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Feeling Stuck and Overwhelmed? 10 Tips to Get Moving Again

Feeling Stuck and Overwhelmed? 10 Tips to Get Moving Again

Whether it’s a new project, work, or just daily life, sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Maybe you’re struggling to find balance while juggling work, home life and new schooling situations. Maybe a task seems too huge or unpleasant to tackle. It could be that you’re unsure of how a project will turn out, so fear keeps you from making the first move. Maybe there’s just so many other things on your plate that you find yourself too mentally or physically exhausted to tackle that one thing. Here’s a few ideas to get unstuck and moving forward again.

Overwhelmed? These 10 tips will help

Brain dump

When you’re really anxious or don’t know where to begin, doing a brain dump helps. Grab a pen and paper and just write out everything on your mind. Don’t think about it, don’t worry about complete sentences or cohesive ideas, just get everything out on paper. When your done, look it over. Is there a theme to what you wrote, some repeated word or idea or area of focus? Use that to help you determine your next move.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Make a list

Making a list of what needs to be done creates focus. It also takes the pressure off of yourself to remember everything. Once it’s written down, you’re free to focus on one task at a time. Because it’s all written down, you don’t have to keep a running list of everything in your head. As you complete a task, mark it off. Focus on your list getting shorter, not how much is still left to do.

Break it down

If a task seems too big, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Breaking it down into smaller tasks makes it more manageable. For example, if you need to clean the house for company, don’t look at the whole task of cleaning the house. Take it room by room. If that still seems too big, list specific tasks within each room. Don’t say “Clean the kitchen”, have individual tasks like wiping down counters, sweeping the floor, mopping the floor, etc. listed separately.

Prioritize

Some tasks come with a deadline or are more important than others. If there’s a deadline, make a note of that deadline on your list and mark it somehow to make it stand out. If it’s something that is high priority, regardless of a specific deadline, make note of that, too. I like to draw a star next to high priority tasks, and highlight or double star things with a deadline.

Set goals

Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day and set goals accordingly. If there are specific tasks that have to be done first, then set your goals around those. Otherwise, your goals could be something like marking off five tasks each day. If you meet your goal, good for you! Do you have the time, energy and desire to mark off a few more? Go for it! Didn’t meet your goal? See if you need to re-evaluate your expectations so as not to get overwhelmed and discouraged. If it was simply a case of other obligations taking too much time, try again tomorrow.

Set alarms

If you have something that needs to be done at a certain time, like an appointment at noon or starting dinner at five pm, set an alarm in plenty of time to stop and get ready. When I have an appointment or event coming up later in the day, it’s hard for me to focus on other tasks, even when I have plenty of time. Knowing that I have an alarm to remind me when I need to stop makes it a little easier.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Set a timer

Setting a timer is useful in a few ways. First, if you find yourself completely unmotivated, pick a task and set a timer for five, ten or fifteen minutes, whatever seems manageable. You can do anything for five minutes. Pick a task and see how much you can accomplish in that time. When the timer goes off, give yourself permission to stop for a break or switch to a a different task. I often find that when the time is up, I’m so close to finishing that task that I want to keep working.

You can also use a timer to break up a bigger task into smaller chunks of time. Give yourself thirty minutes or an hour to work on a bigger job. When your time is up, stop and take a break or give yourself a five to fifteen minute window to knock out a few quick tasks. This helps you keep the little things from snowballing while you work on a big project.

Finally, setting a timer helps with time management. Everyone needs a break now and then, but it’s easy to allow a quick break to turn into an hour of getting off task. Decide how long of a break you want, set a timer and stick to it.

If timers work for you, you may want to checkout Flylady. I’ve used that method of home organization in the past and found it really helpful. It’s particularly helpful with establishing routines and taking everything in “baby steps” so you don’t get overwhelmed with the process.

Stop waiting

Do you ever find yourself doing nothing just waiting for something. Things like waiting tem minutes for dinner in the oven or sitting on hold on a phone call. Use waiting time that’s often wasted to knock easy tasks off your list.

Just do it

Sometimes there’s a task that I put off because I find it really unpleasant. Usually that leads to putting off other things, because that task is hanging over my head. Often it’s something simple like making a phone call to set up an appointment. There’s no way around getting some things done, so give yourself a minute to stress if you need and jump in. Once it’s done, you can mark it off your list and wonder why you put it off for so long. If it really was that bad, at least it’s done.

