Feeling overwhelmed can be . . . well, overwhelming! Whether it stems from taking on too much, having unrealistic expectations, lack of planning, or being unable to relinquish control – the feeling of overwhelm can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Overall, it inhibits your ability to get anything done efficiently and makes you feel even more overwhelmed than ever!

If you’re feeling this way, we get it. We feel you! All of us struggle with too much to do, too little time, and worry that we will never catch up. But just because you feel overwhelmed doesn’t mean you have to stay overwhelmed.

You may have a lot on your plate – but there are specific things you can do to ensure that you aren’t feeling the pressure of doing it all and doing it all at once.

To regain control, follow our five-step strategy:

1. Prioritize – identify what needs to get done first.

Remind yourself that you’re human and you can’t do it all all of the time . . . and you certainly can’t do it all in the next 24 hours. Prioritize what needs to get done today.

A helpful strategy is to reflect on why you’re doing any of this to begin with. Think back to your personal goals and why you chose them. It might motivate you, or it might show you what needs to get removed from your list.

So now, if you had to pick three things to get done today, what would they be? Those are your top priorities. Write them in your planner! (The signature daily page in our Flagship Planner has a prompt for your “top three” each day.)

Everything else is just icing on the cake! Create a realistic to-do list for the day that includes these additional items.

2. Time block to realistically map out your day.

While to-do lists are a helpful account of everything you need to get done, you’ll have more success if you block off time for your to-dos in your schedule. Take your list, pull out your planner, batch your tasks, and schedule time – not just for the appointments, meetings, and events in your life – but for the everyday tasks that need to get done, too.

You’ll likely find that there was more on your to-do list than you could realistically get done in a day. Don’t worry – we all overestimate how much we can get done in a day! Ensure that you’re prioritizing what’s most important and move anything else to your next available time slot tomorrow.

3. Avoid multitasking – one thing at a time!

Many of us view multitasking as a good thing – a badge of honor; a sign of staying busy and productive. But it’s important to remember that busyness and productivity are two separate things! In reality, multitasking can be counterproductive – to your work, to your creativity, and to the end results.

By focusing on one thing at a time, you’ll be more focused and less stressed!

4. Delay less urgent tasks

What if there’s something that you want to do, but you just don’t have time to do it? Thankfully, there’s a happy middle ground: later. When you’re doing the best that you can, don’t feel guilty postponing things that can be delayed for the sake of sanity!

The next time your schedule is filled to the brim and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through the week, remember: Your secret weapon is the answer “no.” While no isn’t always the easiest thing to say, it’s one of the most powerful time management tools that you have. Use it wisely!

5. Take walks to clear your head and get perspective

Sometimes, removing yourself from your everyday routine and stepping back from the hustle and bustle of life is exactly what’s needed to gain much-needed clarity. Take a break! Heading outside for a walk will help realign your thoughts – giving you some fresh perspective and direction.

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Are you ready to get started? Let us know if this post resonates with you in the comments below!