What to Do When You Have So Much on Your Plate and Don’t Know Where to Start

There are days that are so calm that we’re almost begging for things to do. Then, there are days that are so hectic that we wish there were 36 hours in a day. What do you do when you have so much on your plate and you don’t know where to start?

The past few months have been very busy for me. It’s been like a stream of hectic days – 36-hour days would have come in handy. With the birth of a new child (bringing the count to 3), my son starting school, the launch of this site, a full-time job, and the rest of the good stuff, I found myself having a zillion things to do.

I’m sure there are days when you’re hit with a whirlwind of things to do, and you don’t know how you’re going to get everything done or even where to start. In such moments, you may be tempted to try and juggle too many things at once. This usually leads to many half-completed tasks and, as a result, very little progress.

Here’s a simple strategy that I believe can help you in those moments:

  1. Take a deep breath. Panicking is not a constructive response to your situation, neither is complaining about all that needs to be done. It’s really just a waste of time and energy; the tasks are still sitting there waiting for your attention. Stay calm. Breathe. You need all your energy to get through it.
  2. Make a list of all your tasks. Write down on a single piece of paper everything you need to do (yes, you can use your computer or Smartphone if you wish). Get everything out of your head and on paper, where you can see what needs to be done.
  3. Determine if there are tasks you can delegate or delete (not do at all). Delegating certain tasks will free you up to tackle those tasks that only you can perform. Deleting non-essential tasks from the list has an obvious benefit: less things to do. Delegating or deleting tasks may not always be possible, but it’s worth investigating.
  4. Rank your tasks in order of importance. Once you have a list of the things you have to do, rank them in order of importance. If you deem two tasks equal, then it doesn’t matter which one comes first.
  5. Tackle your tasks in order of importance. Now that your list is in order, handle the tasks one by one starting at the top (most important task). If you can’t perform a task right away, move on to the next one and come back to it as soon as possible. If, along the way, additional tasks come up, add them to the list (according to rank), and keep moving.

By using this simple strategy, you can make it through your most hectic days. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when you have so much to do and don’t know where to start. Armed with this strategy, you will find it just as easy to get organized and handle zillions of tasks.

Question: How do you pull through when you have a zillion things to do? You can leave a comment below.