When we are struggling to keep on top of our everyday lives, it can often feel like we are drowning under ever-increasing to-do lists and stress. The reality is, all of us have more work than we can possibly do.
Here are some things you can do to cope. You will then know how to free yourself of that unsettling drowning feeling. And hopefully, with a little practice, patience and self-belief, you might just find your snorkel.
1. Acknowledge you can’t do it all
The idea that you will eventually get caught up is a myth. You have more work than you can reasonably expect to get done. So what support network can be called upon to immediately take the load off your mind?
2. Learn how to tread water
We are all on a journey and the reality is that we can never foresee what life will be like after certain actions are taken.
We cannot magically escape out of a situation, but we can, at any given present moment, take intentional actions to improve the situation. If we have bitten off more than we can chew, we need to figure out how to cope, how to prepare for the next situation, and what lessons we can learn.
3. Practice workload triage
On the battlefield, medics have to decide where to apply their limited resources. They can’t help everyone. So you must know which things you can safely delegate and which things demand your intervention.
4. Prioritise your tasks
Creating a to-do list certainly helps in some situations, but it has to be used progressively. Don’t just highlight how many tasks you have to get through, break it into manageable sections and be realistic.
A lot of stuff doesn’t really need to be done at all and people (like me) can help with all the rest. What tasks can be re-scheduled or re-prioritised for another day?
5. Find your snorkel
With a metaphorical snorkel, we can temporarily be fully immersed without compromising our needs. We can start by training the mind to accept that there is the possibility for good in all situations. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something. Reminders of the temporary nature of all things, even that of stress and troubles, will help remind you of your snorkel.