Monday, January 4, 2010

A Plan for that Overwhelmed Feeling...

It’s 10am on January 4th, the first day the kids are back to school after an action-packed, travel-filled winter break. My New Year’s Resolutions are finished, and today is the day I am supposed to start living the New Me: organized, happy, content, efficient…

And I’m also on the verge of a panic attack. The kitchen, the laundry pile, the email inbox, the grout in the bathroom – I have lost control of them all. It is completely overwhelming, and the more I realize I need to get done…must get done…the less I can do.

I’ve had plenty of days like this before, and they have traditionally involved hours of walking from room to room, whimpering in despair, until I end up just binge-eating.

But this time I think I may just have a plan: one that is realistic and empowering rather than impossible and guilt-inducing. So for all of you fellow perfectionists out there that simply cannot be perfect today, let’s all try this together:

Get our heads organized: Go ahead and make the “Master List” of absolutely everything that we think needs to be done on a separate sheet of paper, not our day-planner. By putting it on paper, it can leave our minds for the moment, and reveal any hidden urgent matters that may show up on #23 or so.

Prioritize: Pick the 2-3 things that MUST be done today, and write those in our day-planner. Post the other list somewhere else and write “This Week:”, “This Month:”, or even “This Year:” on the top of it, then forget it for the rest of the day.

Create a haven: Create one clean, organized, attractive spot where we can think, breathe, and feel accomplished for the day. The rest of the house can remain a bomb site for the time being.

Fully accomplish a few measurable things: Complete our day-planner list, start to finish, and pat ourselves on the back.

This is doable, and this is enough. We’ve accomplished what must be done, and the rest of our lives we’ve got covered on that list…which we’ll tackle tomorrow. Or not.



Anne said...

here! here!
What if you have to move from your tic tack sized dwelling, start a new job and have ADD?

Jennifer McCluskey said...

Make a very small "vista", maybe even out a window! :-) Good luck- the perfectionist in all of us tends to need tangible signs of our successes, so make sure to include some easy ones in your to do list!