Yesterday I posted that I was going through a feeling of overwhelm.  Many time demands caused me to shift to choosing my priorities each day based on deadlines – not based on importance.  Rush, rush, rush, rush, rush!  UGGG!  (Wondering what in the world I’m talking about?  Check out yesterday’s post!)

So, like any good time strategy visionary, I implemented the A.W.E. principle to this dilemma.  I spent time figuring out WHY I was starting to feel anxious each morning, I was able to move out of the AWARENESS phase and I moved into the WORK phase.  (Even time strategy visionaries can start to feel overwhelmed!  The great news is, I have the skills to design a way out!)

  • The first solution was to call my Virtual Assistant, Holly.  We talked through my upcoming priorities and what additional tasks I could delegate to her.
  • Secondly, I decided if I wanted to delete or adjust the bar on any of my projects.  (I’m a big believer in the 80/20 Rule – and I needed to decide on where my 80% bar was!)
    • For example,  I decided to only participate in two of the 30 day challenges I was registered for.
      • I am still completing the Ultimate Blog Challenge (30 posts, 30 days) but I will drastically cut down on the length of the posts.  One juicy meaty post per week – then short posts the rest of the week.
      • I’m allowing myself the luxury of only checking in on the List Building Challenge on the weekends  – complete what I can when I can – and save the other ideas until later.
    • I used the same thought process for each of the projects listed in the previous post.  Some I didn’t adjust at all, others I did.
  • Lastly, I adjusted how I planned my day.
    • I scheduled the morning to complete Quadrant 1 tasks and the afternoon to work on Quadrant 2 tasks.
    • I rearranged appointments to create an uninterrupted block of time each morning – and then worked on whatever project had the nearest deadline.
    • In the afternoon, I focused on spending at least one hour each day on moving a different project forward.   This process allowed me to spend time in both Quadrant I and Quadrant 2 each day.

What have I learned?  I know that “getting caught up” is unrealistic.  Priorities change, new opportunities present themselves causing schedules, time demands, and task lists to adjust.  But creating a schedule I’m comfortable with IS realistic.

By creating a new “plan”deleting some activities, delegating some activities, and blocking my time with Quadrant 1 activities in one part of the day and Quadrant 2 activities in the other, the expectation is that I will be able to move back into spending more time in Quadrant 2.

Otherwise, if I spend ALL my time “putting out fires” . . . the activities in Quadrant 2 (those long term projects) eventually become Quadrant 1 – URGENT – projects!

By defining blocks of time for each activity, I tended to work more efficiently.  I have a firm grasp of which projects needed to be completed and in which time frame.

The final phase of A.W.E. is EVALUATION.  I’ve scheduled a 15 minute block of time in calendar this weekend to assess and evaluate my plan.  What is working?  What needs tweaking?  After only a few days – I know I am certainly less anxious!

What strategies do you implement when you start to feel overwhelmed?  Are you an excellent delegator?  Please share?