Morning. I wake up. And suddenly million thoughts come to my mind. I have to do this, I have to do that, I have to call someone, I have to decide about something. And you probably know the final result. I don’t want to do anything, because I don’t know where to start and I don’t believe I can handle all the tasks.
Few years ago in situation like this, I used to lie in bed until I really really had to go. Later I used to do a little bit of all things on autopilot. In the end of the day I used to feel like a big failure because I didn’t finished anything at all. So I felt a lot of anxiety and stress. I didn’t believe, I will handle all the tasks tomorrow.
Do I still have such days? Only when I’m not mindful enough.
Here are steps you should take, when you are overwhelmed and don’t want to do anything at all:
1. Take a step away. It’s perfect if you have a daily practice, e.g. meditation, or yoga nidra, or walking… Then your practice is the first thing you should do. If you don’t have such a practice, you can check out yoga nidra, which I believe is the best daily practice nowadays. If you don’t feel like it’s time to try something new, you have to find your own way of making a step away. E.g. reading a book, writing a diary, slowly drinking coffee and watching through the window…
2. Decide which tasks are more important than others and plan your day. If you feel overwhelmed, it means you should do only the most important tasks. Make sure you give enough time for every task, because the feeling we get after completing a task, is amazing. If you don’t have enough time to finish, then do not plan to make a miracle. If you have only 30min for house cleaning, do not plan to clean all the house. Instead of that, decide what is the most important thing to do. Let’s say that you really need to do the laundry and to wash dishes. Write these two things into your planning calendar and don’t feel guilty that you didn’t clean all the house. It is very important to set small goals and achieve them. This small habit inspires and gives energy to move forward.
3. Go into the world and do what you have to do.
4. Write down things you did throughout the day. In the end of the day so many people think about the things they didn’t do. You have to shift your thinking. Write down, what you have done and you’ll feel positive energy coming. E.g. I scheduled an appointment; I finished one part of my project; I spent quality time with my spouse. After that, if you want, you can plan tasks for tomorrow.
5. One more time take a step away. Read a good book, do a short meditation, listen to your favorite song… Forget about all the tasks, decisions and appointments, just relax. If you can’t, read this. Then sleep.
It’s a lot easier to do everything, if you have a daily practice of stepping away. Because it helps you to be more mindful throughout the day. When I started to practice these steps, in the middle of the day, I used to forget about my plans. It means, I lived on autopilot again, doing a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. In the evening, writing things down didn’t seem to be purposeful, because of the feeling that everything is bad.
But now when I catch myself doing things without thinking and in stress, I take a deep breath and say to myself: “I’m calm, relaxed, creative and happy. I’m doing everything I can, so I’m proud of myself.”
I look at my planning calendar and forget about every other task which is not included in today’s list.
If you don’t have enough time to do everything you would like to do, why to worry? Just do what you can do and be happy. If you can’t find time, maybe it’s not so important?