How do you combat that overwhelmed & paralyzed feeling?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    469
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    16

    Unhappy How do you combat that overwhelmed & paralyzed feeling?

    In work, in life, I get overwhelmed by how much there is to do and how to approach it, how to budget my time, etc.

    As a result, not nearly enough gets done and I get upset with myself and beat myself up about not getting anything done.

    Take for example my house, we have two rooms that need to be renovated in the next month, both are a mess and still filled with boxes. Most nights after work, I go in one of the rooms, survey what has to be done, start looking in boxes and moving a few things around (spreadhing out the mess) and give up because I don't have the time and energy to deal with it.

    This also happens with work projects, I never seem to be able to get in top of projects and stay ahead of the curve and be organized, I'm always saying I need a big chunk of time to just step back, assess and get organized and that time never presents itself.

    I think I actually at the point where my self esteem has suffered as a result.

    Do you ever feel this way? How do you break through it and get things done?

  2. #2
    Registered User CouponShelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    166
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    11

    Default

    I'm interested in know the answers too... I'm just like you. My house is a wreck. After I get home from work, its all I can do to take care of the baby. The only "progress" I have made is that I decided I'd start no new projects until I finished 80 dishcloths and used up all that cotton "sugar and spice" yarn I have laying around. Then I can move on to the next project.

    I need to declutter my house and I also have 3 huge projects on my desk at work. I'm convinced I have a mild form of ADD...

  3. #3
    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    usa
    Age
    59
    Posts
    5,276
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    35

    Default

    I don't know the answer to this, but I honestly believe it depends on your personality. Myself I'm very laid back when it comes to my outlook on life. I'm not one to be rushed in anything I do, it just seems to make things worse. I work 12 hour shifts and I now run 4 machines. If I hurry I'm going to get hurt most likely. Not worth losing an arm, or possibly getting killed. I get done what I get done. At home the same thing. No one is going to die if they walk in and see dirty dishes in the sink. Least of all me. I think getting older helps too. You just realize life really is too short to always be worrying about things that in the end "don't really matter". No one on this planet can accomplish everything in one day or in their lifetime that they want to get accomplished. There will always be something more to do. Slow down, breath, and enjoy the little things we take for granted.

    Cat

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Registered User onencgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Age
    67
    Posts
    1,751
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sassyclass View Post
    I don't know the answer to this, but I honestly believe it depends on your personality. Myself I'm very laid back when it comes to my outlook on life. I'm not one to be rushed in anything I do, it just seems to make things worse. I work 12 hour shifts and I now run 4 machines. If I hurry I'm going to get hurt most likely. Not worth losing an arm, or possibly getting killed. I get done what I get done. At home the same thing. No one is going to die if they walk in and see dirty dishes in the sink. Least of all me. I think getting older helps too. You just realize life really is too short to always be worrying about things that in the end "don't really matter". No one on this planet can accomplish everything in one day or in their lifetime that they want to get accomplished. There will always be something more to do. Slow down, breath, and enjoy the little things we take for granted.

    Cat
    What CAT says is true. Just do what you can... it's not going anywhere.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,607
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    173
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Paper and pen. The only way is to break it up into sections.
    1.turn on the radio

    2.do not get hyper focus on anything in boxes.

    3. divide sections in sections

    4.put all like things together

    5. Take all things that don't belong in that room to the room they belong.

    6. Take all goodwill things to the car

    7. Take all garbage out to the trash

    8. Have clear tubs,gallon plastic bags,rubber bands,garbage bags,and cleaning supplies in the room and a vaccumn

    9. Do not pull out anymore than you have time to clean right then.

    10. only about that section (not that you have three rooms to do by this time,oh my, oh my)

    11. leave that tv off!!!, no eating. pee before.

    12. When I really am not into it I play a game. I pretend I"m in a contest like beat the clock. No, I'm not crazy. I look at cleaning as a conquer/military sort of operation.

    13. I clean so I have space,then pull stuff out of one area like a dresser,clean organize,purge that,put back what I want organized,clean actual dresser w/ polish. Each thing the closet,under the bed,the desk etc. That way if I get called away. The mess isn't huge to come back to.

