Apr 23, 2015

Doing Stuff and Feeling Stressed

Last week was a pretty low point.

I've been feeling the strain of keeping up with my grad school class, forcing myself to tackle new projects at work (IT training, which means I know nothing and have to ask for help constantly), and an assortment of wedding prep and design projects.  I'm constantly working, organizing my schedule, or feeling guilty for not working, and I'm frequently out of my comfort zone.

So when I got sick, it didn't just mean I had to spend a day or 2 in bed, it meant that while I did nothing, everything else would continue to pile up and make the tasks waiting for me even more daunting.

I wrote a while back about how I've been feeling "busy" and I didn't want to, anymore.  I don't want to be guilty of spending more time being stressed out about tasks that ultimately won't contribute to my overall happiness.

I even made a plan, a Google Doc titled "Becoming Unbusy" to help me.  I listed out all the stuff.  Then I put all that stuff in order of priority.  I made a rule that I could only put 2 things on my "to do" list each day after work, and only 5 things on the weekend.  And then I searched for superfluous tasks that I could set down.  I dropped monthly goals.  I dropped my habit-building project.  I dropped my monthly craft project.  I told myself "no" when I wanted to start new projects (alas, capsule wardrobe!).

I thought it would magically fix the problem, but it didn't.  So I looked around for more things to simplify, more things to put away, and I realized this.  I can't.  Or rather, I won't.  There's nothing else that I'm willing to get rid of.  I'm not going to quit school.  I'm not going to not officiate at my sister's wedding.  I'm not going to not get married later this year.  And I will never, with very few exceptions, say no to a client project.

So I guess what I've accepted is that the stress isn't going to go away until this summer, when Sister2 is happily wed, and my final project has been turned in.  It's not ideal, but resigning myself to it feels a little better than frantically trying to fix it and "catch up."

I'm also going to rely rather heavily on the "Master To Do" list (that huge timeline with all my tasks until August).  Because when I try to think about everything I need to do, I can feel the chaos and confusion entering my brain.  But when I just think about this week's tasks, or better yet, what needs to be done today, then it starts to look a little more manageable.

In a way, the list has a similar mantra to my meditation app.  Nothing exists beyond this day, nothing exists beyond this moment.  And this moment isn't so bad.

How do you manage stress when you overload yourself?  Any tips for time management?


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5 comments:

  1. I just try to knock out the things that are an absolute must and not beat myself up over little things that dont get done. Also, you have to take a few minutes for me time too! Go for a walk, go shopping for a little bit, go get your toes done...whatever gives you a breather.

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  2. i think getting to the point where you are, refusing to give anything else up, is a good place to be. you want to do these things, you are unwilling to give them up. so i guess now you just have to work on dealing with stress and time management :) i love the idea of not looking past this current day, that REALLY helps me because I'm such a 'look ahead' person and that really stresses me out sometimes. overall though, i'm just not a very busy person so i really don't have that much advice :( sorry friend!

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  3. I love that you made a list to prioritize your life. Sounds like my kind of way of handling stress! ;-)

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  4. I love that you have a master to do list. I have a bunch of little lists and a huge one would be so helpful. I have periods of time when I am super busy. I know that this is the way it is and just try to ride it out until things straighten themselves out. I would love to take a big chunk of time off this summer to just enjoy summer and my kids.

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  5. I really need to stop looking ahead so much too. It really does put so much unnecessary stress on me. Thanks for reminding me and thanks for working on my project with me. You are a pink starbusrt :)

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