Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feeling overwhelmed

Ok, so I feel like I need to get my butt in gear. I have so many things I want to accomplish, and it seems like I have less and less time as I go. So if I want to get any of it done - I need a plan. I need a way to get organized and start accomplishing things! Here are some of the goals I have and want to start working towards:

  • Exercise – I do great when my friend Leslie and I go to Gold’s Gym together, but when I try to do it on my own I stink at it. I never get out of bed, and never end up exercising once I do get up. If I sleep in – I don’t exercise. What’s the deal with that? I want to be better about that. When I get my exercising done in the morning everything else goes smoother. I’m going to work on that. My goal is to go to the gym (or go walking) at least 4 days a week.
  • TBG (The Blind Guy) – Having our business has been great in some ways, but in others I always have it hanging over my head. I want to develop a plan, and a schedule that I can somewhat stick to. That way I don’t always feel like, “I can’t do _____, I have work that needs done”. It doesn’t mean I am always doing work stuff, just that I always feel like it’s hanging over my head. I want to have some time scheduled to work on that.
  • Scrapbooking – I love scrapbooking, I think about scrapbooking every day. Whether or not I actually DO it, that’s another story….So I want to get back to my goal of doing at least 1 (paper) scrapbook page for Gabe’s scrapbook each week. I also want to improve my scrapbooking. I have a simple style, and that’s not going to change – but I want to break outside of my little box more often. That might mean making cards for an afternoon/evening each week, or doing things that would stretch me creatively. I might pick up my book, “The Artist’s Way” that Cory bought for me a few years ago. I never read it – but maybe now would be a good time to add that to my reading list. I would also really like to start submitting to the magazines again. The competition is so fierce that I don’t know if it would even be worth my time, but I would really like to get into that again.
  • Pictures – I absolutely love digital cameras. But at the same time, I hate them…does that make any sense to anyone else? I love that I can take a lot of pictures in order to get the perfect one. But I hate that all of my pictures seem to get “stuck” in my digital camera, or on my computer. I take the pictures, but I rarely print them. So I want to start printing my pictures once a month. For instance – it’s August. So by the end of August, I want to have my July pictures printed. I’m ok with being a month behind, but I want to work on staying somewhat caught up. For this to work I need to find another developer though – I am totally done with using Walmart. (Any suggestions?)
  • Housework – As Gabe’s gotten older my house has gotten messier and dirtier. However, with him getting around now, and getting into EVERYTHING I need it to be cleaner than ever. But when it all comes down to it, cleaning is one of my least favorite things to do a lot of the time, so at the end of the day I put it off for one more day. Then I wait until I have someone coming over, or something going on at my house and I stress out about getting everything scrubbed. So I want to come up with a cleaning schedule. I don’t know if I need to look into something like “Fly Lady” (and if any of you use that website – email me), or if something else would work better – but I want to get into some kind of a routine. Like “Laundry on Monday”, “Bathrooms on Tuesday”, etc. I think breaking it into smaller chunks rather than, “Clean the entire house” – would help a lot. I get discouraged with so much to catch up on.
  • Gabe – Now that Gabe is getting older I feel like I need to have some structured play time with him. Time when we can work on new words, new skills, sign language. I don’t quite know how to work on this yet – but I want to do more than read a few stories – I want to help him develop, and learn new things.

So my list is long, and I feel overwhelmed looking over it. But I know that I can do it - I know that I need to put some organizational things in place first though. So if anyone has any suggestions or ideas, I’d welcome them. How do you stay organized, how do you get everything done? Most importantly, how do you not get overwhelmed by everything rushing at you? When I sit down to accomplish things during Gabe’s nap I feel so overwhelmed that it seems like I don’t end up getting anything at all done. So send on your advice.


Paul and Nicole Rhien said...

one fun thing we discovered on our computer is a program called iDVD. We've been taking all of our pictures from our life together and putting them in slide shows on DVD. It's been fun to reminisce things that we've been through.

we've also felt compelled to make some new goals and restructure some of our old goals. I'm working on reading my novel (ROOTS) and having the TV on less. We're working together (and just started) on reading the entire Book of Mormon by the end of the year (the same as Pres. Hinckley's challenge last year).

Goals are great- they get our buns in gear on things that we truely want, but don't do.


The Rhiens said...