    14. Look at it in a positive way. I am maikng this nice. I will have a great new space. NOt a burden like a punishment.

    15. Next time don't let it go so long.

    16. When you clean. Go wide then narrow,narrow,narrow (room, items file in cabinet in overflow file, in individual section catetories, sort through each category,purge and shred)

    17. Make sure you cross everything off the list as you do it. I make notes as I go too. I find it empowering

    18. I like to clean alone but I do hand off piles to people who have left piles in the area.

    Hope this helps. Everyone has there style. Some people are natural organizers, some have to learn.Good luck.

  7. #6
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Age
    47
    Posts
    11,993
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    43
    Rep Power
    47

    Default

    I'd do one room at a time, one box at a time. Start with trash. Anything easily identifiable as trash, toss in the trash can. When it's full, take it outside to the curb and get a fresh bag. Once the crap is out, it becomes a little easier to see the things that you really might have to make decisions about.

    Even then, one area at a time, one piece at a time. Make mini-goals for yourself. For example, you can say "today I'm going to clear out the corner of the dining room." That's the goal for the whole day...just that corner. Get your three bins for toss, donate and keep and separate it all out. Take the trash right out, take the donations to the Salvation Army, IMMEDIATELY or list them on freecycle, etc., and put the things you are keeping in their rightful place.

    If you take it in small pieces, you won't feel as overwhelmed and it will go more smoothly for you.
    Blog: http://amysreallife.com

    Amy
    Wife to
    Mommy to 4
    Public School Teacher

    Debt:
    Mortgage - $399,526.10
    Grocery Budget Challenge: $749.08/$800.00

    Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."

  8. #7
    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,566
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    82

    Default

    Pick something. ONE thing. Focus only on that ONE thing. Stay on that ONE thing until that ONE thing is done. THEN move onto the NEXT ONE thing.

    Such easy advice to give. If only I was as capable as following it as I am of parroting it... :/

  9. #8
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    7,713
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    75
    Rep Power
    57

    Default

    One step at a time. Like Greebo says, pick one thing. Got a room full of boxes to sort out? Pick one box and do it. Kitchen is a mess? Do one sink full of dishes. Or just put the silverware away.

    You will either find that you can't stop once you've started, or you'll finish the one task feeling better about getting *something* done. Due to my arthritis (RA) I often have days where I barely have the energy to get dressed and feed myself lunch, but I try to do some housework every day, even if it's only washing out DH's lunch containers from yesterday.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    267
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    You were right where I was.

    I am obsessive about the house, a type of control freak etc. I had to learn to LET GO! Cause honestly if you don't you will go weirdo and life is not meant to be lived that way. I got moody, snippy, depressed type stuff and just a miserable person to be around.

    All cause of stuff.

    So I SLOWLY decluttered over the last 2 years.....I took stuff out of my life all the time I had my one and only 2 year old daughter. I was 44 when I had her....so being almost 48 now, with a 4 year old........I tell ya you just have to stop the madness.

    In those 2 years as I walked thru a room I picked up something, anything, and put it in the garage in a box marked, give away to friend, good will or threw it in the trash.

    It was slow going. I went insane just wanting to clean a room all the way to perfect in 1 day. It can't be done.

    AND dishes and laundry and all that IS NOT LIFE! It is a chore we need to handle but not one to become obessive about. We need to focus on LIVING life, not cleaning it up.

    I got anxious and weird and all that----I had to change.

    Work is needed, family is needed and some stuff control is needed....but to make it your purpose in life to have a clean room and such just can't be....we can't let that happen.

    So find the balance. I had too......

    My outlook more now is ---- live and enjoy and smile and relax and take back time.........not live and freak out over things that I won't be thinking about on my death bed.

    whew....I had to rant a bit..HA HA HA

    I know where you are at.....you must make the mental change and find the easy path. I love it and won't go back to the crazy of it all.

  11. #10
    Registered User prairiewife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    220
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    12

    Default

    I get overwhelmed easily also. Sometimes I don't start a project because I have the end result pictured in my mind. This can be very overwhelming because I see how much needs to be done overall. Or I have so many project ideas that I just don't know where to start.

    The one thing that has helped me the most is letting go of perfectionism. A project done the best I can, though not perfect, is so much more satisfying than something not completed at all. It has been hard though, I have an old closest space I am currently converting into a craft/office storage space. I didn't start for months because the walls needed work, I couldn't afford the shelving I wanted, the cute storage boxes I wanted etc... I had this magazine perfect picture in my mind how it should look. I finally decided it's only a closet and wouldn't it be better to just have it organized and functional than perfect. So I've got some cheap wire shelving, left over paint from another project and some elbow work to do. I looked around the house and realize I have many storage containers, not matching, but they will do. Just getting started has given me the momentum to keep going.

