Overwhelmed? Try Micro-Chore Lists

Last month hubs and I moved, but little did I know that moving constitutes one of the top 5 stresses in Life.  In the past few weeks my disorientation hit a few interesting notes:

1. I threw my keys into the garbage at work instead of an empty coffee cup.  It was great fun digging through the bin at the University hoping to go unnoticed by past or current students.

2. I locked myself out of my office at work.

3. I temporarily lost a set of students’ quizzes.

4. Not able to find my shoes, I wore flip flops to work.

5. I drove in the wrong direction to get home.

6. When the printer in my office died, and I was told there were not enough funds in the Department to replace it, I threw a fit that could rival Stanley Kowalski.

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A solution was in order: Micro-Chores

The idea is to take any large project and formulate a list of things (maybe 5 things per day) that will take you 10 minutes or less per chore.  Do these things first in the morning.  You will feel energized and more in control of your life.  In fact, by completing the 5 micro-chores you will gain momentum to spend extra time on the projects.  This helps to de-stress your life and bring about organization.

If you find yourself in the throes of a large project, or several projects, break down very simple steps towards accomplishing your goals.  For example, instead of listing “unpacking” I wrote micro-chores like: unpack one box, hang up one thing, etc… With respect to my regular “to-do’s” I also created a micro-chore list: grade 5 papers, 10 minutes return emails, print draft of paper, and so on.

One more important way to deal with being overwhelmed is to take a moment to thank people who have supported you in some way.  A quick text or email will do.  Showing gratitude builds character and puts your woes into perspective because stress can give the illusion that one is alone in the world, but when you reach out that illusion dissipates.  Let people know you appreciate them.

Here are some thank you’s of my own (mush alert!):

1. Thank you to my husband-partner-love for being wonderful throughout this chaos and for regularly getting take-out sushi or Mexican food.

2. Thank you to my dear friend, the brilliant and stylish designer Courtney Bates for helping me pick out tile and furniture for the new place.

3. Thank you to my students who have shown a lot of patience while I sort through your assignments.  You are bright, you make me laugh, and teaching is an absolute joy because of you.

4. Thank you to 7-11 for making the extra shot of caffeine free with coffee purchase.

About unsolicitedtidbits

Philosophy, books, coffee, Mexican food enthusiast. View all posts by unsolicitedtidbits

2 responses to “Overwhelmed? Try Micro-Chore Lists

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