"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, May 06, 2010

One Step Past Overwhelmed

So I think we've all been there. We come home and there are fifty million things that need to be done RIGHT NOW. The more places we look, the more things are waiting. Our books aren't written. Our emails aren't answered. And there is dust an inch thick on our bedroom dresser. And let's not even get started on the closets. Clothes fall out all over the place, and the bookshelf is a shambles.
We hear scratching and the dog wants to go out. And to top things off, the tortoises are pacing back and forth in their habitat demanding lettuce. (yes, they really do this).

The horrible feeling of being overwhelmed hits and it seems like everything is pressing down on us.

So what's the solution?

Okay, I know you guys have heard this a million times before, but it's time to make a list. And then, once you have your list, take the tasks one at a time in the order of highest priority (or sometimes quickest satisfaction). What needs to be done the most? And what will make you feel the best for getting it done? It's not like my daughter's closet is going to collapse if I don't organize it. But once I do, a huge sense of accomplishment comes over me. And letting the dog out will reduce the stress her scratching creates.

The best part: once I start on my list, I am no longer overwhelmed.

My brother-in-law has a quote that's good to remember in overwhelming times:

Whenever you're in a hurry, slow down.

So anyway, this weekend I dusted and cleaned and organized my daughter's entire room. I leave you with this picture of her bookshelves...


...and a close-up of some of my favorite childhood books. She was beyond excited to get them on her bookshelf!


Hope the week is going great for you all!

43 comments:

Marcia said...

Her room looks great! Love those piles of Nancy Drew. I'm reading The Art of War for Writers right now, and he talks about ROE, or return on effort, doing the things that give you the most payoff for the least effort.

Christine Marciniak said...

It looks great! Isn't it nice to be able to feel like something was accomplished!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I want my office to look like your daughter's room! Okay, I don't even need a list because I'm saying it here--today I will straighten my office and I will feel great.

Anna said...

Wow, look at those amazingly organized shelves! I've definitely been having the kind of week that requires a list! I'd like to say I've crossed lots of things off of it, but alas...maybe today?

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Marcia! I actually love organizing and was SO happy to get the Nancy Drews and the Trixie Beldons in place.
And I love the ROE way of looking at things!

It's one of the best feelings in the world, Chris! Thanks! I think she's about ready to read :)

Me, too, Tricia! I need to continue on my organization. Have fun straightening your office.

Today is the perfect day, Anna. The feeling of crossing things off the list is a good one!

Vonna said...

Your daughter's room is an inspiration. I guess I can make time to dust those incredibly fuzzy ceiling fans.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Vonna! But did you really have to mention the ceiling fans :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Nice job! And yea...I am a LIST person - it is the only way I can make sense of the chaos that happens at times

beckylevine.com said...

It is amazing how checking one item off makes it all bearable. Actually, it's amazing how just writing DOWN the stuff makes it seem less frightening.

Are those Nancy Drew mysteries I see? Lucky girl! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Chaos does conform with lists, Christina! I love thinking of it that way :) Thanks! I'm thinking that would make a nice t-shirt design.

It really does, Becky. It's like magic. And yes! Nancy Drew rocked the world for me when I was little. You too?

beth said...

Look at all that Nancy Drew!!! Awesome!

PJ Hoover said...

It made me want to re-read all of them, Beth. I have such fond memories :)

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Her shelves look AWESOME =) I go back and forth between liking mine neat and orderly, and feeling happy when they look cluttered with books. (I know I'm weird, lol.)

I'm the queen of making lists! I have a "list" notebook Really I do. Actually, I have two of them. Now as for if I ever get through those lists? That's a different story entirely, lol.

PS I finished The Emerald Tablet AND started The Navel of the World last night <3 (Heidi's my FAVORITE!)

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

TRIXIE BELDON!!?? I LOVE Trixie Beldon! I read all of those books four, five and six times over. I've never met anyone else who's even heard of them.

I knew you were good people, PJ!

Kelly H-Y said...

You said it!! Great post! And, I had no idea tortoises paced when cranky/hungry! :-) Your shelves look divine!

Rebecca said...

