How to navigate through all your commitments, interests and projects without feeling overwhelmed.

Posted by: Naz Laila

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start today

It could be a beginning of a new year, or a new start after a transition when we often feel too excited and enthusiastic and set too many goals to achieve and make more commitments than we can ever manage.

We get interested in too many things. We put down our names in too many groups, we subscribe to numerous newsletters, and we enrol into multiple courses. We create too many social network accounts than we can actually remember. All these activities drain our energy and leave us with hardly any time to do the actual work or to create anything meaningful.

Still we continue all these because we are afraid of

Missing out on interesting stuff

Not keeping up with the new trends

Not making the connections with others

Feeling left out

Then we feel so overwhelmed that we loose our ability to focus effectively on anything, loose our creativity, our arts become mediocre, our interests become our chores and we feel a sense of overwhelming burden.

I was in this situation and slowly have managed to use some strategy to handle these feelings. I am certainly no expert in time management but I will share with you a few things that have worked for me.

  • Choose your commitments carefully. Ask “why” many times before saying yes to anything. ‘Everybody else is doing it, its on demand, it’s the hottest thing to learn’ are not good reasons.
  •  Limit your social networking. If you are at many places at one time you are just spreading yourself too thin. You may think that you are connected to everyone but you can not make real connection just by clicking few likes or re-tweeting a few times. Real connection requires your interest, honest feedback, engagement and care.
  • Make a routine of checking your emails or Facebook. Bookmark or add on to Google reader all the interesting articles or blog posts and read a few in each weekend.
  • Subscribe only to a few newsletter and websites. What has worked for me is that I only check a few sites on each of my interests (simple living, changing habits, parenting, creativity). I know if there is anything of significance happening, I will find out about them from these blogs. Therefore, I subscribe to the ones that I feel really connected to.
  • Delegate. This is really a hard one. When I first started to create my site I wanted to do everything by myself. Soon I realised that I was wasting a lot of time to figure out things that I am not very good at.  I just needed to delegate some of these tasks. Once I did that it has freed up a lot of my time and energy.

Please share with us your experience or strategy to handle these situations.

These post is part of a monthly blog circle , please , hop over to  Nancy’s wonderful post


  • Michelle

    Oh boy do I know all about over-committing myself. Years ago, I can remember having a conversation with my Grandpa about how overwhelmed I was at the time. I can remember him sitting patiently as I listed my entire to-do list in a panic. He sat with his blue eyes smiling, his entire being calm. As his lips formed and slowly spoke the word “No”. I got it. He explained that I simply needed to learn to say no and that I could say it in a very polite way but that I need to be more thoughtful to myself. At times I do waiver from this thought process but it always comes back to bite me when I over-commit.

  • becky in burma

    Oh, I have been down this road this year. Have truly struggled with it and needed to learn how to go slower. I tried doing most of the things you mentioned and found they really helped. Scheduling things helped them most. The to-do lists with the schedule. I use certain days a week to do blog stuff or other creative things. I keep one day a week – Thursdays – where I don’t go to meetings or anything except work on something creative. 🙂

    Thank you!

  • Sara

    Oh, this is a BIG one for me and it’s so nice to see others sharing tips on navigating it gracefully. One technique I found was to stop romanticizing the idea of multi-tasking. I used to try to do lots of different things literally at one time, thinking I was so efficient and working so hard…then I realized it’s not so efficient after all. Now I just try to be present in each task, though I have to remind myself!

  • Jean

    Great reminders. I am new to the art world and can readily see how easy it is to get absorbed by all that is available to support us. But then, it isn’t supportive if it takes us away from our ultimate goal of expressing creativity.

  • Gail Haile

    Great suggestions for dealing with something that is a constant struggle for me. Thank you!

  • Kelly

    I’ve been there! And I’m struggling now not to go back. I make sure that whatever I am doing can relate back to one of two things… freelance/ writing or art. I’m lucky that the art falls into my freelance and that my writing can also fall into my ‘art’ or creative category. My problem isn’t commitment as wanting to learn everything LOL.

    I would be lost without my To Do list and my Blog binder. Oh and my ever supportive husband. 🙂
    Creative Blessings!

  • Amy Riddle

    Fantastic tips! I know I love so many things and want to do so many things…it can get crazy now and then.

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