In my last post, I talked about being whelmed this year.
That is, overwhelmed, not underwhelmed – just whelmed.
It’s a bit like the story of the three bears and their porridge. Remember in that story, it was all about temperature control and to be patient instead of rushing into hot food.
There’s nothing worse than a hot porridge blister.
But as usual, I digress. Back to being whelmed.
I wanted to share a progress update with you.
One of the secrets to being whelmed is to maintain focus and avoid distraction. That’s because overwhelm partly comes from losing focus and allowing yourself to be distracted.
Next comes procrastination, irritation and then stagnation. Probably some other ‘ations’, too.
The other part of losing focus is over committing because you think you can do it all, have it all and be it all. Or because you think you ‘should.’ Sorry, I tried those lines of thinking (repeatedly, like a good scientist) but they didn’t actually work.
What DOES work is a practice of creating focus, which keeps you FAR from distraction.
Here’s how you get whelmed (the step-by-step process).
1. Write down all your shoulds, especially the guilt-laden ones.
Write them like this: “I should vacuum the stairs.” “I should get this page written by 5pm” etc
2. Change the s in should, to a c for could. Now, instead of a bunch of futile rules, you have created the opportunity to be more discerning within your time and energy.
Like this: “Hmmm, I COULD do the vacuuming….but then I won’t get that page written.” I bet you can see where this is going. You are trimming your to-do list and making it more realistic.
3. Split your list of coulds into this week and next week based on urgency. Now you are spreading the load and diminishing the pressure.
At this point you might feel a little scared….like you aren’t doing enough. That’s ok, sit with the feeling for a few moments and let it pass.
4. Make sure you have no more than 10 hours worth of tasks for this week.
I know, right? Way too underachiever. Wrong! Stick with me on this.
5. Spread those 10 hours into discrete slots in your calendar and 1 hour units.
Yes, even split up a 4-hour task this way. Put 15 minute breaks between each contiguous hour of work.
6. Consider the worst case scenario.
Every task you allocated takes 3 or 4 times longer than planned. In this case, you meet your tasks for the week in 30-40 hours.
7. Consider the best case scenario
You meet your goals and get it all done extremely efficiently. In this case, you have STILL met target but with time to spare. Yay!
This is where whelm sits.
Notice that in either case (6. or 7.) you get the same amount of work done. You win either way.
And THAT is the secret to achieving whelm – it’s about planning and reflecting so you can set yourself up for success, no matter what.
Try this step-by-step process and let me know how you go!