Reward yourself

Sometimes your accomplishments are their own reward, and sometimes not so much. Give yourself little incentives, even if it’s just ten minutes of playing a game, or a cup of tea and your favorite show. Knowing that something enjoyable comes after something unpleasant is motivating, especially after a “Just do it” task.

Not everything is as easy as just make a list and do it, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed, using these strategies where they do apply can help free up energy for dealing with the more difficult problems life throws at you.

Bulletin board image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Want to be Featured?

Want to be featured

Want to be featured?

In the past, I often featured handmade or vintage shops on Fridays. Over the years, the world of crafting and blogging has changed dramatically. I would love to resume Feature Fridays, but with a broader scope.

Handmade shop and websites are still welcome. I also want to feature guest writers sharing tutorials, tips, advice, recipes, etc. Categories that I feel are a good fit for this blog are crafting, sewing, sustainability, refashioning, healthy living, parenting, hair and beauty tips for busy moms, homeschooling and homesteading. I am open to other topics as well, so if you are interested but don’t quite fit into one of the above categories, please contact me anyway with your idea.

Guest posts will be promoted across my social media sites frequently throughout the week they are published and then periodically after.

Handmade shop/website features

For handmade shop/website features, answer the questions in the following list and email them to csloan@subearthancottage.com. I will contact you before your shop is featured and if any clarification is needed. You can give as much or a little info for each section as you are comfortable with sharing. Be sure to include links to your shop, web page and blog, if you have them. If you sell your products in a brick and mortar store and would like to include that info, you may include that as well.

I also choose a favorite item from your shop on the week that you’re featured and briefly tell why I like it. The first image from your shop for both your favorite item and my favorite item will be included in the blog.

  • Name and Business Name
  • Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
  • What made you get started in your business?
  • Anything else you’d like to share?
  • Tell us about your favorite item listed in your shop.
  • Links to your shop, website, blog, etc.
  • Email address (This will NOT be published)

Guest posts, tutorials and everything else

Please contact me at csloan@subearthancottage.com with your idea. If you already blog, a link to your blog or site where your writings are published is also helpful. Newbies are welcome, too. I’m also not opposed to reposts if they are a good fit and your own work.

If I think your idea is a good fit for SubEarthan Cottage, I will let you know and we will work out the details from there.

Matisse Creativity Mug Mugs featured
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Organizational Tools for Peace at Home: Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of the links on this page, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All the statements contained in this post are my honest opinions of the product, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020.

With everyone spending more time at home, it’s easy to feel like you should be able to stay on top of everything. The house should be spotless, closets decluttered, laundry clean and put away, delicious home-cooked meals ready on time and the kitchen cleaned up promptly after. If you’re home all day, it should be easy, right?

What could possibly be difficult about having an organized home with these three?

The truth is, it’s not that simple. Being home all day, especially with children, means more time to make more messes. If you work from home, you’re technically at home, but still have similar time demands to working at an office. Homeschooling adds its own time demands. Even if you have the time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at a mountain of tasks and not know where to begin.

Enter the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

I absolutely love the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle because over 50 women have contributed their tried-and-true resources to help you have a home that’s calm, organized, and well-run.

If you’ve never heard of it, the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle has been around since 2013, and since then, over 139,000 women (and probably some men, too) have purchased a copy to learn practical strategies for decreasing stress and making a home (and life!) they love.

When you buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, you’ll get access to:

  • 14 eCourses & videos
  • 9 eBooks
  • 9 workbooks
  • 8 planners
  • 8 printable packs
  • 3 membership sites & summits

The creators behind these resources are 50+ women who have struggled with the same things you do, but have learned (and will teach you) how to simplify homes, declutter & organize, put healthy meals on the table, and nurture strong family relationships.

Best of all, you can get the entire package, all for just $29.97. This price hasn’t gone up since it was first released 8 years ago – which is an amazing deal, considering the prices of most things these days!

Over the years, I’ve purchased several bundles offered through Ultimate Bundles. Throughout the year, they offer bundles for things like healthy living, DIY projects, photography, and blogging as well as the current homemaking bundle. They’re all offered for a limited time at a steep discount compared to purchasing the resources in each bundle separately. If there’s even one or two of the resources in the bundle that you find useful, it usually more than justifies the cost. They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you get it and find that it’s not what you thought it would be, you can easily request a refund.