I think that you are a great goal setter and achiever. Look what you have done with WW! And you are great at giving Gabe the attention he needs...reading to him, taking him to the library, etc. So, start by giving yourself credit for the things that you are doing right. Then set some new goals. I find that when I am really wanting to achieve more I make lists and cross things off. Sometimes sitting down at the beginning of the day and roughly scheduling out the day, based on the goals for the day can be helpful. The thing to remember there is flexibility. You can't schedule in snuggling with Gabe when he needs it, or visiting with Cory when he needs someone to listen to his ideas, or things like that. So, you have to be flexible enough to have a little give and take in the schedule, or you will just frustrate yourself. Making your schedule a matter of prayer at the beginning of the day can help, too. It helps me to see the priorities for the day.

Good luck! I think you do great. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Love, Mom

Carpers said...

When I was exactly your age I had the same problem. And then one day, Brian came home from church with some project that he thought I should do - like grind all our own grain and make bread from scratch, or something like that and I just fell apart - there was no way I had more time in my day for ONE MORE task. So as I cried, I took off for a walk up to the lake, praying the whole time.

I got to a beautiful spot beside a creek and sat down on a rock and prayed my heart out. I poured out all the stuff I have to do and how I couldn't possibly do more. The Spirit spoke audibly to me and told me to to home and make a list of everything that I had to do. (and I was thinking, ALL RIGHT! my prayer is answered and I'm going to make up this list and shove it in Brian's face and the angels are going to tell him I can't do it).

So I got home and I wrote up the biggest list and really padded it with everything I could think of - every good cause I had ever heard of in Relief Society or in a magazine. And just as I was about to hand the list to Brian, the Spirit said, break it down into the tasks that have to be done daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

So, I thought, Hey that will be even better to show him how busy I am. So I made a 7 day chart and broke down my chores. by day and week and month and a chart of extras.

Then, the Spirit said, See, if you are organized, you will have time for everything.....

Most days, I could get my work done by 10 am and have the rest of the day for kids and visiting teaching and such.

A couple years later, we had a lesson in Relief Society that was teaching the exact schedule that the spirit taught me that day, so I know it was truly inspired.

I kept the schedule posted on the insides of my kitchen cupboard and used them for almost 20 years.

Try it - just write down everything you want to or have to do. As you put each thing on the weekly chart, cross it off your list. and keep going until the list is all crossed off and the schdule is done. On days you know you want to go to town, schedule less house stuff. On Thursdays, I baked, so the kitchen floor needed mopped that day. I tried to always schedule bathrooms and vacuuming on monday and friday morning, etc, etc,

It REALLY WORKS. We all still believe in THE SCHEDULE and I couldn't have gotten thru my kid's childhoods or teen years without it.

email me if I can help you set it up. Love, Aunt Charlotte

Anonymous said...

First, remember that you have a TODDLER. By definition an interrupter of schedules and plans. So, as your mom said, give yourself some room and flexibility--and credit for all you do already.

I always think about Stephen Covey's analogy, that you put the big rocks in the jar first, and then add the little ones--in other words, you schedule the big priorities and then fill in the little ones.

The step I would add is to look at the end of the day, or the end of the week, at what you did and didn't get done on your schedule and think about why. Maybe there's a task that you think will take 30 minutes that always takes two hours. Or maybe on Mondays you just need more unscheduled time because of stuff to do in the business. Whatever. . . Over time, you get to be a better and better estimater of how long each task takes, and that makes for better schedules.

And in our busy lives, some things just take a LONG time to get done. They stay the fourth priority for months and months, until they finally get done.

I have also found that breaking things up into little chunks is a good way to do it--it definitely helps with the overwhelm feeling, and over time you make steady progress.

So hang in there, and if you want to talk about time management, give me a call sometime. I've had lots of experience developing it, and helping other develop time management skills, at work. And a lot of it does really apply at home too.

When I get overwhelmed I do two things--I make a list SO SHORT that there's no way I won't get it all done. After a week or so of completing my entire list and some extras besides, I feel much more in control, even though nothing has changed about how much I have to do. The other thing is to make the list REALLY DETAILED, so that I have lots of things crossed off (for example, don't write down "Organize the garage"; write down
sort the sports equipment; find new containers for the sports equipment; organize the new sports containers; sort the old paints; research the toxic waste dump; take the old paints to the dump; find a shelf for the good paints; color code the good paints; post a list on the door; put allthe camping gear in one place; sort the camping gear; find containers. etc. etc. And then when you've crossed off 20 things, it feels great. These things sound corny, but they really work!

Much love to you, and thanks again for your hospitality and welcome this weekend. It warmed my heart to spend time with you and Cory, Earlene, and GABE!