The following post is Part 3 of our latest series on overcoming overwhelm. Did you miss Part 1 and Part 2? Head over here to get started! Plus, download our FREE three-part printable workbook to follow along and create your own personal plan.
Over the past week, we have been focused on overwhelm—or, more specifically—how to overcome it. We have shown you the first step to managing your overwhelm, helped you identify the specific areas of your life that are feeling out of control, and offered strategies to help you get your to-do list (and your life) back in order.
As you’ve probably learned by now, to truly overcome overwhelm, you must intentionally manage your life—keeping an eye on all of the moving parts and must-dos and structuring them in a way that aligns with the life you’ve designed. This, in and of itself, can seem overwhelming . . . but it doesn’t have to be. Today we want to give you the best tools to bring it all together—to actually implement the strategies we shared with you and create your personal plan to overcome overwhelm once and for all!
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
– Peter Drucker
If you’ve been following along with our series (and the accompanying free workbook), then you have already identified the areas of your life that most need improvement and you’ve gotten clear on the specific strategies that will help you make those improvements. Now, you just need the right tools to put those strategies into action!
Start by taking a look at the answers you’ve already written in your workbook and ask yourself: Based on the areas of my life I want to improve and the strategies I plan to implement, which of these tools would work best for me?
Here are the three best tools to get you started:
A timer may seem like a simple tool, but honestly—it’s usually the simplest tools that work the best! When you want to feel less overwhelmed, you have to identify your priorities (something you’ve already done!) and then you need focus. But when it feels like there’s a lot to do—even after you’ve prioritized—and not enough hours in the day, you may find yourself trying to “multi-task” or do a little bit of everything throughout the day. How is that working out for you?
The simple act of setting a timer, even if only for 15 minutes, can help you block out distraction, focus on the task at hand, and actually cross something off your list before moving on to your new priority. When you try to do everything, you rarely get anything done. But when you give yourself even a small window of focused, timed time, you’ll get the right things done—and ride the productive wave that comes with having accomplished something, too.
You might remember from our last post that two of our strategies for overcoming overwhelm actually had very little to do with the actual tasks on your to-do list: We encouraged you to do something else and to let go of perfection. Admittedly, this is tough advice to swallow when you’re feeling overwhelmed—it seems the last thing you should be doing is taking time away from your tasks at hand or getting present and dropping perfection. But it’s essential to remember that these activities actually help you get more done . . . and get it done better.
It’s for this reason that one of our favorite “overcoming overwhelm” tools is to use healthy technology apps that encourage and track your commitment to these strategies. Meditation apps like Calm and exercise apps like Aaptiv are two examples of helpful “healthy technology”—but you can use anything that reminds you to take a break and take care of yourself.
Remember that the only way you’re going to actually enjoy the life you life—whether you have a lot on your plate or not—is if you’re staying healthy in mind, body, and soul first. Healthy technology can help you do just that.
Okay, okay—yes, we are obviously big fans of planning and committing to a system that works, with our favorite and ultimate recommendation being the one we first created: the Flagship Daily Planner by Day Designer. And with good reason! If you already have one, you know it is the one tool you need:
To keep track of everything…
Just one page in your Day Designer gives you space to write down everything in your head: There’s space for to-dos, for notes, for projects, for meal planning, for scheduling, for budgeting, and more. By writing it all down, you know you won’t forget something—even if you can’t complete it right now—and you’ll feel less stress than trying to remember and manage every detail in your head.
To organize and prioritize your goals, schedules, and to-dos…
Day Designer also intentionally structures each page of every planner to help you organize all of those thoughts and to-dos! Once it’s all out of your head, it’s time to actually organize and plan. Map everything you wrote down against each daily page of your planner to help you prioritize your tasks, keep your schedule top of mind, and plan for to-dos that are still way off in the future.
To visualize how you’re spending your time…
Once everything is written down and organized well within your Day Designer, you can clearly see everything that needs to get done—and, perhaps more importantly, what you have the time and space to get done in one day (or one week or one month or a whole year). Visualizing how you’re spending your time will not only help you be more realistic about what can get done, it will help you prioritize tasks that align with a well-intentioned life.
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Overcoming overwhelm is not only about getting everything out of your head (an important strategy noted in our last post!). It’s also about getting every project, every goal, and every appointment organized in a way that makes sense, is realistic, and aligns with the life you truly want to be living.
There are quite a few tools that can help you do just that, as we shared above. But Day Designer is the one all-encompassing tool you need to implement your personal plan to overcome overwhelm once and for all! If you don’t already have one, check out the latest edition of our Flagship Daily Planner. Try our FREE daily planning page to see firsthand if it is the best tool for overcoming overwhelm for you.
As we wrap up this 3-part series, we hope you feel more ready than ever before to tackle overwhelm before it even starts!
Which of the tools above will you use to implement your personal plan to overcome overwhelm? Share how you’ll get started with us in the comments below!