Friday, May 9, 2008

Prioritising Priorities and Friday Feelgoods

What to do when you have too many things to do?

I have been suffering from Information Overload for a while. (Forever in fact, having never grown out of the curious child who constantly asks "But why ...?")

But it's increased from a molehill to a mountain this week. Think it might be something to do with the gorgeous weather. I'm finding it hard to stay indoors. Especially as I've been working in the front garden and it's now looking lovely and tidy ... and the house looks like a herd of elephants have been having a party here for a week.

So being outside today is nicer because the sun is shining, but also because I'm escaping the chaos. And I now have a lovely view of my neighbour's awesome cherry tree in blossom, having cut down half my unruly hedge (which took almost two whole afternoons!)

I also created an arch above the gate, and in cutting down the hedge, now have a collection of twigs to weave into a fence like we did last year ... much to Youngest Daughter's delight (Eldest Daughter just rolls her eyes at my 'creativity' in the garden.)

So, lots done this week, but always another job to do in the garden, and I could happily spend hours pottering.

Meanwhile things have mounted up elsewhere.

Things I need to deal with (RIGHT NOW!):

Catch up with posts (on all five blogs)
Respond to perhaps almost 20 important emails (daren't count them!)
Tidy (and scrub) the house top to bottom
Tackle the side and back gardens (still entirely jungle-like)
Get out Summer clothes/put Winter clothes away
Some work for Helium
Reading/commenting on other blogs
Answering comments on Towards 2011
Reading downloaded ebooks
Reading library books
Writing recycling article
Catching up with RSS feeds ...

And that's just off the top of my head, without actually looking at my List Of Things To Do Today!

Sitting with a coffee in front of my laptop this morning, I realised I needed to have a serious word with myself. The problem is that I have too much to do, so I don't know where to start. I've started things then been distracted by what appear to be higher priorities, so nothing has actually been done. Ok, so what to do? I decided that the answer was to just do one thing. Excellent idea! the only problem of course, is that I have so much to do that I don't know which thing to start with ... hmm, that didn't get me any further.

I even wrote a monthly plan last week. I have everything I need to do written in a notebook, so it's not cluttering up my head and making me feel pressured. But when I look at it all in writing, because there's so much and most of it needs doing right now (or yesterday), I feel sick and dizzy!

How to prioritise when everything is equally important?

I was trying so hard to work out which one thing was the most important. And spending far too much time not actually doing anything. Plus the sunshine on my step was calling and further distracting me. A friend turning up for coffee was a great excuse to sit outside and having shared my dilemma with her, she suggested I write a post about it and left me sitting on the step, scribbling some notes for it in a notebook.

Writing a post on here was one of my priorities and after all, in the end it doesn't matter what the priorities are if nothing gets done because of indecisiveness (otherwise known as dithering.)

So, I'm writing this post. Then I'm going to tackle my emails. Then ...

Then, I'll decide what to do next! If I start thinking, "Then I'll do A, then B, then C ..." I start feeling all dithery again.

I start thinking, "But really, C is more important. Or maybe, on consideration, B is more important. Oh, I forgot about Q completely, maybe ..."

Or, of course, I could just go out and potter around in the sunshine again! :o)

Some Friday Feelgoods For You

* Sing loudly to Aretha Franklin in the shower.

* Send someone flowers for no reason.

* Send yourself flowers for no reason!

* Dance to your favourite music (in front of the mirror, with a hairbrush!)

* Make a fruit salad using fruits of every colour.

* Visit the sea, or a lake or a river and dip your feet in the water.

* Go roller-skating in the local park.

The above are all adapted from The Woman's Book of Simple Delights by Kerry Colburn and Debbie Hanley (Running Press: London, 2003).

The following is courtesy of Joanna Young on Twitter. Thank you, Joanna, this is truly lovely:

* Stand in your garden with bare feet, feeling warm earth. Breathe in sunshine and breathe out gratitude.

So, back to my garden ... erm, email inbox!

Because I know If I just get something done, it will likely trigger off a whole load of other things. That one thing done will be one less priority, whichever order they're in.

But how is anyone supposed to resist this:

Do you suffer from information overload? How do you deal with it? How do you decide (or organise) your priorities? How do you choose where to start a To Do List?
For anyone else with the too-much-to-do syndrome, check out Dave Navarro's fantastic Rock Your Day!
Wishing you a weekend full of sunshine.
And no overloads!


HelenMH said...

I also suffer from 'too-much-to-do' syndrome, but sometimes I find that the most important things just have a way of bringing themselves to the top of the pile x

Lane said...

I certainly suffer from overload and although the 'to do' list is littered with the important things, I still manage to do the unimportant things first. Must rectify this:-)

Love your Feelgood Friday Tips and the photo is lovely!

Enjoy your weekend:-)

Moondreamer said...

Helen, thank you, that's a very good point!

My first thought when I read your comment was that you were right, but that it takes a while in my case!

But thinking about it, I have realised that the really important stuff does get done.

I think sometimes the problem is that I forget what the *really important* stuff is ... thank you for reminding me! x

Hope the sun is shining on you this weekend. (And that your most important thing to do is sit outside enjoying it!)


Lane, am really glad you like the Feelgoods, I look forward to Fridays ... love sharing feelgoods!

Got some more photos I'd love to share too, but still having problems uploading them onto Blogger. Will have to try and sort that out and do a whole photopost sometime.

Have you heard of the concept of "Eating your frog"? Have written about it recently with some links, but can't think where, will find it and let you know. Have tried it ... with varying success!

Fantastic weekend here, thank you, hope yours is too!


KAREN said...

It really is hard to stay indoors when the weather is so lovely!

I get all dithery as well when there's too much to do, and invariably end up doing nothing and then feeling bad. Not a good cycle. I was thinking of writing out a timetable recently, but didn't get round to doing that either! As Helen says, things have a way of getting done at some point, but it's usually the less enjoyable things that get put off!

Moondreamer said...

Hi Karen,

Yes, we've been so blessed with endless days of sunshine recently and am rather pleased it's cold and windy today, though still ended up being drawn into the garden for an hour earlier!

No, not a good cycle, you're right. But one I often find myself in ... and writing plans and lists and timetables hasn't helped at all, they just become one more thing to do!lol

The less enjoyable things ... the frogs! Really must find that and put a post up, will try and do it tomorrow.