Home > Uncategorized > Avoiding Holiday Overwhelm, One Task At a Time

Avoiding Holiday Overwhelm, One Task At a Time

You don’t say “I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.” You say, “I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.”  Do that every single day and soon you have a wall. ~Will Smith

I was standing in my kitchen the other day on the verge of a mini holiday meltdown.  The kitchen was a messy disaster, I was stressing about where to hide a very large Christmas gift I bought for my girls and I was sorting out which parties and events I would be attending.  On top of that, I was attempting to conduct my ongoing non-holiday life: growing my business, caring for my young children and making sure I’m getting what I need to function properly as a human being.  I had a moment where I would have sacrificed my sanity if I thought doing so could get it all done–a sure sign that sanity was already leaving me.  As I contemplated how I could load all the plates into the dishwasher at once to rush clean-up along, it occurred to me that I can only do one thing at a time: I can only load the dishwasher one dish at a time, I can only celebrate the holidays one party at a time and I can only connect with people by giving one person my full attention at a time.  This gave me a huge sense of relief. Doing it all doesn’t mean doing it all at once.

Almost every task can be broken down even further.  I’m writing this post one word at a time, and even simpler, one letter at a time. When I string these letters and words into sentences and paragraphs, I create something much bigger. Whether I’m writing a blog post or organizing my holiday calendar, I know I can only get it done if I take it moment by moment. I can totally handle that.

I eventually got the kitchen cleaned-up, found a great hiding place for the girls’ gift and I organized my December calendar.  The holidays aren’t over yet and there are still more guests to receive, more events to attend and more everyday life to live, but I feel better knowing that if I start to feel overwhelmed I can just break my to do list down into smaller and smaller tasks until I find it completely manageable.  Even if I don’t get it all done, I’ll be a lot more relaxed and peaceful knowing that I accomplished far more than I would have if I had spent my time worrying about getting it done.  That definitely makes my holidays happier.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. January 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm

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