Mindful of the Overwhelm

This week has been our first week at home in the new year. Back to work, back to college, all the daily responsibilities are back on our shoulders. There are several good habits I want to maintain faithfully, starting the year as I mean to go on. There are several creative classes and projects that I have going on.

As the mister and I headed out to see Billy Connolly on Wednesday evening, I was chattering away as we trudged along the slushy pavements to the bus stops. I was chatting about the things that I am committed to at the moment. My usage of commitment here refers to things that I am doing, at least in my mind, things that if I heard them mentioned, I would say "oh yes, I'm doing that at the moment." These aren't resolutions, or necessarily financial or official commitments, just things that I have decided on.

It turned out to be a significant conversation. Firstly, it made me realise how much I had taken on. Then, in the days following, I continued to mull over these things and reach three conclusions:

  • I have to say no to anything new until some of these have cleared
  • I may have to sacrifice some of these
  • I will be able to use my time and effort wisely if I focus on these

My friends and family will know that I rarely properly account for all my commitments and regularly take too much on, so this whole process is a revelation.

I've gone all Rimmer on this one and made myself a chart. It lists all my commitments and states the minimum needed for each one in a week. There are columns for the days of the week. The plan is to try and choose three things a day to make progress on these commitments, while being mindful of the weekly requirement for each. So for example, I am very enthusiastic about the Japanese at the moment, so could easily overdo it on this while neglecting something that I find less fun; once I've met the weekly minimum, I set this aside until next week. I realise that this is a little extreme, but with my history and my difficulties with prioritising and time management, I think it will be helpful.

Are you already overwhelmed this year? How do you manage your commitments?