Dealing with overwhelm and low productivity

Do you ever feel like you have so many things to do and so little time to get them done? And not even the best certified life coach in the world could help you? Do you ever feel like life is happening to you and sometimes the high quality of your life or day just isn’t there anymore? There are no achievements of goals that you can remember?

In our fast-paced life we want to be many things, wonderful parents, lovers, business people with expertise business coaching, friends and contributors to others. In addition, we want to have lots of energy, money and to live a healthy life that is fun, fulfilling and rewarding. It is no wonder that overwhelm seems to become a common side effect.

I say that feeling overwhelmed is an “effect” because any feeling we have must have been produced by something prior to that feeling. Your thoughts, reactions and actions produce your feelings. So, what is the solution for eliminating your overwhelm and feeling less than highly productive? How can you help yourself experience more achievement of goals?

In my own quest to manage all of my daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities, and personal desires and to live an abundant and fulfilling life, I created a values-based decision and action process for myself that many other people have found useful. I hope you do also and that you embrace it as a form of conscious guided meditation of some type.

First and foremost, it does not need to be complicated. Simplicity is the way of nature and nature does what she does with maximum efficiency, on time, every time. So, it doesn’t take executive business coaching to know you don’t want to mess with that formula of success.

So, with that said, let me ask you a question. Of all the things you value in your life… what do you value the most? Is it your health? You connection with God? Making money? Your children? Your family? Doing charitable things? Compassion? Peace? Serenity?

We developed and acquired most of our values and achievement goals from our parents and teachers during our very early years of imprinting and through our modeling and mirroring stages between the ages of 14-21. Some of what our parents/teachers valued and deemed important to them may not be what we value most or what will serve our lives best.

When you start your day off with what you value most, your sense of doing and living with your highest purpose and for your highest values makes you feel great every day.

We all get caught up in everything there is to do and we get overwhelmed when we do not get it all done. It seems our day has just slipped by again. A common theme and lesson taught by certified life coaches is that by doing THE highest and most important stuff first, every day, the little things that don’t get done seem trivial. In addition, by prioritizing what is really important and MUST get done vs. all the stuff that needs to get done, you begin to shift your mentality to one of high impact and high value.

There are two steps to this process and they both require a bit of thinking and planning.

After guided meditation or any other time, take 15 minutes and write down all the things you value in your life. When you are done, rate them from 1-10 or more.

Next, ask yourself this question:

What must I do today to act upon my highest value?

For example, if health is on your list as one of the top things you value, what can you do every day (including today) to make sure that you take care of that value? You then schedule that somewhere in your day and you make sure you do it. If it’s being connected to God, what can you do every day, including today, to take care of that value?

When you take care of the highest values and most important things first, your life has more meaning and you feel fulfilled.

In addition, when you have lists upon lists of things to do, you cannot give the same value to all the stuff on the list. You must prioritize the ones that will have the highest impact on whatever outcome you want for your achievement of goals. Not all your activities are worth or are valued the same. Learn to say “no,” and learn to prioritize your to-do list and do only your highest-impact or income-producing activities first.

This process may take you 10 minutes a day, and it will save you hours every day when you apply it.

All my best,

John

 

Comments

  1. Dave Servente says:

    Thanks John, just what the doctor ordered to help me out of my overwhelm. Dave

  2. So great! I love that to-do sheet. It’s helped me to remember the important things on several occassions!

    One thing I do for the HAVE-TO items in the day that I definitely want to limit my time to, is use a common kitchen timer. If I want to make sure a task gets no more than 10 minutes, that little ticker keeps me in line!

  3. So great! I love that to-do sheet. It’s helped me to remember the important things on several occassions!

    One thing I do for the HAVE-TO items in the day that I definitely want to limit my time to, is use a common kitchen timer. If I want to make sure a task gets no more than 10 minutes, that little ticker keeps me in line!

  4. christine says:

    Hi John, WE REALLY ENJOYED LOOKING AT YOUR BEAUTIFULL PICTURES OF GREECE! YOU HAVE A LOT OF COURAGE TO SEND PICTURES TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!

  5. christine says:

    Hi John, WE REALLY ENJOYED LOOKING AT YOUR BEAUTIFULL PICTURES OF GREECE! YOU HAVE A LOT OF COURAGE TO SEND PICTURES TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!

  6. christine says:

    Hi John, I want you to know that sheet will be very helpfull to me! Lately my concerns are my dieing sister, my alcohlic son and a demented mother ….my plate has overwhemed me!!

