When you want to get organized, one of the biggest obstacles to your success is feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks that you need to get done. It doesn’t matter if you are organizing your suitcase, a desk full of papers, a closet or your whole house. When you are overwhelmed, it will often paralyze you to the point of inaction. So how do you get past the feeling of overwhelm to begin your organization project? Here are 7 ways that you overcome overwhelm and your home, life and family organized.
When you feel overwhelmed, it is difficult to start a large organization task. This is a good time to pick a small and easy organization task to complete. Do you have a drawer that you want to re-arrange, a surface that you need to clear off or papers that need filing? This is a good place to start when you are feeling overwhelmed by organization. It’s okay to take baby steps to get the job done.
Set a Timer
Another good way to get past your organizational overwhelm is set a timer and force yourself to work on the project for a set amount of time. Start small with short blocks of time such as 10-15 minutes then slowly increase the time. Make sure you work breaks in to your work blocks. If you work at a project steadily for a set amount of time each day, it will get done.
Take a Break
The more intense a home organization project is, the more important it becomes to take a break. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a project for 30 minutes or 6 hours, you need to build breaks in. It is always good to take the break and step back and evaluate your work. This can be a good time to clear out a pile of trash or shred a pile of papers or just relax for 5 minutes.
Write It Down
It doesn’t matter if you use a piece of paper, a smart phone app, a white board or a computer program. You have to have a place to write your task list or action steps down. When I feel overwhelmed, I can eliminate that feeling by writing down all the tasks I need to get done. Some people call this a brain dump where you “dump” everything in your brain out. Once your organization projects or tasks are written out, you can then prioritize them and relieve the overwhelm feeling that is floating around in your brain. This can be a good way to get started.
The constant overwhelm of information in our lives from smart phones and social media creates a world of distractions in our lives. Part of the reason we can’t organized and get stuff done at home and at work is because of distractions. If you know that you will be pulled away from getting organized every time you get a text, or a notification on your devices, eliminate those distractions. This is easy to do, you can turn off notifications, turn on do not disturb or airplane mode on your devices and get to work. Later on, you can reward yourself with a few minutes of tech time as you take a break from your task.
If it is not technology that is distracting you, but a child or a spouse, you will have to be creative. Can you work at a different time of day when they won’t be needing you? Can your spouse spend time with your child at home or out of the home so that you can finish a project in peace?
Don’t Put So Much Pressure on Yourself
Often, many of the home organization projects I want to get done don’t have a deadline. Usually, the only deadline lurking around my organization projects are the unrealistic ones I set for myself. If you are working full time and raising kids, you won’t have as much time to work on an organization project as you would probably like. It is good to set a goal to finish your work, but don’t be unrealistic about it. The more pressure you put on yourself to finish a project, the more you will struggle with overwhelm. This will only add to your stress level and overwhelm. As you begin to work through your project and gain confidence, then you can increase the work load and expectations for yourself.
Finally, be sure to reward yourself when you meet one of your goals. If you are starting small, your reward can be small. For example, when you have sat down and worked on organization for 15 minutes, reward yourself with 5 minutes of technology time. When you finish an hour or two of work on your organization project, then give yourself a half hour TV show. The bigger the task that you finish, the bigger the reward you can make for yourself.
In this day and age with all the distractions and activities that need our attention it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel out of control in your life. It is easy to feel that your home, your life, or your family will never be organized. It takes work and a commitment to push past the overwhelm that can easily overcome you. When you get stuck on an organization project, try these 7 techniques to get unstuck.
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