Dear Diary & Videos

Goal: Stop Being Overwhelmed

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

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!