  7. christine says:

    Hi John, I want you to know that sheet will be very helpfull to me! Lately my concerns are my dieing sister, my alcohlic son and a demented mother ….my plate has overwhemed me!!

  8. Very good to include projects and priorities in the same document, for they are separated in my day timer and one tends to forget projects while putting out the “fires” of priorities.
    Just joined recently, love your site.
    Thanks for doing this.

    Gilles

  9. Thanks John,
    As usual your reminders are right on target. Love the sheet, talk about a time saver. Kudos!

  10. Thanks John,
    As usual your reminders are right on target. Love the sheet, talk about a time saver. Kudos!

  11. Great reminders of the truth. However, when one’s energy field is scattered, it’s difficult to focus. I have a son who is so highly stressed (trying to sell two condos in a collapsed market and having to pay 3 mortgages with borrowed money)that he is full of distrust and threatening self-destruction. How can I help him when I don’t have the finances? How can I heal my own emotions when they are tied up with his welfare? I feel for Christine!

  12. Great reminders of the truth. However, when one’s energy field is scattered, it’s difficult to focus. I have a son who is so highly stressed (trying to sell two condos in a collapsed market and having to pay 3 mortgages with borrowed money)that he is full of distrust and threatening self-destruction. How can I help him when I don’t have the finances? How can I heal my own emotions when they are tied up with his welfare? I feel for Christine!

  13. Alice Pottinger says:

    The gift of giving is such a wonderful gift to have, thank you for sharing. I’m starting up a new business and reading a lot of spiritial books, ways to have a clear mind and remove all unwanted energy/emotions, to ensure this new business is successful and it will be, thanks to you and a lot of your colleagues for sharing your gifts for success with the world.

  14. This is cool.

  15. This is cool.

  16. Thanks John,
    Next to being grateful for what we already have, focus is probably the biggest “missed step” that keeps people from achieving what they want to.
    I nearly missed it! I almost didn’t look at your “Daily to-do document,” thinking it would be like countless other goal sheets I’ve seen that could be done as well on a piece of plain paper. When I saw the first question (What are you grateful today?) I hit the save button. It’s an extremely helpful document. Thanks again.
    Duane

  17. Anne Krone says:

    Thank you so much for sheet. What a great gift. Anne

  18. Anne Krone says:

    Thank you so much for sheet. What a great gift. Anne

  19. This is a usefull concept…I like it…

  20. Awesome. The pdf file’s just what I needed to get focussed. Thanks a lot John. 🙂

  21. Awesome. The pdf file’s just what I needed to get focussed. Thanks a lot John. 🙂

  22. Thank for sharing this John. I love this and know that this will give me great focus in my day. It would be great to have a daily planner that had this exercise in it for each day! Thanks again!

  23. Thanks John,

    Did this with SMI, got me back on track.Little victories add up to big. Thanks again.
    Brad Root

  24. Thanks John,

    Did this with SMI, got me back on track.Little victories add up to big. Thanks again.
    Brad Root

  25. As a person who worked as executive secretary the majority of my workaday life, I learned prioritizing very early in my career. It has proved to be a blessing to have conquered this skill. I have been a landlady, managing my own rental property for approximately 18 years. I even ran a sideline small business for 5 years – and all of this in addition to my 40 hr. a week job as secretary and wordprocessor. When you get organized, you can accomplish so much more.

  26. As a person who worked as executive secretary the majority of my workaday life, I learned prioritizing very early in my career. It has proved to be a blessing to have conquered this skill. I have been a landlady, managing my own rental property for approximately 18 years. I even ran a sideline small business for 5 years – and all of this in addition to my 40 hr. a week job as secretary and wordprocessor. When you get organized, you can accomplish so much more.

  27. Wow. This is exactly what I am struggling with this week so much to do and so little time! Thanks so much for the Daily-to-do Sheet. Just what I needed and greatly appreciated!
    keep shining your light:-) in peace and joy
    Nyilah
    http://www.nyilah.com

  28. Wow. This is exactly what I am struggling with this week so much to do and so little time! Thanks so much for the Daily-to-do Sheet. Just what I needed and greatly appreciated!
    keep shining your light:-) in peace and joy
    Nyilah
    http://www.nyilah.com

  29. All these comments are great and I am so glad people all over the world are reading them.
    It makes me want to keep writing my thoughts and sharing the stuff I think about.
    All my best!

  30. All these comments are great and I am so glad people all over the world are reading them.
    It makes me want to keep writing my thoughts and sharing the stuff I think about.
    All my best!

  31. John, would you consider printing your Daily To Do Planner as a yearly calendar? It would be great to have it in bound form and I’m sure that your fans would be eager to buy it.