    I like frugalwarriors idea about turning on the radio. It helps to have some upbeat music to give you energy.

    Taking one thing at a time and list making are so helpful. And don't do like I have done and make a list so long it makes you even more anxious! LOL.

    As far as cleaning out your rooms. Focus on one room at a time, one box at a time, try not to even think about everything else that needs done. Get empty boxes, label one box for trash, one for items to put away, one for donations and one where you put things you don't know what to do with. This last one helps me the most. Store it for a few months in a basement or attic and attack it again later, you'll probably find like I have that many of those items end up in a donation box and out of the house.

    Give yourself small rewards for finishing steps of your project, a relaxing cup of tea, a few minutes enjoying a hobby you love, time to read a chapter in a book, a short walk enjoying the outdoors.

    Hope some of this helps.

  12. #11
    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Age
    64
    Posts
    2,402
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    24

    Default

    Break it down into small tasks. When my mom died, I was responsible for her funeral, the trust, cleaning out her house, etc. I was SO overwhelmed with cleaning the house out.

    Hubby and I lived with my mom and there was no real rush for us to get it cleaned out and sold. I made it my weekly goal to have the garbage can full when it was put to the curb once a week, give away AT least one box of stuff on freecycle, list something on eBay, give something to a family members/friends, etc.

    When I looked around the house on a daily basis I couldn't really tell I was making progress, BUT the trash can was full every week, I gave something away on freecycle, sold something on eBay, gave something to a family member/friend, etc. so I KNEW I was making progress.

    Then I got a real estate agent and we started looking to buy our own house. THAT helped me to get mom's house cleaned out a little faster. Mom died in mid April and we closed on our house at the end of August and moved in a little at a time over the month of September.

    I do have a couple of boxes of mom's stuff to finish going through. As a matter of fact I had hubby put them in the living room just this last weekend. NOW I have to get busy with them. My goal - one box a week.

  13. #12
    Registered User ncarr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sunny Florida
    Age
    36
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    13

    Default

    I feel this way every day. Making lists really helps me to not feel as overwhelmed.

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Kansas (USA)
    Posts
    1,430
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    36

    Default

    I agree, it IS about personality types (somewhat), but if you get to the "overwhelmed and paralyzed" position, there may need to be some small (or large) changes, or new habits formed to help you cope.

    I'd say the #1 things that helps me avoid chaos are to do things on a regularly-scheduled basis, get rid of and AVOID clutter, and get EVERYONE in the household involved. Even a 2-year old can pick-up toys and a 4-year old can make their own bed.

    You can't do EVERYTHING yourself... When our kids were at home we ALL were busy, so EVERYONE (including hubby) helped clean the house once a week (Friday night or Saturday morning usually - NO SLEEPING IN UNTIL NOON ON THE WEEKENDS!). It took less than an hour and we were all free for the rest of the weekend to do other fun things and no one was embarrassed to have friends over, or unexpected guests drop by, because of a messy home. An unintended consequence, our kids didn't mess-up the house, nor would they allow their friends to wreck things. They were all too aware of what it took to keep it clean and tidy. That doesn't mean we didn't have Light Brites or Lego's all over the floor. We did. They just knew to pick them up and put them away when done. Something they learned to do when they were 2.

    As already pointed out so well by others... How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Quit looking at the big picture and break things up into smaller projects. The time spent stewing and fretting could be better used - doing something. Use the Flylady method by setting a timer. If you want a room cleaned up or a task completed, set a timer for 15-20 minutes and get after it.... You'd be surprised how many things only take a few minutes when done on a regular basis, and become overwhelming when left for too long.

    Do-it-now, is also a good work habit to foster with some of the little things that tend to take-over a desk. When I get the mail, it's instantly gone through. Junk gets tossed in the recycling bin, bills placed in the bill-paying folder, and anything else that has a "home" is put in it. The result, no NEGATIVE heaping pile on the desk - as a constant reminder of one more thing that needs done, but WHEN? When it took 3 minutes by doing it NOW.

    Look realistically at how long projects take, to make them less stressful. I remember John Stossel doing a 20/20 report about how working women are so busy they don't have time for regular household duties AND work. He thought the first thing they should quit doing was making the bed. The report showed "mom" making the bed for 3 children who were perfectly capable of making their own beds (mistake #1).

