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and depressed when I look at the giant looming to-do list, I feel empowered and pleased. An accomplishment list changes my perspective and helps me get through the day without stressing over what I did not get done, while reminding me to celebrate what I did accomplish. A word of caution, I would not use this method for a serious or very pressing matter (think a work report or that bill you forgot to pay). 

No task is too small to add to your accomplishment list. In fact, the smaller the better. The accomplishment list shows us how much we really do everyday from washing dishes, to going to the gym, to writing a blog. In addition, we can see what tasks take up most of the day. Are these the tasks we really want to or need to be doing everyday? For example, how many times a day are you picking up after the kids, your spouse, or pets? Perhaps your day would be better spent doing this once a day or only before visitors come over. In essence, the prioritizing comes AFTER the fact instead of BEFORE doing the task.

I use a small sticky note and attach it to the fridge. This keeps the list small and I don’t have any trouble filling it with 10 accomplishments for the day. Now I never go to bed feeling like the day was a waste. I look forward to the next day and the next list. Take a moment to write down everything you did today, you will be surprised how much you do each day. Don’t forget to thank your body and the universe (God) for giving you the energy to do all the things you do everyday. Hopefully, you will not be so hard on yourself anymore, after all, even playing with the kids or the dog is an accomplishment. Namaste.

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