By- Tom Kubrak
Often times we can easily get overwhelmed throughout our crazy days. This doesn’t just affect us personally either. It affects the people around us. Whether that’s at work or at home, and no matter how good you are at hiding it… people notice.
How do you get *Un-overwhelmed?
Set a plan for the day. I like to use a notecard for when I do plan. There are lots of reasons for this. Some practical one’s are… It can fit in your wallet or my pocket notebook and when I need to give it a little read during the day to get back on track I can pull it right out and give it a quick glance.
What goes on the notecard?
- One Word– In other words, this is your “Intention of the Day” or “A Word to Keep in Mind” to trigger you. For example, I sometimes use words like Balance, Smile, and Energy. A good book a read on the usage of keeping one word in mind was Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola’s book “Beyond Basketball.” Whether your a sports fan or not I think this is worth the read.
- 3 Goals- Sometimes we like to shoot for the stars and tell ourselves, “I’m going to do this, that, and accomplish so much!” At the end of the day you look back and see that you only accomplished 1 of the 10 goals you set for yourself. Naturally.. you’re disappointed. To start try setting 1-3 goals. Over time you can work your way up to setting more, but as a general rule. I have my core 3 amount of goals. This also helps you build momentum going into the next day.
- 3 things you’re Thankful For- A daily practice of writing down what you’re thankful for is something that really changed my days and helped me relax my nerves when things were getting pretty overwhelming.
- Check out Rich Bellis’ post on FastCompany.com. Step 4 stands out to me. He describes how being thankful helps you become more patient. https://www.fastcompany.com/3053843/the-surprising-benefits-of-gratitude
- Food- This will help you avoid the ‘time waster question’ of, “Where are we going for lunch today and then for the next 10-15 minutes you try and think where you’re going for lunch. This will also help you foodies on your snacking habits throughout the day so you can fully concentrate on your work. I know some people don’t do 4 days a meal too. So your notecard may look different than mine
- Faith Durand has some creative ways to plan out your meals and stay organized with your meal planning. Steps 5 and 6 stand out to me.
- Agenda- Set your agenda for the day. Write down what you’re going to do and put the time next to when you’re going to start. Be flexible with your times. But this will help you stay on task. Treat each agenda item like a meeting you have that you can’t cancel on. Stefan James shows how he plans out his day in this post on his website if you want a look at some other strategy. https://projectlifemastery.com/how-to-plan-your-day-for-optimal-productivity/
When is the best time to plan out your day?
There’s no “best time” to do this it really depends on the person. I used to do it in the morning but I found it better to plan out my day before going to bed(over a glass of wine or a beer). The big reason for this is so when the day begins and I’m done with my morning routine I don’t even have to think I can jump right into my tasks for the day and maybe later in the afternoon give the notecard a little review.
In Peter Bregmen’s blog post about planning your day, he has some other strategies that may be helpful for you. He likes to plan his day out before opening his laptop when he sits down at his desk https://hbr.org/2009/07/an-18minute-plan-for-managing
Bonus! When you’re up for it and find the time on your weekends, I also like to set up my notecards for the week on Saturdays or Sundays. Also, I try to take a break from using a notecard for my planning at least one day a week. “Freelance day” usually my day off.
Be patient and find what works best for you in planning out your day. Experiment, see what works and see what doesn’t.
Email me some of your notecards and how it’s helped!
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” -Anonymous
*According to the great dictionary of ReadyAction Un-overwhelmed is defined like so… A state of being where you stop worrying and you are at ease with what is going on in your life. Oftentimes when you are in a state of being Un-overwhelmed you can be seen with a smile on your face. People tend to
By- Tom Kubrak
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