To consider reading also:
Overwhelm, Formula For - Although overwhelm is an "emotion", it is also a condition, one that can be solved in an effective time management strategy. If it happens more than very, very occasionally, it comes from a bad habit that leads to it and/or excessive anxiety (which borders on a habit, though it is an emotion).
You should almost never be in the mode of feeling rushed, pressured, pushed (nor overwhelmed). There are almost no real emergencies in life. Our nervous system has evolved to handle emergency situations with extreme doses of chemicals that will cause us to survive. However, note that these occur very, very, very seldom in the real world.
But the achievement oriented cultures end up training themselves to react to occurrences that have no real importance and to give those occurrences a 'too big' danger equivalence, setting off the emergency mechanism far too often. And then we put so much into our schedule that we inevitably get "too busy", with no leeway for variations, and we create a stressful situation. Round and round, in a downward spiral, too busy, run afoul of time, trigger anxiety, trigger confusion and low productivity, get more anxious, get more sensitized to anxiety, create it as a threat to oneself...
And thus it is that we end up continuously dousing our body in toxins, which we mostly fail to work off. (Stress hormones are toxic to the body - and the body's immune system and other non-priority systems shut down, making us more prone to stress and error, and making our body try to regain homeostasis, taking attention away from what we have to do well.)
What is wrong with this picture?
A CHOICE TO MAKE WHILE CONSCIOUS
Would we consciously choose to do that to ourselves?
Well, no, of course not. But we do. We operate, essentially, unconsciously, not noting and correcting for the symptoms.
The truth is we should calibrate our activities and thoughts so that we have a rushed, pressured, hurried, pushed or overwhelmed feeling less than 1% of the time. Even 1% is far too much! Something like that should occur less than once a week - and surely less than once a day! Yet, we set off the alarms and the alarm chemicals constantly, feeling rushed or anxious most of the day. And those feelings (and chemicals) don't do us any good - so we should 'stop it!' Or as Susie C. used to say "Stop the insanity!!!".
CALIBRATING THE PROPER LEVEL
In order to accomplish the proper calibration and implementation we need to:
1. Understand how calmness and minimal rushing serves us
2. Set the standard, the goal measure for what is acceptable (or not)
3. Set up a plan of all we will do to get to this point and maintain it.
4. Do those actions.
Accept no less! There is no benefit to accepting less. Believing that it is worth it to put yourself into being hurried, etc., in life is a racket - with a false, incorrect payoff plus a huge cost. (See Rackets, if you wish.)
The cost is the quality of your life. Another cost is loss in the very productivity that you think you are enhancing by rushing or being anxious. A centered, calm person with a clear goal(s) will accomplish much more, with much less effort, than the anxious person.
The false, untrue payoff is that you'll 1) get more done or 2) be safer from threats and therefore 3) you'll feel better. But none of those three actually occur.
So this racket has huge costs and negative payoffs - which suggests that we should not tolerate its continuance at all. This should be one major goal in your life plan!
TIME - COLLAPSED
It is not true that you do not have enough time. You have plenty of it. The truth is that you are just misallocating and misusing it, for you have all the time necessary to achieve all the important things in life. See Living The 80/20 Way.
People, including me, often "collapse time" into the present or near future. It is not useful to hurry up in order to meet a foolish, unachievable deadline and/or to misperceive that you have less time than you do (or that you can be superman and then stress yourself out to do what only superman can do). Planning timewise and maintaiining perspective is the key to power over this.
What I do with this website is I feel a great sense of urgency: I better finish this quickly so that Barbara can benefit, I better get this all done so that I can create a book. Etc. and etc. So I get a "hurried" feeling, which is a "fear" feeling (you might think that is a stretch of a conclusion but it has to fit in one of the four categories of emotion: mad, sad, glad, or scared; of course, scared = fear)
QUICKIES FOR WHEN YOU FEEL THESE:
Do relaxation exercise (Tense each muscle group for at least 10 seconds then just let go completely, let natural deep breathing subside, then do the next group of muscles)
Nap for 10 minutes
Minimize coffee (gives one a sensation of being rushed)
Walk slowly and deliberately and calmly, confidently
Stop, listen to slow music for 5 minutes (nature sounds, etc.)
Again relates to body on alert, shallow breathing, tension, so just do the opposite!
MASTER STRATEGIES THAT WORK
Napping as a tactic; use it for "pacing" yourself and refreshing yourself regularly
throughout the day. (This takes away a "rushed" feeling.)
Having planning time, where you gain perspective and where you prioritize and schedule what is needed, with lots of flexibility.
Leave lots of spaces, and proactively schedule in "free time" and time for
"I have plenty of time. I need only prioritize what I do. This probably doesn't have the urgency I am putting on it. Is that true?" (The latter question should be used to screen every 'challenging' thought that comes to mind.)
"I am calm. I am working on this at a good long term pace, feeling relaxed and peaceful. I am taking the necessary breaks, breathing deeply, and making sure I get the proper amount of rest."
Dump a bunch of activites and musts - schedule for later
Plan out what you can do, setting timelines, filling in your schedule (see weekly planning sheets, using search engine)
INTERMEDIATE TO DO'S: