It was ONE OF THOSE WEEKS. You know the kind. The kind of week where you look at your calendar and wonder who on earth was the crazy person who thought you could be in four places at once every single day for a week straight (hint: IT WAS YOU.)
I love/hate these kinds of weeks. Love because there’s usually a lot of fun or rewarding activities involved. On this particular week, I was hosting brunch for my husband’s summer interns (fun!), having an overnight guest (fun!), and putting on my annual studio recital (rewarding!). Hate because of all of the other, normal stuff that has to get done in the midst of the fun/rewarding things. When there’s a lot of excitement going on, to me it’s always the NORMAL stuff that ends up driving me off the ledge. Like, “I’m supposed to host a birthday barbecue for 75 guests and REPLY TO AN EMAIL?!?! For some reason, the second part of this sentence truly seems more daunting than the first. Ridiculous? Uhhh, yeah. Accurate? Weirdly, yes. I don’t know why, but the easy, even mundane tasks of daily life can seem completely preposterous when there is an important event looming. Add an extra dollop of complete insanity to the preposterous-ness if you have small kids underfoot because there is nothing mundane about raising toddlers, CAN I GET A WITNESS?
When I find myself approaching one such Week-of-Preposterous-ness, I do two things religiously:
- Drink wine (Let’s both pretend it’s just because of the crazy week).
- Make this list.
You know my love for all things list-y, but this is easily one of my all-time-favorite list setups because:
- You can immediately prioritize the items on your list.
- It forces you to be realistic about how urgent (or not-so-urgent) some tasks really are.
- It gets all the little pesky tasks that are driving you insane down onto paper. This is the most helpful thing to me when I’m overwhelmed with a busy schedule or an unorganized mind.
I know it’s just a list and it doesn’t solve world hunger BUT YOUR BRAIN WILL THANK ME LATER. OK?
Here are the rules:
- EVERYTHING GOES ON THE LIST. I mean it. If it is taking up an inch of brainspace, it goes on the list. There is something freeing about getting all that junk out of your head and onto paper. It can’t go anywhere that way. Let it go. The list can handle it.
- Be honest about your timeline. My rough guide?
- ASAP – It should have been done three days ago.
- SOON – We will all survive until tomorrow if this goes undone, but it’s pretty important.
- THIS WEEK – Here is where you can really think through all the things that you will need to complete to get through your crazy week.
- THIS MONTH – These things have nothing to do with your Week of Mayhem, but you can’t stop thinking about them. This is where you can purge your brain of all the extra fluff flying around. The pile of too-small clothes sitting in your kid’s closet, the banister that needs painting… just write it down. You’ll get to it when you’ve tackled the big stuff.
Have I sold you on this list? No? Next time you’re overwhelmed by a mind full of to-do’s, just try it. A yellow pad will do the trick, but if you need something more beautiful in your life (and don’t we all), download this FREE pdf and print it out.
Let me know how you like it!