#MicroBlogMondays: Dealing with overwhelm

Have you ever felt like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?

Work commitments. To-do lists. Hobby projects. Managing the house. Looking after a sick cat. Planning and preparing for exciting projects. And completely underestimating how long all of the different pieces might take.


And even when you set supposedly realistic goals for the day, you are unable to finish them. So what gives?

From what I’ve noticed when creating my goals for the day, there are a few things at play here.

  1. I don’t realize just how long something might take – especially when it comes to creating something – a piece of writing, a painting, cooking – sometimes, time estimates are way off!
  2. I don’t factor in just how tired I am. Sometimes the thought of all the things I’ve listed out overwhelms me to the extent that I keep putting things off until tomorrow. And then panic when I realize “tomorrow” is here and I haven’t even started what was supposed to be done and out.
  3. I don’t give myself time off – no rest days to do nothing – just unwind, disconnect, have some fun.
  4. Fear of missing out – I tend to sign up for a ton of webinars and mini-courses and summits, and then the thought of actually doing any of them, and then also working on my own thing, sends me running for cover.

Now that I’ve noticed these patterns, I’m working on addressing them.

For starters, I’ve simply unsubscribed from a whole bunch of summits, and from a lot of the summit speakers – I noticed that I was never even looking at their free gifts, so clearly – no alignment happening there! And I’ve trimmed my subscriptions down to the few people whose emails I actually look forward to receiving.

I’ve started mind mapping all the ideas that I have floating around in my head. Out of head, on to paper. Less overwhelm. Excellent!

Instead of setting daily goals, I now set weekly goals. It eases the pressure right off and lets me work better with my rhythms and moods.

And finally, I’ve set up my bullet journal. I had come across this before but never really paid it any mind. Then I saw fellow blogger Chandni’s bullet journal photographs on Instagram and I was obsessed. After reading her quick primer on bullet journaling, I was pumped to start mine. I did a bit more research and set mine up at the start of this month.  I’ve been using it for most of November and I LOVE it!

So these are my tried-and-tested methods of dealing with overload. Over to you – how do you cope with overwhelm? I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments!

Linking up with MicroBlog Mondays.


Posted in Journaling.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Sounds like an ideal way to handle the overwhelm, MG :)Perfectly understand how things can get too much to handle and leave you gasping for breath. Best is to take things easy now and then.

    I love bullet journaling too. Then again, I love checklists 😉 Unsubscribing from extra stuff sounds perfect too. I recently did that and my inbox is heaving a sigh of relief.

    • Yes, I really need to learn how to take things easy sometimes! 😉
      Bullet journaling has been quite a revelation to me, and I’m enjoying it. And unsubscribing made things suddenly so peaceful! No pressure to read all those newsletters or feel guilty for not reading them!

    • Yes, it is important to unwind. I’m not a major fan of huge monthly goal setting though – I go after my “goals” slightly differently. ?

  2. Same happens with me also, like having so many things to do, or I should say because of our nature, we wanted to do multiple things, but we are able to do only the few ones.
    However in my case, to set daily goals work for me at present, it forces me to do the tasks, I write to dos on my mobile.
    Looking forward to learn bullet journelling from you 🙂

    • I tried daily goal setting, but personally found it stressful. Wanting to do multiple things also does lead to overwhelm – so a weekly view of all that I want to do helps me plan my evenings better. 🙂

  3. I started off 2015 with a huge list of goals and quickly found I had bitten off more than I could chew.
    I use a planner that I love and set weekly things to focus on in addition to my to-do’s. Great post!

    • Yes, I used to create these massive goals for myself, and always felt horrible because I couldn’t always do all of them! I find this method of weekly to-dos much easier to manage and finish off!
      Which planner do you use? 🙂

  4. Pingback: It Is That Time Of The Year Again #MondayMusings - Everyday Gyaan

  5. Great way to sail through a lot of things. I love bullet journals too but I prefer them simpler like a to do list and for a week and not each day. It does ease things a lot 🙂

    • It’s interesting to see so many people who love bullet journals! I’ve been having a swell time looking at all the creative ways in which people use them. 🙂

  6. Some days I just feel lazy and some days I am overloaded with so many works and personal stuffs that it really makes me go crazy. For me, 24 hours also feel short…till yet, I did not go by any plans and randomly do whatever I feel like. Hope now, it is the time to go by planning and get things sorted.

  7. Overwhelm was happening all the time, so I think I can relate to what you’re saying. But, having said that, I’m also brought in a few key changes to my life and my routine, by following a priority list for each day as it comes, and sailing through it. If I’ve met my goals for the day, I’m happy. Small do-able ‘to-do’ lists work better for me, but your bullet-journaling sounds really cool too!

  8. Oh yes, it is very easy to under-estimate the time required by an activity. I do that so often!
    My “bullet journaling” involves jotting down bullet points of things-to-do on any scrap of paper I find, and position it prominently on my computer table, where I can see it every time I enter my room. I make separate long-term lists… on my phone. I use ColorNote for it.

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one who regularly underestimates how long things will take! 😉
      I used to do that too – multiple scraps of paper all piled up until that also overwhelmed me! 😉

  9. Earlier I would make big plans, but on realising that I was not completing every task, I changed my MO. Now I plan for the day and give myself some elbow room for unforeseen moments which I would like to simply idle away – like on a Sunday. I prepare to-do lists and keep ticking off every task after I complete it. Like today, I had decided to complete a sketch and blog-hop (visit at least 10 blogs). Now, my sketch is done , but as it took time, I don’t know if I will be able to visit10 blogs right now. But, I am not going to fret over it. I might sit late into the night, or will cover up tomorrow. My peace of mind and the satisfaction at having done things well is all that matters now.

    • That’s such an important realization to come to! So often we beat ourselves up for not finishing everything we wanted to do, not realizing that our task list was actually unattainable.

  10. you have a lovely blog here. coming to the post, we all are swamped with more work than we can complete. For me, the casualties are my hobbies or down time. We all have different ways to plan things and make it work for me. I make a to-do list and pick the top three things I need to del with. Works sometimes, sometimes doesn’t. I just finished reading a book which had, among other things, case studies on successfully using the SMART approach to goal setting. Hopefully that should work better! 🙂

  11. Those are all great ideas for dealing with overwhelm and stress. I especially love the mind map idea and completing goals by the week instead of by the day. It’s hard to not stress during the holiday season.

    • Oh yes, the holiday season can really lead to a lot of stress! I’m glad you found some of these suggestions helpful. 🙂

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