Feeling frazzled? Click here to learn how to eliminate the overwhelm factor for a calmer, more focused fall.

September’s back to school/work stress can be IN-TENSE. New schedules, expectations, routines, and to-dos for days! Pressures pile up and before you know it, come crumbling down in the form of overwhelm.

Today we’re so fortunate to have a therapist and one my most trusted colleagues, Jennie Ormson, as a guest on the blog today. She’s going to help you not only navigate feelings of overwhelm but (better yet) prevent them from happening in the first place.lineDoesn’t September feel like a fresh start? A new opportunity to get it right? I remember vowing to myself each new year in University, “THIS year I won’t procrastinate.” A month later I’d be pulling all-nighters to complete assignments as the procrastination piper came to collect. It was overwhelming, but with a charge of electric excitement, I thrived on neglecting deadlines until the last minute.

Being overwhelmed no longer carries the same thrill when attempting to juggle family schedules and a business. Eliminating the overwhelm factor helps our homes to run more smoothly and lend to the oh-so-blissful sense of being On Top of Things. Following this three-step formula (consistently!) will help you say sayonara to overwhelm.

Step One: The Essentials
Reducing overwhelm requires PURGING, getting rid of everything but the essentials. We can do it all, but not all at the same time. Want to take up diving lessons or learn a new language? Cool. But does it need to be this year? If you’re going to add something to your schedule, you must also take something out. Otherwise, you end up like the acrobats in Cirque de Soleil spinning a hundred plates on long poles and the crash will be inevitable.

Record EVERYTHING in your agenda that requires attention this week: appointments, meetings, activities, menu planning, getting the dog to the groomer, MAKING THE APPOINTMENT to get the dog to the groomer. Every last wish and responsibility for the week is recorded with an assigned time. Now highlight ONLY the essentials. That’s how your week COULD look.

Step Two: Maximum efficiency
Time is precious, and when squandered or used inefficiently, overwhelm is inevitable. Review your agenda see where you can group similar tasks. If you’re making appointments for the dentist, your naturopath, and haircuts, try to tackle them all at once. Rather than checking email or social media multiple times per day, be intentional about it. Take care of the necessary emails all at once. Check back in later in the day, or even every hour, but be conscientious about your actions rather than mindlessly drifting.

Step Three: Do Your Time
Here’s the thing: when it comes to being overwhelmed, the only sure solution is to get organized. I know, I know, so incredibly dull and unsexy, but true. Either you’re going to put in some time up front getting your space and schedule organized, or you’re going to put in chaotic, frenzied hours later on as a result of poor planning. There’s no way around it.

The good news is that once you have some systems and routines in place you’ll discover how good it feels to not be flying by the seat of your pants. Moments of time will open up for true enjoyment, without the nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something. Believe me, if I can do this anyone can. Do your time, it will be worth it.

Connect with Jennie

For over 20 years as a therapist, Jennie has provided insight, compassion, and the skills to thrive personally and professionally. With three kids, a booming private practice and thriving online businesses, Jennie understands the need to juggle it all with grace and humor. When not at her private practice in Toronto, Jennie can be found camping, canoeing, or surrounded by a pile of books. Visit her website at www.jennieormson.com and connect on with her on Instagram.

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