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020

I just got my Ultimate Homemaking Bundle yesterday, so I haven’t had time to thoroughly explore all the resources. Looking through them, though, there are several that I’m really excited about.

Ebooks

I love ebooks because I can load them onto my Kindle Paperwhite that I carry with me in my purse. That way, I always have something to read any time I have a few minutes of downtime. From this bundle, I’m looking forward to reading these:

  • Cleaning with Essential Oils: Your Guide to All Natural Cleaning by Kristyn Bango
  • Garden Harvest Recipes: A Plant to Plate Cookbook by Holly Bertone
  • Quick Start Guide to Water Bath Canning by Victoria Pruett

Planners

Printable planners are awesome because you can print and use only what you need. You can also take elements from different planners to create a perfect planner that works for you. This year’s bundle offers several planners, including ones for cleaning, homeschooling and reaching your goals. These planners are of particular interest to me:

Cleaning

  • Declutter in Minutes Planner by Tracy Lynn
  • Motivated Moms Classic Planner by Susan Cramer
  • The Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner and Supplement Kit by Susan Heid

Homeschooling

  • The Homeschool Planner: Simply Plan, Simply Homeschool by Sean and Caroline Allen

Goals

  • Dreams by Design 2020 Planner by Karen Schravemade
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020

Ecourses

To be honest, I haven’t used the ecourses as much in the past. Even though they are totally at your own pace, I tend to start them, get busy with other things and never get back to them. There’s several in this bundle that look really helpful, though, so I will have to do better this time. From the ecourses, these are the ones I think will benefit me the most:

  • 5 Days of Cleaning Motivation: Get Motivated to Clean! Are you in? by Joanie Boeckman
  • Exercise Around The World: Explore The Geographical Roots of Fitness through Movement by Beth Learn
  • Inspire a Love of Learning by Kerry Beck
  • Not So Bummer Summer by JoAnn Crohn (geared towards children)
  • Take Ten Challenge by Laura Coppinger (meal planning)
  • Time Management Freedom by Deanna Dolbel (online business)
  • Uncomplicated Kitchen: 3 Step System for Simpler Weeknight Cooking by Ruthy Kirwan

Other Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020 resources

Those are just a sample of the many resources contained in this bundle. Not only are there more in each of those categories, I haven’t even mentioned the membership site access, printables, summits, and workbooks you’ll get. There’s also several bonuses that include gift certificates or products free for the cost of shipping.

If any of these resources sound like something that would help you, I urge you to take a look at the complete list here. Full disclosure: If you purchase through any of the links on this page, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2020

On the other hand, if you’ve made it this far and don’t think this bundle is for you, don’t worry. My next post will be back to the content you’re used to from SubEarthan Cottage. I’ve been working on a few clothing refashions, and I’ve had to do another repair on my Kenmore sewing machine. Expect posts on those soon!

Time left to get your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.

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Routine and Driving with Mr. B

I’m usually a laid back, just roll with it kind of mom when it comes to routines and schedules, but with so much cleaning I need to get done before the weekend, I thought I’d try to add a little structure to our day. After reading this post on schedules at Fountains of Home (found through camp patton) I tried the sleep, eat, play pattern with Beckett.

When we got home from our morning chauffeuring, Beckett was asleep, so I let him nap in his car seat. He woke up after about an hour, so I changed him, and let him eat his fill. Then we played for a little while, mostly making faces at each other with a few baby presses thrown in. (Multitasking at it’s finest–entertaining baby while shaping my arms.) When Beckett got tired of that, I strapped him to me in the mei tai carrier and proceed to vacuum the house. The movement, closeness and noise knocked him out after about two rooms. I was able to lay him down for a thirty minute mommy’s lunchtime nap.

We did that again about two more times before after school pickup time. I managed to wash a sink full of dishes, vacuum and mop my whole house, fold two baskets of laundry and wash two others, and take in a pair of my jeans at the waist with a quick and obvious method I learned at some blog I came across on a night of digging deeper and deeper into tutorial blogs. If I can find the blog again I’ll post a link. If not, I’ll post a tutorial and hope someone can point me to the original tutorial. Because I want to give proper credit an because they probably have other cool tutorials I need.

