I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Like the mother of four toddlers in the cereal aisle, I have had things pulling me in all directions at once, all screaming for my attention, and all wanting something from me that is going to cost me money now, time and aggravation later. It has left me feeling like Bill the Cat.
At a recent family gathering, one of my cousins mentioned a method she uses to cope with her ADD when it comes to daily chores. Now, listen to me here: I have never been diagnosed with ADD. I am not claiming that I have been or that I struggle with this condition. However, it seems that I, like most of us I suspect, share some of the same focus challenges as people with ADD. So, when I got home, I used her method to make a schedule to tackle the physical items that have left me overwhelmed and exhausted.
When I finished drawing out the plan, listing every chore and job around the house I need to get done, assigning them a date and time (generally in 30-minute blocks), it was a thing of beauty! Detailed, with a clear target! It was Operation Overload – the Dotyness Version, planned beautifully.
The execution has been more along the lines of Operation Middle Management – the Committee Version.
I catch myself overthinking and over-planning before getting sidetracked with something completely irrelevant. I am not following the list of chores in order, not by a long shot.
However, I AM getting things done. Slowly, but surely, I am getting things done. Using my cousin Henley’s method of working for 30 minutes at a time on any given project, I am getting things done. The public areas of the house are clean again. The summer soft furnishings are in place of the winter ones. The flower beds are cleaned out and ready for planting. The vegetable beds are built, fenced, and ready for planting. Closets and drawers are being sorted (30 minutes at a time).
And I feel so. much. lighter! Without those four toddlers pulling me in every direction, I can breathe!
Thanks to Henley’s advice, I was able to take my tendencies to get bogged down in the details and to get distracted by, oh, everything, and use them to come up with and execute a plan to create more order in my home in 30-minute, bite-sized pieces of time.
My great-looking plan has suffered some setbacks; but, it is still moving in the right directions because I adjusted my timeline and my attack strategy to account for my weaknesses, particularly my tendency to be a body remaining at rest. And that’s what will make any plan work – allowing for our individual weaknesses without allowing those weaknesses to become excuses.
Make a plan. Make it beautiful. Then make it realistic and workable.
Then get your body in motion.