  32. John, would you consider printing your Daily To Do Planner as a yearly calendar? It would be great to have it in bound form and I’m sure that your fans would be eager to buy it.

  33. I keep making changes to it on a regular basis so that it morphs as my responsibilities change- that is why I like it organic and on one simple page. With that said, feel free to print as many as you like.

  34. I keep making changes to it on a regular basis so that it morphs as my responsibilities change- that is why I like it organic and on one simple page. With that said, feel free to print as many as you like.

  35. John, thanks for the Daily To Do Planner. It is just what I need at this point in my life. I need to stay focused on what is important. Thanks again.

  36. John, thanks for the Daily To Do Planner. It is just what I need at this point in my life. I need to stay focused on what is important. Thanks again.

  37. John, can we have a private conv by phone (you know what this is from our emails) – just a question on things like what bob schienfeld talks about in his stuff and TLC stuff in general…

    Thanks,
    nan

  38. John, can we have a private conv by phone (you know what this is from our emails) – just a question on things like what bob schienfeld talks about in his stuff and TLC stuff in general…

    Thanks,
    nan

  39. Ironically, I am of Greek ancestry (Speak, talk and can write) and have been to greece at least 8 to 10 times and SANTORINI is our next goal. It is breathtaking. I have a picture of it and visualize daily with me and my wife in the scene.

  40. Ironically, I am of Greek ancestry (Speak, talk and can write) and have been to greece at least 8 to 10 times and SANTORINI is our next goal. It is breathtaking. I have a picture of it and visualize daily with me and my wife in the scene.

  41. John – the ‘to-do’ sheet is wonderful. Years ago, I downloaded a 100 question exercise from your site, that divided four categories of our lives: relationships, finances, personal, and health. I copied it, and use it to “keep score” on how I’m doing. Do you remember which one I mean? If that is still available, I think it would be appreciated by all. Great “wake-up call” and a way to measure progress. 🙂

  42. John – the ‘to-do’ sheet is wonderful. Years ago, I downloaded a 100 question exercise from your site, that divided four categories of our lives: relationships, finances, personal, and health. I copied it, and use it to “keep score” on how I’m doing. Do you remember which one I mean? If that is still available, I think it would be appreciated by all. Great “wake-up call” and a way to measure progress. 🙂

  43. Thank you John, I needed to read this because I have been experiencing feeling there isn’t enough time in the day. I am going to use the daily to do document and see how I get on.
    Thanks again

  44. Thank you John, I needed to read this because I have been experiencing feeling there isn’t enough time in the day. I am going to use the daily to do document and see how I get on.
    Thanks again

  45. Greetings John, The day planner is very simmilar to the one I have in my one- coach material, I like the idea of the 5 decisions this way I stay laser focused. You and your “group” are included in my grateful for list. Thank you

  46. Greetings John, The day planner is very simmilar to the one I have in my one- coach material, I like the idea of the 5 decisions this way I stay laser focused. You and your “group” are included in my grateful for list. Thank you

  47. Raymond Omwango says:

    Thank you John having watched the Secret DVD, I usually control my thoughts and take it simple as you put it. thank you again

  48. Raymond Omwango says:

    Thank you John having watched the Secret DVD, I usually control my thoughts and take it simple as you put it. thank you again

  49. Thanks for the blog John. That daily plan suggested was a great idea. It make life easier when you make it simple.

  50. Thanks for the blog John. That daily plan suggested was a great idea. It make life easier when you make it simple.

  51. good point John. I started this week to actually PRINT out my highest values. It made me realize that certain people were keeping me from achieving my important values. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  52. good point John. I started this week to actually PRINT out my highest values. It made me realize that certain people were keeping me from achieving my important values. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  53. Hi John,

    I saw you on The Secret and I’ve read some of your material but this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog.

    You are completely correct. By getting clear on our values and then aligning our priorities in line with them puts order to the chaos and allows us to live our lives in alignment with what we most value.

    Cheers, Niro

  54. Hi John,

    I saw you on The Secret and I’ve read some of your material but this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog.

    You are completely correct. By getting clear on our values and then aligning our priorities in line with them puts order to the chaos and allows us to live our lives in alignment with what we most value.

    Cheers, Niro

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  2. […] John Assaraf asks: “Do you ever feel like you have so many things to do and so little time to get them done? Do you ever feel like life is happening to you and sometimes the high quality of your life or day just isn’t there?” […]

  3. […] Right planning Reading John Assaraf’s post Dealing with overwhelm and low productivity  reminded me the great example that teaches us an important lesson in prioritizing things: *Read […]

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