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  • Natalie Bonkowski

Goal: Stop Being Overwhelmed

Updated: Jul 27

As school, events, and activities screeched to a halt, my colorful calendar became empty. This meant no more decisions on which color of ink to use to fill my color-coded wall calendar or my five-year planner. The COVID-19 had hit hard, and our world, as we know it, was shutting down.

As an extreme introvert, there was really a huge sense of relief that fell off my shoulders. It is ironic that two traits (*gifts) I was given was the desire to constantly plan, but at the same time be an introvert. I want to plan it all, but I do not want to do any of it if it is outside my home. Welcome, to a day inside of my brain. (*I believe each trait we have was hand crafted gifts given to us by God.)

As the weeks continued to pass, I realized the anxiety and pressure had subdued in my mind, but I still felt overwhelmed. Even though my schedule had cleared, I was still busy with working from home, keeping the kids focused on their schoolwork, and keeping them from extreme boredom.

These were valid reasons to still be overwhelmed, but I was surprised by the amount of “overwhelm” in my life.

I realized I had been working on overtime to try to figure out all the things I could get accomplished during this shutdown. My mind was still working just as hard, as if I had a full colored calendar.

My current planning consisted of time spent in my big spiral with lots of lists, my five-year monthly calendar, and my appointment calendar. I know you are thinking this is way too many calendars, but it was working prior to this change of schedule.

I quickly realized my appointment calendar was not really working anymore. My appointment calendar was a way for me to organize my day. I decided to put it away, on the shelf, for now.

My five-year monthly calendar is not useful right now, either. I will keep it handy, but not much going in it these days, outside of work at home.

The big spiral with all the lists, well, that was causing a lot of my anxiety. I focused on these lists every day. Then I focused on all the things not getting done on the list. This was the big culprit. I need to have master lists. I need to have all this stuff written down. I just need to stop focusing on all of it.

As a side note, I sleep well at night because of my master lists. If there is something that is going on in my head, I write it down. No need to remember it in that instant and sleep well.

I stumbled across an article, a time management course that I am taking for my CPA license continuing education. I learned some people use note cards for their lists. I decided to use a 3x5 note card/index card and only write the things I truly had intention of working on or completing that day.

Each day gets their own 3x5 index card. The card is big enough to fit a day’s worth of work, but small enough so that I cannot add more stuff than I can handle in a day. This keeps me from focusing on ALL the things I want to do in life, and only the things I have set to do for that day.

This has been a complete game changer for me.

Each night, I write out my index card for the next day. I use my master list to find the things I want to get done. Then, I keep the card with me all day. I use the back of the notecard for things I want to remember, quotes that give me inspiration, and meal ideas as they come to me.

Does this fix my “overwhelmed” feelings? Not completely, as this is something I will continue to work on. But it does minimize these feelings.

I will continue to work on some habits that need fixing:

*Allowing too much on my schedule.

*Having to always “accomplish” things to feel happy.

*Always planning, and not doing.

And many more! We are always a work in progress! Right?! I am thankful I stumbled across this notecard idea. I am excited to see it evolve and hope to get many things done, keep calm, and be happy! That is the way to go through life!

About Me

After 20 years of dieting, frustration, self-confidence and body image issues, I found myself as a contestant in a transformation contest. I stepped on stage in a bikini and dark tan and won 5th place. Walked off stage, started eating, and gained 50 pounds in a year. I felt so defeated, lost, miserable, and out of control.  

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Matthew 17:20

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A Health Coach or Life Coach is a tool to help you realize your goals, support you, and help you create habit change. We are not doctors or nutritionists. We cannot provide professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information you receive from me is based on my personal experiences, studies of others, and training received from health coach and life coach school. Always consult with your doctor before making changes to your health and wellness plan.

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