When Daily Tasks Overwhelm You

The to do list…

I usually have a to do list of a mile long and on a good day, I get most of the things on the list done.  However, I often feel overwhelmed with the size of the task at hand, whether it be cleaning the kitchen, designing artwork for a post, planning for the kids’ homeschool lessons or writing a post like this one.

Looking at the task in its entirety feels daunting so I end up procrastinating, which means I end up behind schedule with a mountain of laundry and a kitchen that looked like a tornado hit our house.

Overwhelmed mother

Although the method of “breaking down tasks” into smaller, more manageable chunks is not a new concept to me, I tend to overthink it.  I end up planning it on paper, which triggers my OCD, so I end up with a final copy (after probably 15 rough draughts) of a beautiful list of steps I should follow to complete the task that would’ve taken me quicker than planning for it in the first place.

Which brings me to what has actually been working for me.

Celebrate small victories

This started in the days following my best friend’s passing in September 2021.  For days, just the thought of getting out of bed was to much to bear.  I had to start small.  Just opening my eyes long enough to actually wake up was already an achievement.  Sitting up and drinking the, now cold coffee hubby left beside the bed, another step forward.  Day by day I had to keep making the choice to get up and go on for the sake of those around me when all I wanted to do was just crawl back in bed ask Jesus to come take me too.

The point is, I started focusing on one tiny step at a time.  Acknowledging and celebrating my small victories. 
Getting out of bed. Yes!
Taking a shower. Yes!
Eating something for the first time in days. Yes!
Every little step was one step closer to where I needed to be for that day.

The same goes for completing tasks.

One spoon at a time when tasks are too overwhelming.

One spoon at a time. 

Every one thing you do, is one thing less to do to complete the entire task.  Whether it be, loading the dishwasher one spoon at a time every time you walk into the kitchen or folding one pair of pants in between whatever else you’re doing (probably procrastinating).  Every one thing you do, takes you a little closer to completing that task. 

Now you might think “It will take ages to complete anything by doing this.”

Maybe, but tackling that task one spoon at a time is sure as hell going to get the job done faster than you sitting around not doing anything at all, because you’re simply too overwhelmed to even start.

So cut yourself some slack.  Take those baby steps, one at a time and before you know it, you’ll have a sparkly clean kitchen, classes will be all planned out and the laundry basket will be…

Well no, the laundry basket will probably never be empty, but it just might not be overflowing anymore.

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