THE BLOG
09/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Ask Maddisen - How to Free Yourself from Confusion

Dear Maddisen:
Lately, I've had so much on my plate with caring for my family and my business, that I've been spinning into confusion and overwhelm, and feeling exhausted. I'm also worried about a few problems, anticipating others, and feel like there's a circus going on in my head! I'm pretty good with time management, but would love to know if you have any great tips for managing myself when I get like this! Many thanks, JM

Dear JM,
Thanks for your great question. I have a very simple technique to share that should help you release the confusion and overwhelm, and return you to a more peaceful state. Let's get to it now! Grab a piece of paper and a pencil, sit down, and follow these steps:

STEP 1 - LIST EVERYTHING
In a line-by-line format, write down everything that is on your mind, including to-do's, worries, problems, etc.

For example:
- Take Champion to vet for shots
- Order Jinny's birthday present
- I'm afraid Frank is binging on sugar again
- I've skipped 2 cardio classes this week, and feel guilty
- Deposit checks at credit union
- Worried about Josh since V broke up with him
- Set appointments with Chris and Samantha
- Order business brochure refills
- Book flight for NY
- Why do we have algae growing in the pool?
- Do we need to change pool service again?
- Read 2 chapters for renewal exam
- Grocery shop
- Should I get botox?
- Pick up dry cleaning

STEP 2 - PRIORITIZE EVERYTHING
Prioritize every item on the list, including problems and worries.

For example:
3. Take Champion to vet for shots
4. Order Jinny's birthday present
12. I'm afraid Frank is binging on sugar again
10. I've skipped 2 cardio classes this week, and feel guilty
1. Deposit checks at credit union
11. Worried about Josh since V broke up with him
7. Set appointments with Chris and Samantha
6. Order business brochure refills
5. Book flight for NY
13. Why do we have algae growing in the pool?
14. Do we need to change pool service again?
9. Read 2 chapters for renewal exam
8. Grocery shop
15. Should I get botox?
2. Pick up dry cleaning

Notice how you feel after you list everything and prioritize the list.

First, writing everything down in a simple list format and seeing it all in front of your eyes will often times completely eliminate any confusion you were feeling. Second, prioritizing the list helps you clearly see and realize what is really important, what needs to get done, and what might need loving attention.

When I first begin this exercise, I usually start off feeling serious and worried and overwhelmed; and by the time I'm putting numbers in front of items to prioritize them - I'm often giggling at or at least amused by myself and how I've over-magnified the immensity of everything before I did the exercise. When I'm done with the exercise, I usually feel clarity about the tasks I'd like to complete, and relief at the manageability of it all. Plus, I receive the benefit of bringing formerly unconscious worries to the surface so that I can address and heal them.

Try this exercise and see what happens for you. Feel free to drop me an email at askmaddisen@krown.us, and let me know your results.

JM, thank you for bringing this issue to the surface and into the light so that we could address it and provide a healing solution for you and all the readers. Even when we're busy, there's definitely time to carry out the two simple steps above - 1) list everything, and 2) prioritize the list. May we remove the circus from our heads and place it back on the stage where it belongs!

Your Coach, Maddisen

Submit your questions for "Ask Maddisen" to askmaddisen@krown.us.

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Copyright 2009 Maddisen K. Krown

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