The camel and its back
September 21, 2012 by
Categories: Acceptance, Coping

Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed. You know the feeling: a responsibility crust, regular stress filling, a too-long-to-do-list topping, with a sinking feeling on top. One of the worst parts for me is seeing additional toppings (i.e., other projects) all around me that are so tantalizing that I want to add them to my overloaded pie. Sometimes I’ve just grown board with the way my pie currently is, and sometimes I just feel like I should be doing more.

Image by hfb
(Disclaimer: My overloaded pie doesn’t look this delicious.)

The problem with that is I usually already have bitten off more than I can chew. Adding one more thing just might break the proverbial camel’s back. I’ve mentioned before that I have the type of personality that likes to bounce from one thing to the next, but there are times when I really can’t do this. This is when I have to remind myself that finishing a few projects is usually better than being engaged in many.

A German proverb goes, “Who begins too much accomplishes little.” I believe this is true and helps build my resolve against starting another project until another one is completed. I am also fortunate to have friends, family, and colleagues to help keep me on task. The following steps also help me:

  1. Look at a list of my current projects
  2. Examine how close to completion each project is. If one is nearing completion, then it may be ok to start another– after all, I’d hate to have nothing to do…
  3. If any projects have just begun, evaluate them to see if one could be put on hold if another project seems to be better. This may be a trap, though. Some things may not truly be better just because it’s new and shiny.

What about you? How do you manage your to-do lists and feelings that you should be doing more?  What do you do to keep your camel safe? Please share in the comments!

Image by sqback

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