Few things are as overwhelming as registering for baby products for your first child. In addition to the fact that you have no idea what you’re doing, you also have 9,000 choices of bottles, car seats, and strollers. It’s enough to make anyone need a nap just thinking about it.
It used to be common to be overwhelmed during busy transitional seasons of our lives like planning a wedding, buying a house, starting a business, or having a baby. But now with our overbooked schedules, many competing commitments and a Pinterest-perfect standard of life, being stressed has become the new normal.
We often wear busyness as a badge of honor. But if we’re honest, being overwhelmed is exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you are at work or at home—the black hole of things yet to do can zap the energy, productivity and joy out of your life.
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Most people think that stress is caused by having too much to do, but it’s not really that. It’s not that we have too many things going on; it’s often that we have the wrong things going on. So when we remove the wrong things, we can remove the anxiety we experience as well.
Here are three quick steps to do just that:
1. Write it down. I know this seems obvious, but simply writing down everything you need to do can provide an incredible amount of freedom. When you take the ideas, tasks and to-do lists that keep you up at night and make them tangible on paper, you remove the anxiety of the unknown. When you can see them all in one place, you can relax because you have defined what you need to do on paper and taken back control.
2. Circle the things you enjoy. After you’ve written everything down in one comprehensive list, go through and circle the things that sound fun and the things that you are good at. These are almost always the same, since we don’t usually enjoy tasks that we’re bad at! These are the things that are in your sweet spot. You’ll be the most successful, energized and fulfilled when you spend as much time as possible doing these things.
3. Get rid of the things you don’t enjoy. The things you don’t enjoy but are responsible for are the things that overwhelm you the most. These tasks are things that you don’t know how to do, aren’t good at, and don’t want to do. You can get rid of these tasks in several ways. You could identify someone to help you and write their name next to the task. Maybe you could pay or barter with someone for their assistance, or maybe they will help you out to be nice. Either way, when you get rid of things that you don’t enjoy and give them to someone who is good at them, you stay in your strengths and allow others to stay in theirs. And then of course, if possible, you could always cut some of those tasks out entirely and just not do them. We do a whole lot of things that we really don’t have to do. Removing the tasks that you don’t enjoy will significantly remove your stress as well.
For example, here’s a very short sample of what one of my lists look like:
If you can simply write down everything you need to do, identify the things you enjoy doing, and find help for the things you don’t, you’ll not only reduce the stress in your life, but you’ll have a lot more fun as you get to spend more time doing what you love!
For more on work-life balance, come see Christy Wright LIVE at her one-of-a-kind, two-day event. This May, Christy will bring other leading ladies including Amy Porterfield, Christine Caine, Crystal Paine and Rachel Cruze to Phoenix and Dallas for Business Boutique.