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jacquelynnesteves.com broken_clockThis post has been a bit (well, actually, a lot) like therapy for me. I have written and re-written it about 5 or 6 times- it has become something of a journaling exercise. That’s not what I intended- I just sat down to write a blog post almost a week ago. But as I wrote, some thoughts and questions that have been going through my mind over the last several months really began to become clear and solidify for me… and I kept changing it, evolving the post with my shifting thought process. I think it’s going to end up being a 2 part-er (maybe 3??).

Here is where I will begin…..

We are almost a week into the New Year- How are things going? Are you still raring to go, or are you starting to peter out already?? For me, it is a mixed bag. I am ready to go, excited about a lot of new ideas and products I’d like to launch this year, design work that’s been floating around in my mind for the last few years…. There is never a shortage of ideas and inspiration, just always, always, always a shortage of time. So along with the excitement I feel, I also feel that overwhelming pressure that I put on myself- just because there is sooooooo much that I WANT to do. So many things that I am interested in. So many things that I could throw my heart and soul and creative energy into. But there is that thing…. Time. I know, rationally in my head,  that I don’t HAVE to do EVERYTHING right NOW… but my heart wants to. My heart has such a deep desire to see all of my creative ideas come to fruition.

In the past, some lack of organization has slowed me down a bit.  This is how I tend to operate:

I have an idea. This gives me another idea. And then another. I start a list. Just a little list. Things I need/want to get done today/this week/ this month/this year.  Soon this list grows and grows and becomes longer than any human being could possible tackle. And then I try to choose something to work on. Oh there are so many choices…. Which one to pick? How do I let go of the others (even if it’s just for today, or even just for this hour).   I can’t choose, how can I choose? Can I choose a favorite child? I don’t know which to work on, I don’t know what to do…… And overwhelm and anxiety take over and then……

Nothing.

I just shut down. Because my mind cannot handle the barrage of possibilities and ideas on my list, because I can’t bear to choose just one thing to do right now, I do nothing. I have allowed myself to become paralyzed by an overabundance of choices (I know. File under: First World Problems.)

Calendar

So, I determined to get organized and make a schedule. I spent the last week of December cleaning my office and getting organized. A HUGE collection of ideas, notes, etc. which were all on post-it notes, covering every possible surface of my office, were corralled and transferred to my Evernote account (which I opened LAST January but never actually used.) Boy, it felt really good to take those post-it notes, type out all of the scribbles & information, and then one by one throw them away. Phew. Clean desk, clear mind, right? Right.

Then I got out my BIG calendar and tried scheduling things out. Yes, if the tasks/projects/self-imposed deadlines are on my calendar, they will get done! The pages became filled with ideas for my e-magazine, blog posts, book proposals, fabric lines, and other assorted creative & work pursuits. The pages are filled. Too full. No room for ideas or projects or opportunities which may come along later.

Looking at those bursting calendar pages, I have decided…. It’s time for me to get really honest with myself.

Something’s gotta give, folks.

This goes beyond organization. I love being organized- it really helps me to keep my mind clear and to focus.  But I think my bigger issue may be PRIORITIES.

I just can’t do everything. I can’t. I want to, I really do. But, much to my dismay, I am going to have to let some stuff go. I am trying to figure out what those things will be.

I’ll post Part II of this post in a few days.

In the meantime- how do you deal with overwhelm? How do you prioritize when you WANT to do EVERYTHING? How do you shut your brain off at night so you can actually sleep????

I need some tips, please! Any and all ideas would be welcomed!

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