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#607950 06/29/10 07:03 PM
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Many people are feeling stressed because they have fallen behind on tasks. The idea that those tasks are "looming" causes a constant, pounding stress which you just can't get rid of. This isn't healthy.

What are some ways you guys deal with this?

I have this issue in my own life, I always have a giant to do list which has important things on it. What I have to do is realize that I can only work on X things today, and sort out what those are. The rest will be done SOON but not NOW. As long as I focus on the NOW items, and work my way through the list, it helps me stay energized and moving forward.

If it really is something that needs to get done NOW and you just can't do it, ask for help. I know it's hard to ask for help - but do it! You never know who might be really happy to help you out!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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My to-do list is always huge. The problem is that when it gets unmanageable a couple of things happen.

1 - I veg out and totally stop doing anything and spend mindless hours watching TV

2- I start on a task, get side tracked and then totally forgot what I was working on.

I haven't quite found a way to deal with it yet since the to-do list is just getting larger and larger.


Dianne Walker

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Diane, i totally understand about the vegging out. I also can get to the point of overwhelm where I just shut down.

For example, i spent the day, until 5pm, in bed. Napping, reading, playing with my kittens. I finally just got out of bed and ate something.

I am working on not feeling overwhelmed - my mom is helping me create a 'do one thing a day' structure for the next month. Today I need to find my handyman's business card. I know it must be here somewhere. Then tomorrow I call him. Then Thursday he comes over and fixes things. Friday I will look for a RV repairman that does housecalls. Then Sat i will call him. And etc.

I know it seems silly to break things down like this, but it's all i can do right now.

On the sidetracked thing, have you heard my spiel about using a timer? I need to write it down somewhere and direct people to it. :-) A timer is the most useful item I own for keeping my on task. You just set it for fifteen or 30 minutes, and then you get up and do something else. And just keep doing that all day.

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Hey Jilly,
No I've not heard about the timer thing. Sounds like a plan. I'm going to try it. Let you know how it goes.
Thanks!!! (Hopefully I wont get sidetracked about why i set the timer...lol.)


Dianne Walker

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I completely understand the overwhelm and the habit of shutting down! The only thing I've found that works for me is to create a physical "to do" list. My lists are often several pages and have tons of stuff on them, so they can be overwhelming too - but - I try to put things on it that need to me done within the week rather than just one day. I include the quick, simple stuff too and draw a line through each one as they are done. Putting the little things on there give me easy things to cross through and gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see all the lines. Doing the list a week at a time also gives me the opportunity to take a day off and veg here and there without guilt.



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I know it sounds like a lot of work but what seems to work for me is to have TWO lists. One can be huge. It's the "everything" list. The second one is the "today" list. Only specific things that need to be done today go onto the today list, and I keep it to 5 items max.

If I get everything on that list done, that's great! Then I can poke at the larger list and get some items in there too.

Five items seems "manageable" and it helps ensure I focus on them. It keeps me from looking at that giant list and being overwhelmed.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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I use to be a huge fan of lists and over time I lost confidence in them. I still have them, but mostly on apps on my iphone now, which makes me much more happy and in control.

Any other tips for now feeling so behind besides lists? There's got to be some wacky and new. :-)

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There is also the releasing of old tasks. If something has been bugging you for a long while and it just isn't getting done, let it go. Agree that it won't be done right now. Release it. Maybe write it on a piece of paper and then burn that in a candle. You can think about that task in the future, when your life is more calm.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
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That is a good idea, Lisa, and works for things like "Put in a Garden." It's less good for 'Finding cheap pet neuter vouchers and spay cat" - which has to be done. For example, this cat is pregnant again, already. So i have to find a vet that will spay and abort. But it has to happen while the pregnancy is still young. Arggg.

And then there's still my old car parked in a library parking lot in CA. I'd love to just let it go, but this is getting past the point of being irresponsible.

Every time i think about these things I get the looming overwhelming feeling bubbling up.


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Debbie, i just looked at your stained glass site - the lunar moth is gorgeous!!!

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