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What To Do When You Have Too Much To Do

It'snottheload.050Is it just me or have you also had a lot going on? Challenges left and right, handling so much at work, at home and then don’t forget about trying to make progress when it comes to the other things we also want for our life.

So much to do … never enough time.

How do we handle it all and keep our peace of mind (which we know is so important)?

Well, I remembered something that I finally learned after so many years (decades) of moving through busy times like these the wrong way.

In the past, when I felt like I had too much to do, it used to bother me. I let myself get stressed out and always felt like I hadn’t done enough. I resented a lot of things I felt I had to do because they were weighing me down and getting in the way of the things I really wanted.

The Chief Negativity Officer in my mind would take over and the negative mind chatter would start …

“It’s just too much. I am never going to be able to do all of this.”

“If I didn’t have to worry about dealing with (_________), then maybe I would be able to handle all the other things I really want to finish.”

“Why do I have to handle everything? It always falls on me.”

Listening to my Chief Negativity Officer never did anything but made me feel worse and less productive. I finally realized the problem wasn’t all “the stuff” I had to handle or all the “issues” I needed to work through. Yes, it was a lot, but it wasn’t causing the real problem. It’s like that great quote by Lena Horne reminds us …

“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.”

I absolutely was not carrying my load the right way. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and why it is actually a good thing that so much is going on.

Although on the surface, it just looks like we have a lot of issues and too much to do, what is actually happening is that life is rearranging perfectly to give us exactly what we need and what we have asked for.

Things are changing, moving, shifting and of course that means we have to be a part of the process and help them change, move and shift, but every single thing we are doing in one way or another is lining up to eventually benefit us.

And when I realized that … everything changed.

So Many More Good Things Are Coming…

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There was nothing to resent or be bothered by. There was nothing to worry about or feel overwhelmed by. In fact, what I should have been doing was celebrating the fact that things were finally moving (and moving quickly).

The puzzle pieces were coming together.

So, if you ever have those days where you’re feeling like there is way too much to do or you are tired from all the work and the millions of other things you’ve been handling, remind yourself of your bigger picture.

Everything you ultimately need, have asked for, and want to happen is on the other side of all the things you’re handling and working through today. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, there is a reason for it all. It’s helping you get exactly where you really want to be.

But, we do need to make sure we are looking at things the right way because it is so important to feel good and have peace of mind while we’re working and taking steps forward.

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace and then everything will fall into place’.”  ~Marianne Williamson

The Possibility of Today: Appreciating your Continually Growing “To Do” List

1. Stop saying “have to” and start saying “get to”. Literally stop saying the phrase “have to” and replace it with the phrase “get to”. I do this all the time because it helps you immediately look at things from the right perspective.

You don’t “have to” do a lot of work today.

You “get to” do a lot of work today (because you are fortunate to have work and fortunate to be able to do it).

You also “get to” clean your house (because you have one), pick up your kids from school (because they are healthy and alive), workout (because you are able to exercise), etc.

2. Use your personal “Reset” button. Anytime your Chief Negativity Officer starts focusing on the wrong things, take three deep breaths and “Reset”. Direct your attention away from whatever your mind is wandering about and turn your attention to the present moment and doing whatever is in front of you as your Extraordinary Side.

3. Focus on Your Bigger Picture. Take 5 minutes and write down your bigger picture and how what you really want is coming together. Keep it with you at all times and anytime you forget or feel stressed out, immediately read your Bigger Picture.

Live Today Better Than Yesterday.

Looking for some more inspiration? Check out these articles.

How You Stay Inspired & Keep Moving Toward What You Want

5 Simple But Powerful Things to Keep Top of Mind Today

How You Get the things You Want To Fall Into Place

Looking for something to listen to? Check out these podcasts.

Are you part of the 70% that feels uninspired at work? What You Can Do

Looking for some more happiness? How You Really Can Find It

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    jim becker says:

    great piece, Sybil. i have two long time friends who continually wish the “good old times”would return where they could get “caught up”with everything. They don’t understand that they will never get “caught up”and that this is simply a self limiting belief.
    being overwhelmed or having too much to do is much like experiencing too much emotional pain from personal loss. My thought is the Buddhist mantra, “life is suffering”. It is the human condition. To live is to suffer.
    I find that I am much better equiped to handle the emotional suffering that inevitably comes by embracing that thought.

    • 2

      Thanks Jim for the comment and for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. I agree with you that it is important to not get caught up in limiting beliefs. It will keep us forever trapped in a cycle that goes on and on.. Thanks again for the comment.

  2. 3

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog posts and find myself looking forward to them. It feels like I’m getting weekly love in my inbox because your topics speak directly to me in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your gift.

    • 4

      Shannon – thank you so much for the kind words. I am so glad that you are enjoying the articles. I will continue to send love to your inbox:) xoxo

  3. 5

    Sybil, I like the bigger picture suggestion.

    I must admit, I find I have time for things that I know contribute to the bigger picture. Somehow, I find them easier to commit to because ultimately I know they will pay off.

    I guess what I need to do now is look for the bigger picture in everything, even the mundane. Then I will be able to collectively embrace all the tiny things in my life.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • 6

      So glad that you liked the article and I agree with what you said about linking even the mundane to your bigger picture. The dots always connect and for me once I started thinking through how that worked personally for me, I understood there was a reason for always bringing what I call my Extraordinary Side to my experiences.

      What I would suggest is that sometimes it takes some time to figure out our “bigger picture” but you can start right away assuming there is one and then choosing to also know that the things you’re doing (even the mundane) are in one way or another a part of that bigger picture. It just helps remind us to always show up to all of our experiences as our Extraordinary Side and handle situations, interactions, experiences and anything else in the best way we can. Thanks for the comment.

  4. 7

    I enjoyed the post Sibyl – one thing that has helped me a lot this year is I’ve started eliminating things that I don’t *have* to do. In the past, I loaded up my “to-do” list and felt as if I had to do everything. I now put each of those tasks under the microscope, and ask whether I should be doing it. Very rarely do I regret not doing the things that get cut off the list, and I maintain my peace of mind. I’d rather do 10 things a day very well then 25 things half-assed!

  5. 8

    Sometimes when I have too much to do and anxious to finish things and reach new goals faster, I remind myself that ambition is good, but taking things a bit slow sometimes is better compared to always waking up rushing to do this and that – until you are all but overwhelmed and start entertaining feelings of helplessness.

    Like the image with the quote, more good things coming down the road…

  6. 9
    Nicole D. says:

    o.m.g.- this has been my “whine” for way too long now…….my deepest thanks (I received this via your email today).
    :) <3