How Can I Deal With It All?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Have a to-do list a mile long? An in-tray that's about to collapse? Closets that are jam-packed with junk and a stack of family photos?

Now school is starting and things are just going to get worse! How can you deal with it all?

Often when we look at all there is to do, it can seem and is overwhelming. But if we chunk it down into smaller tasks the world starts to look a lot brighter. Try this 4S strategy.

Sort it.

First review the four areas you want to tackle and determine the following: 1) tasks you enjoy and only you can do such as attend to personal appointments; 2) the things you don't like doing and can transfer to someone else; and, 3) those items you've been meaning to do.

Start it.

Stop procrastinating. Start doing what you find fun and only you can do...now. Don't undertake everything at once or set unrealistic deadlines. Just do one small task to build momentum. Baby steps will turn into giant leaps. Remember make it fun. You'll have a good time and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Share it.

The items you designated as "don't like to do" are the ones you should delegate. If you really don't want to do these things then it's time to find someone else to do them. There will always be something else you prefer to do. So, those items that you are the least enthused about will continue to be a source of frustration and an energy drain for you. Find family members who can help out or hire someone to do the job.

Stuff it.

If there are tasks that continue to show up on your to-do list year in and year out, it may be time to drop them. All the magazines you've been planning to read, get rid of them. That fancy photo album/baby book you've imagined with stencils, calligraphy and witty comments might need to be replaced with a simpler version. Old baby clothes and toys, could be passed on to others. Make some choices and give yourself permission to let go. You'll feel great and get rid of clutter at the same time.

Lisa Martin, PCC, is the author of the acclaimed

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