If you haven’t read the previous post in this series on rejoicing, it may be helpful.
Often when you are overwhelmed, it is the genuine result of the fact that there are too many things to do in the time allotted. Therefore, there will be things that you are unable to complete. Prioritizing the things that truly need to be done more urgently will reduce the sense of feeling overwhelmed best. Maybe some of the items that are low priorities will even drop off the list. But if you know that some things will not be done, you need to wisely select what those will be, or which things you will do first.
There will always be things to do. But we should be able to see that “feeding the baby” is more important than “hanging a shelf.” It may be that you have multiple tasks that are all of what appears to be equal importance; in that case, prioritize the ones that are easiest to complete. For example, if you have 4 tasks and 3 of them will take 20 minutes each and one of them will take an hour, spend an hour doing the 3 that you can cross off your list. The satisfaction will be greater and reduce your worry. Ultimately, we are to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15-16), and one way we fulfill that command is by doing what is important.
Oh, and it was assumed in the preceding paragraph that you have a list. The only way to prioritize effectively will be to make a list of what needs to be completed. You can use a task tool like Asana or a checklist on most smartphones or just a good old-fashioned list on paper. Writing out everything that needs to be done gets it out of your head and allows you to properly focus on the current task. Crossing things off a list should give you a shot of endorphins. And without writing things out, it will be hard to sort them based on priority/ease of completion.
Next Wednesday, I will explain how taking action is a part of a good strategy for handling feeling overwhelmed.