I started the last semester of my undergrad degree this week which means that my life is back to being not just busy, but hectic. As I look at all of the upcoming homework assignments for the next four months I go through a major panic attack. How am I going to do all of this homework, plus take care of my family, plus work, plus everything else I need/want to do?
At some point during the panic attack I remember what I need to do to be successful and get it all done. I need to organize my brain. I know it sounds weird to say I am going to organize my brain, I guess really it means that I need to focus and not freak out.
Instead of letting all of the random thoughts I have rumbling around in my head bother me, I am going to focus my thinking. I sit down (preferably somewhere quiet) and I start to ask myself questions to help organize my thoughts. What do I have to do and when does it need to be done by? What is important and what is not? What has to be done by me and what can I have someone else do?
By answering these questions I can clear my head and calm myself down instead of getting overwhelmed. I am able to figure out where I need to start (the homework assignment due tomorrow and my blog post), what I can outsource to my husband or the kids (picking up toys and doing dishes), and what I can let go of for now (organizing my office).
So, when you start to feel overwhelmed because you have a lot to do and don’t know where to start, my advice is to start with your head. Organize your brain and you will gain some clarity and will (hopefully) be able to avoid a major panic attack/breakdown.