Wow. Look at all those Nancy Drews!

(I am feeling very UNaccomplished right now)

Gail said...

OMG...look at all those Nancy Drews!!!! That was the first series I read and I loved them. My mom had them packed up in the basement, I thought, so when I got my first teaching position, I asked her to send them to me. She said that she'd GIVEN THEM AWAY to the elementary school in the neighborhood! I was so disappointed :-)

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PJ Hoover said...

LOL, Sara, I do like my overflowing with books but orderly. And thank you for reading EMERALD! Yay! Heidi is my favorite, too. I'd like to grow my hair a few inches right now.

I loved Trixie, Amy. The author came to our school in sixth grade and I was hooked. Could not read enough Trixie. I think I even wanted a boyfriend named Jim.

PJ Hoover said...

My tortoises totally express their discontent, Kelly. Twice a day at least. And thanks!

I hope you start feeling very accomplished soon, Rebecca!

Thanks for visiting, Gail! And so sorry your mom GAVE AWAY YOUR NANCY DREWS!!!!! I would have cried.

Tess said...

a great reminder...

slow down...

take a deep breath...

get a little organized.

we can do it!

Lynn Colt said...

Lists are so crucial - I make them for everything, to make sure I get everything done on time and so things don't slip through the cracks. I love crossing things off the list :)

PJ Hoover said...

Yes, Tess! Exactly!

PJ Hoover said...

I'm with you, Lynn. I've been a list gal for as long as I can remember.
And congratulations!

Miriam S. Forster said...

Those books are SO COOL! I've got a (smaller) collection of Hardy Boy and Tom Swift books in similar covers to your Nancy Drews. It always makes me happy to see them on the shelf.

PJ Hoover said...

Great minds, once again, Miriam! My son has the Hardy Boys in his room!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the pep talk, because I've definitely felt overwhelmed this week-work too much to do, home too much to do, writing too much to do, and too much social networking. Today will be the first time I can squeeze in some writing since I went to the SCBWI conference last Saturday.

Angela said...

I so agree with lists. I find with each thing I check off I feel better, because I can see my progress and have a roadmap back to that place of balance.

Have a great weekend!

PJ Hoover said...

Sometimes it just all seems to hit at once, doesn't it, Natalie. I'm working to get better at handling it all!

Now I want to make even more lists, Angela. They seem to be the secret to getting so much done!

T. Anne said...

Someone has a NEAT bookshelf! Awesome! And yes, I subscribe by the list as well. ;)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oh, I love that you have all your original Nancy Drew books! I wish I still had mine...

laurapauling said...

Cool. All of the Nancy Drews? Wow. And yes, sometimes, we need to stop writing and get some good ole fashioned decluttering done. The shelves look great.

PJ Hoover said...

Maybe it will help my daughter learn to be neat, Anne :)

They are beautiful, Sherrie. I'm sorry you don't have yours anymore :(

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Laura! I read all of them numerous times. And you're right. it's so important to take the time to declutter.

Indigo said...

I'm beginning to think I need a list. At least I'll have a visual of what exactly it is I've accomplished. I'm the prime example of disorganized chaos.

Your daughter's shelves look great. Loved the idea of stacking the books flat. (Hugs)Indigo

PJ Hoover said...

Lists work miracles, Indigo! Please try one!
And the Nancy Drews looked so nice stacked like that and took up way less space.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Look at all those Nancy Drews!!

I saw your comment over at Sherrie's. You need to stop by my blog and officially sign up for my verse novel challenge. ;)

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Caroline! I'll head over and check it out!

B.J. Anderson said...

Wow, look at that giant stack of Nancy Drews!! I am impressed. :D

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, BJ! I love them. They're so pretty :)

Nora MacFarlane said...

Looks great! I'm a list maker too. Nothing gets done unless I write it down.

PJ Hoover said...

Speaking of which, I need to make my list for tomorrow, Nora!

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh. My. God. Swooning over all those Nancy Drews! LOVE!

I did a massive Spring cleaning over the last week and I feel like a new person.

PJ Hoover said...

Don't you love spring cleaning, LiLa. It gives the best satisfying feeling!