    Out of curiosity, hubby and I timed how long it takes us to make the bed in the morning when we first get out of bed - it was 15-seconds. So making the bed really wasn't all that big of deal, especially if you do it the minute you get out of bed and never have to think about it again.

    If it takes you an entire day to clean the living room, you probably (1) aren't doing it often enough or (2) don't bother to pick-up after yourselves very well. Dishes that magically appear can disappear by the same method (in reverse) that brought them into the room. Heaping piles of unread magazines and newspapers means you don't consider them a priority. Stop the subscriptions and get the clutter and negativity out of your life.

    It takes us 15-20 minutes to clean up after a meal and do dishes, and by doing it as soon as the meal is done, and that's one less negative thought we have to contend with. Yes, we're tired, but not THAT tired. We probably won't be any less tired 2 hours later....

    Turn the TV off (or any other visual time-waster). Our adult son, the starving artist, said he never wastes time watching the TV. Why would he watch TV, he said, when he could be creating his next masterpiece. How many "masterpieces" in each of us are waiting for us to turn the TV off?

    If your family is apart more then together, with too-numerous-to-mention activities, so many that you need a detailed calendar and you can't remember the last time you all sat down to supper together, maybe you need to pare down those activities. Even too much of a "good" thing can be a "bad" thing. Burdens shared are easier to lift....

  15. #14
    Registered User cab54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Age
    65
    Posts
    4,367
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sassyclass View Post
    I don't know the answer to this, but I honestly believe it depends on your personality. Myself I'm very laid back when it comes to my outlook on life. I'm not one to be rushed in anything I do, it just seems to make things worse. I work 12 hour shifts and I now run 4 machines. If I hurry I'm going to get hurt most likely. Not worth losing an arm, or possibly getting killed. I get done what I get done. At home the same thing. No one is going to die if they walk in and see dirty dishes in the sink. Least of all me. I think getting older helps too. You just realize life really is too short to always be worrying about things that in the end "don't really matter". No one on this planet can accomplish everything in one day or in their lifetime that they want to get accomplished. There will always be something more to do. Slow down, breath, and enjoy the little things we take for granted.

    Cat
    Hear, hear, Cat! Listen to her, ml2620, she's got the right idea!

    I didn't feel like I ever got enough done, felt like I was trying to keep too many spinning plates in the air all the time. I like the way you say it is affecting your self esteem. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but that's JUST what I felt like!

    I really could NOT get much organizing done until my boys were grown and out of the house. And even now, I just do baby steps.

    Sometimes, of course, I just HAD to clean up/organize an area, like you do......it became necessary..

    If you really really need to get those rooms emptied and ready for redoing, just go in there and take out one or two things (be fearless and detached and just DO it)--don't move them around, just take them OUT. Put them where you think they should go (or toss them if they don't need to be in your house), and then move on to dinner, etc. Don't berate yourself because you didn't do the whole room, or a whole area. Some of us are just like that---we simply CAN'T do it all at once, it is too over whelming. There is nothing wrong with that. Don't wait till you're 50 to figure that out, like I did. You'll drive yourself nuts over time.

    Like Cat said. there will always be something more to do. Housekeeping is a work-in-progress. It is never done. Stop to smell the roses (and hug the kids) ---and just baby step it.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    469
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    16

    Default

    Y'all make it sound so easy. I know all these things, this is a good reminder to start implementing. I'm reading "Side Tracked Home Executives" right now (about cleaning, organizing and managing a household), and their big thing seems to be "Just do it"

    I'll tackle one box, and clearing the mantel in the parlor tonight (it's an old house, my family has been here since 1850, I can't help but call it the parlor, even if it makes the house sound like a mansion at 1300 sf).

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Feeling overwhelmed? You betcha.
    By MomToTwoBoys in forum Home Environment
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-05-2010, 08:17 AM
  2. Feeling overwhelmed and down tonight :(
    By mateosbaby in forum Dave Ramsey
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 09-29-2008, 03:54 PM
  3. Feeling Overwhelmed By De-Cluttering the Whole House?
    By AmyBoz in forum Home Environment
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-17-2004, 09:49 PM
  4. Help!! Feeling tired and overwhelmed.....
    By Sarah in forum Frugal Living
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-31-2002, 07:44 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •