I need to do all the things, and it’s stressing me out.

Posted in Wellbeing
on December 12, 2017

This wasn’t the post I wanted to publish tonight.

I had another one, but it isn’t finished.

It isn’t finished because I’ve been doing….all sorts, tbh, and it really, REALLY bothers me that I haven’t completed my to do list, and that I haven’t done what I wanted to do, in the time I wanted to do it.

 

And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

I’ve been feeling super overwhelmed for about two weeks, now. It seems like I have an ongoing to do list in my head, which I keep adding to, but nothing gets taken away.

I’m not a lazy person, like, at all. I do procrastinate at times….who doesn’t? But, the reason I’m not getting stuff done is because there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do ALL THE THINGS I tell myself I have to do that day.

 

My mind does not switch off, ever. Honestly, it’s completely exhausting, and it causes me to be in a state of perpetual panic.

What’s worse is when I plan to do x,y, and z in a day, and then something comes up which means I’m not able to.

 

Take today for example. I was supposed to do the following:

  • Go to the gym
  • Finish editing tonight’s post
  • Wrap Christmas presents
  • Tidy and clean the whole house
  • Catch up on reading, emails, and social media stuff
  • Talk to my friend, who lives in London
  • Take photos for the next blog posts
  • Transfer a load of stuff from my old laptop to my new one
  • Bake Christmas goodies

Not a particularly realistic list at the best of times, when you consider most of those things take at least an hour each, and that list doesn’t include stuff like “eat” and “shower”….

So, I slept through my alarm and got up stupidly late and got myself ready to go out when my friend rang to ask if I could go and help her with something, and then we’d grab lunch afterwards.

Of course, I could’ve said no, but I wanted to see my friend, and I always try and prioritise time with people I care about.

 

So I went and, by the time we were done, it was 3pm and I felt like I’d lost the entire day.

I panicked.

Mentally and physically panicked.

Because I felt like it was impossible for me to achieve anything by this point. My mind just completely catastrophised the situation. And I’ve been doing this every day for about 2 weeks.

 

I know that there is some underlying anxiety there, about a completely different issue, which I will share with you soon. So, I’m already kind of primed for panic. So, when I don’t get ALL THE THINGS done, it kind of sends me over the edge.

 

I’ve been trying to talk myself out of it and remind myself that the world will not end because I didn’t get my list done.

It’s not so much the activity on the list which is important, e.g. wrapping presents. It’s more that a list, to my mind, represents order and achievement.

The consequence of not getting through it isn’t just that I have to finish wrapping presents tomorrow, it’s that I feel like a failure for not doing what I set out to do that morning. My thinking spirals, and I feel like I have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it.

And eventually I end up with the mentality of, why not just stay in bed all morning? Which is, of course, completely counter-productive.

 

To some of you, this will sound ridiculous but, I know some of you get this kind of feeling, too.

And it might be a sign that you need to give yourself a break.

So, if you’re sitting there reading this and thinking “omg, yes, me too!” then this is just your friendly reminder to try not to let your mental state, as well as your opinion of yourself, deteriorate because you don’t think you’ve achieved  anything today.

Think about what it is that’s really making you panic, and try and address that instead.

Y’know, if you can!

 

These things often come in peaks and troughs so, with every few days, weeks or even months of seemingly swimming against the tide, there will be times where you feel like so on the ball/on top of everything/can’t touch this/superwoman.

Right?

Right!

Sooo, maybe you have an extra cup of tea in the morning, to give yourself time to get your thoughts in order. And that means you miss 1 or 2 things off your to do list.

Or maybe you scrap the whole thing and go shopping for the day.

There is still time, you can still achieve what you want to achieve, and you are not wholly defined by what you do and do not tick off a list every day.

 

Thanks for reading my little brain-word-vomit. As always, be kind to yourselves m’loves!

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4 Comments

  • Laura

    I’ve been watching a few videos on time-management because, like you, I feel like I have a thousand things to do that I never get done and then I feel guilty about it. Basically they talk a lot about negative procrastination and positive procrastination. Because we all procrastinate, the argument is in order to manage your time you need to plan to procrastinate. So instead of just having a to do list that you tick off (which is overwhelming), you schedule yourself the tasks over the week. Procrastinate the things that don’t have to be done by scheduling them for the end of the week, and schedule the things you can’t procrastinate for the beginning. Basically, the theory goes and so far it’s worked for me, is that if you promise yourself you’re going to do one thing at a time, you get a much better sense of achievement and satisfaction when it’s completed, then you would if you complete something and then see you’ve still got 5 more things to do!

    Anyway that was a long ass comment, I’m sorry! Another great post, I know very much how you feel!! xx

    December 17, 2017 at 20:53 Reply
    • North

      Thank you Laura, that is so helpful! I generally think of myself as an organised person, so it’s something I really struggle with. But maybe I need to change the way I plan my time, so I’m definitely going to try that! It makes sense to prioritise important things for the beginning and kind of wind down as the week goes on. It’s what naturally happens anyway!

      Thank you so much for reading, and sharing, and taking the time to write that 🙂 it is much appreciated!

      I’m hoping it’s just the time of year as well, and most people generally feel a bit overwhelmed with stuff to do? Either way, I hope you start to feel a bit more on top of it soon, I know it can be so frustrating! xx

      December 18, 2017 at 09:48 Reply
  • Chloe

    I can completely relate to this! Sometimes my ‘To Do’ list gets so overwhelming I just don’t get anything done, rather than just starting and maybe getting halfway through my list. This is such a frustrating feeling and one I know all too well! I find it helps by not holding yourself to achieving a whole list, as something may come up that prevents you from doing so. Not completing our lists shouldn’t make us feel bad but instead show us what we have achieved. I find starting is the hardest part, but I try to use the concept of making the day ‘not a zero day’ so even just completing one thing is something to feel proud about. Thank you for this post, I think I’ve also been stuck in this mindset, but I am now going to change it!

    December 20, 2017 at 21:57 Reply
    • North

      Hey Chloe, I’m glad you can understand this and it isn’t just me who feels this way! But I am sorry you’ve had to go through it – it’s so frustrating, like you said.

      I’ve had a word with myself the last few days and I’ve been going to bed earlier, and waking up earlier, so that I can get more done in the mornings (which are my most productive times), so I’m just trying to make it easier for myself and work out a schedule that works for me, rather than against me.

      You’re absolutely right, it shouldn’t define your whole day if you don’t get absolutely everything done. And I would say that to everyone else, I’m just not very good at realising it myself at the moment! So I’ve been trying to make less set in stone plans, and when people ask me what I’m doing today, I just say “we’ll see” and I go with a vague idea, rather than an absolute must-do list of about 100 things!

      Glad you’re able to realise your mindset wasn’t working for you and do things to change it. Good for you! Let me know how you get on!

      December 21, 2017 at 08:21 Reply

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