Day 11: A simple strategy to battle overwhelm


Battling overwhelm continues to be a struggle.

On any given day there are a million and one things I want to get done, plus the five hundred that i usually forget and have to add throughout the day. And then there are those things I didn’t set out to do but in the moment they feel important—like redoing a landing page, or revising my Twitter bio when I should be working on threads for the week. That one I call productive procrastination (except, it isn’t really productive since it prevents me from doing the thing I’m actually supposed to be doing).

Sometimes when the overwhelm gets to be too much, my solution is to do nothing. Which is even worse that my so-called productive procrastination.

So I’ve started using a strategy I’ve been long aware of but never bothered with. A top 3 list. The premise is simple (and I believe widely known and used)—make a list of 3 things that MUST get done every day. And focus on those 3 things until they’re done. Nothing else matters as long as those 3 items are open.

3 seems like a perfectly reasonable and doable number right? So it’s easy to make the mistake of adding more things. Which I’ve done. And regretted it.

So these days I write out everything I want to get done in a day, then I ruthlessly lovingly pare that list down to 3 main things that will take me closer to the week’s objective. If it doesn’t move along the big picture goal, it doesn’t make the cut. If it’s not important it doesn’t make the cut. (This is where the Eisenhower Decision Matrix comes in handy.)

Day 11: A simple strategy to battle overwhelm The Eisenhower Decision Matrix png 1024x768 1

Some days finding the Big 3 is easy, and other days it takes more time. But I’m finding that when I use this method I feel less like a headless chicken and a little bit more like a person who has a sense of what she needs to do and how she’s going to get it done.

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