In other news, Mr. B. is almost able to sit in a Bumbo seat. Rather, his chunky thighs wedge him into the seat, but his head is still a little bobbley and he leans back in the seat. He seems to enjoy it, but I’m afraid he’ll hurt himself like that. At the rate he’s growing, I’m not sure if he’ll be able to use it much when his head finally stabilizes. His thighs already stick in the Bumbo so that I have to pry it off his bum when I pick him up.

Happy little chubchub. 

Mr. B also hates the car. HATES. I’ve tried toys, music, windows up, windows down, everything I can think of to help. We finally discovered a soothing, albeit problematic solution while flipping radio stations about a week ago. See, Mr. Beckett apparently is either a fan of large posteriors or Sir Mix-a-Lot. I can get him to calm down in the car by turning on “Baby Got Back.” And leaving it on. Loud. On repeat. Over and over and over and….. I wouldn’t really mind, except that half the time I also have my five six year old in the car, too. I really don’t need him to start asking why an anaconda would care about buns. But it’s either that or NON STOP, BLOOD CURDLING SCREAMING.

There’s also the fact that our AC isn’t working as well as it should, at least for the front seats. So, I usually have my window rolled down. While driving through downtown. And blasting out “I like BIG BUTTS and I can NOT lie!” I’ve already noticed a few looks. One guy about fell off his scooter turning to look at us. If I was quicker with a camera (and not driving) I would totally start taking pictures of the looks for an album.

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My Before Bed Routine

As promised, here is my before bed routine. Flylady has it broken down into three categories: Cleaning, Planning, and Focusing on Yourself.

For cleaning, I have
Kitchen

  • Clean cat box
  • Clear table
  • Wash dishes
  • Sweep and spot mop as needed

Living room

  • Pick up and put away things

Hotspots (flat surfaces that collect random stuff)
Laundry

  • Make sure everything is dry and folded (Basically nothing sitting in the machines or in baskets getting wrinkled.)
For Planning
  • Check Calendar
  • Make to-do list
  • Make lunches
  • Thaw meat for tomorrow’s dinner if necessary
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow
For me
Honestly I don’t have a set routine, other than things like taking out my contacts, brushing my teeth and putting on my pjs. I try to just sit for a few minutes or read or watch a little tv. Whatever feels most relaxing. Sometimes I have something hot to drink, if I’m not holding the baby.
It sounds like a lot, but once I get into the habit, I can usually get it all done in well under an hour, especially if I’ve had a few minutes here and there throughout the evening to knock some things off the list.
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Bedtime routine

From my previous Flylady days, I remember my before bed routine was probably the most important when it came to keeping my days in order. If nothing else got done that day, I could still feel like I had things under control if I completed my before bed routine. Because of that, I decided to start with it.

My previous routine didn’t need much tweaking. The only real difference is that when I wrote it we still had a working dishwasher. In general, it sets my priorities as kitchen, living room, and morning prep.

The kitchen is the biggest, because if it’s not clean, I can’t cook without tidying up first. That eats up a TON of time, not to mention money because if we’re in a hurry, it’s easier to grab something on our way to wherever than to do what is needed in the kitchen. Plus, there’s just something about a clean kitchen that makes the whole house seem orderly. That’s probably why Flylady’s first baby step is to shine the kitchen sink.

Next is the living room. It’s the main room in the house, the first we see when we come in the door and the room where we spend most of our time. If it looks nice, it’s easy to welcome surprise guests. Since we use it so much, though, it can easily get cluttered if it doesn’t get daily attention.

Finally is morning prep. This includes things like setting out clothes, making lunches, and checking tomorrow’s to-do list.

Tomorrow I’ll share my before bed routine. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what things you do in the evenings to wrap up your day and prepare for the next.

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What I did before 9am.

Got up and dressed.
Nearly tripped over the dog.
Woke up the kiddo and got him dressed.
Made lunches for the kiddo and hubby while trying not to trip over the dog.
Made breakfast for the kiddo.
Put the dog outside.
Started a load of laundry.
Got the dryer’s info so I could pick up a new dryer belt and finish laundry later. (Yes, my dryer joined the revolt. See Appliances are People Too and The Battle Rages On.)
Took out the trash.
Took hubs to work.
Drove kiddo to school while helping him work on sounding out and writing words.
Waited with kiddo in the school cafeteria for his teacher to meet his class.
Picked up a few things at the grocery store.
Picked up a new dryer belt.
Fed the dog.
Made fake coffee and microwave sausage biscuits for myself.
Sat down.