MOVING & CHANGING: FIRST THINGS FIRST!
My family has decided to move our show on the road 🙂 We are undertaking the short-term stress of moving 3000 miles from native home of southern California to Charleston, South Carolina in order to alleviate the long-term stress of the high cost of living in So Cal. But, my goodness it’s an overwhelming prospect!
I get overwhelmed pretty easily. So when I’m embarking on something really big and overwhelming I have to pull out all the stops for stress management! And first and foremost in that process is figuring out a priority list. So here are a few steps to help you figure out First Things First:
- Do a brain dump. A brain dump is when you write out all of the things that are going through your brain. Do not pay any attention to priority or any other type of organizational scheme. Just dump the information out.
- Organize the brain dump into categories. Some categories I like to use are:
TIME: Is there a deadline? If there are several or many, I categorize these into time-
periods, such as within 2 weeks, within 1 month, etc.
IMPORTANCE: With this I like to use the categories of “HIGH,” “MEDIUM,” and
SIZE: This is based on how long the tasks will take to complete. And the use easy
category names like “SMALL,” “MEDIUM,” and “LARGE.” Or, “SHORT,”
“MEDIUM,” and “LONG.”
- Prioritize within the categories: If you have not already done so, take each task within
within each category and prioritize it. For example, the tasks with the most current
deadline come first. Likewise with the tasks of the highest importance. With size you
can decide on your prioritization based on your preference. For instance, you may like to
get the small projects out of the way first. Or, you may like to take on the biggest
challenges first and leave the smaller projects for when you have less energy.
- Whatever your prioritizing scheme find a way to get started! There’s an interesting
Book out there called “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. In it Tracy says that the best way to get a list of things done is to get the most intimidating tasks out of the way first. I do use this strategy from time-to-time. For me, however, if I’m having a lot of anxiety about getting started I have to give myself a little incentive first. For example, as I’m looking at all of our stuff that we either need to get rid of or move it’s very overwhelming for me. My husband calls me a hoarder – which is NOT TRUE! 🙂 But, I am sentimental and it’s harder for me to part with things than it is for him. And yes, I do take it too far sometimes, like not wanting to sell or give away the dresser the kids have had since they were babies. So as an incentive to getting to the task of selling and giving away furniture, I allow myself 15 minutes on the computer to look at new furniture I can buy once we move.
Both of these strategies can work well. But, both also have challenges to them. The reason I sometimes need to give myself a treat up front is because my anxiety can make the frog-eating tasks seem way too daunting. If I were to just stick to the eating the frog strategy I might not ever get anything done. However, notice that I set a time limit on my internet furniture browsing. I even set a timer on my phone. Because, and I know I’m about to state the obvious – the internet browsing could go on for so long that again I would not get any of the “to do” tasks done.
So again, when faced with a daunting task like moving across the country, know that if you feel overwhelmed you’re not alone. And also know that if you put first-things-first, you will succeed in getting things done!
Happy Prioritizing! I’ll see you on the other side – the other side of the country that is 🙂
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