The following is an extract from my book The Ten Commitments.
The Ten Commitments is a set of ten steps that you can take to restore order to your life when your world overwhelms you. Each commitment is a simple step you can take – even when you feel totally unable to cope. Each Chapter is very brief so you don’t even have to worry about having to concentrate.
Here’s Commitment 2…
In part, overwhelm comes from having more to deal with, physically, emotionally, and mentally than we can handle. Because of the way we are taught we grow up with this crazy idea that we are gods and should be able to do stuff – even if that means fitting into a 24 hour period more than is actually possible.
What I’m asking you to do here is to take a deep breath, let it out slowly and then take a realistic look at your expectations of you for today, and other’s expectations of you for today. I highly encourage you to make a list of all of these demands on your time and your mind.
Go down the list and for each item ask yourself the question “can I do this today?” If the answer is yes, put a tick next to it. If the answer is no put a line through it and give it no further thought. There is no going back later and thinking well maybe if I did this, or changed that I could fit it in, I don’t really like to say no…
Once it is crossed out it no longer exists for you today. You must commit to this.
When you have finished this go through the list again and give each item a priority from 1 to whatever. 1 is the most important. If you can’t decide then toss a coin or roll a dice and be bound by the result. You must end up with a prioritised list. If you have more than 10 items on your list then cross out 11 to the end of the list. If you have 10 or fewer items on your list then cross out just the last one.
You might be the person who has a to-do list with 57 items on it every day. No wonder you are overwhelmed. You are not superwoman or superman. Stop kidding yourself. Do the most important ones today and forget the rest.
I know this is really difficult to get your head round, but you will find that when you have 57 things to do and feel totally overwhelmed you are probably lucky if you manage to complete 7 or 8 of them. So get real. Commit to doing what you can do. What you can’t do isn’t going to get done anyway so commit to not doing that and turn it into a positive decision.
I’m not here to help you do the impossible. I’m here to guide you to a place where you can function normally. Functioning normally is doing what you can, not doing what you can’t, recognising the difference and being okay with all of it – just for today. Tomorrow you can do what you like. Today stick with the plan. You’ll get away with it for just one day. No one will even notice.
Check out the Ten Commitments on Amazon now.