I don’t know about you, but when I have a lot on my to-do list, I get overwhelmed. I can’t possibly get it all done in one day, so I give up even trying. I’ll go shopping, find a new recipe to bake, fix myself a snack, watch YouTube, find someone to talk to, make a new plan, start a new project…anything to avoid my to-do list, which just keeps getting longer. If you feel like this too, sometimes, don’t worry. Today, I’m sharing five tips that help me get “un-stuck”, so you can use them to help you too!
- Accept that you aren’t going to get it all done in one day. Thinking that you have to get everything done now is a perfectionist mindset, and it’s unhealthy – because we can never be perfect. We just have to keep improving. Progress, not perfection.
- Prioritize the most important things, and get them done first. If the most important things seem to daunting, break them down into smaller chunks first. Or, you can start with a few easy things on your to-do list, building your self-confidence in your ability to get something done, before moving on to the harder, most important things.
- Don’t start new projects. This isn’t the time to add more to your to-do list! However, if you love starting a new project, save it until you finish at least two projects on your to-do list. That way, you’ll be finishing two old projects and starting one new project, leaving you with a deficit of one thing on your to-do list.
- Start a timer. If you’re avoiding things because you “don’t have time for it”, then set a timer. It doesn’t matter if you think the task will take longer than the amount of time you have to accomplish it. If you have twenty minutes to clean your bedroom, set the timer for twenty minutes – even if you think it would take you an hour! At the end of twenty minutes of cleaning, cross cleaning your room off your list. It’s okay that it’s not perfect. Your room is cleaner than if you had never started at all. Remember: Done is better than perfect.
- Reward yourself. If I’m feeling particularly unmotivated, I’ll often work for fifteen or twenty minutes (set the timer!), and then watch a YouTube video or movie for 5 minutes. While you’re working, you can look forward to the break. And even though you are taking breaks to do something “unproductive”, you are making more progress on your to-do list than if you froze and did no work at all.
So remember: it’s okay to get overwhelmed and feel like you don’t have time for everything. The important thing is to just start. If you don’t start, it won’t get done. If you do start – yes, it may not be perfect, but it will be better than not doing it at all!