View Full Version : Drowning in my To-Dos


BellaVita
11-06-16, 06:51 AM
I have so many things to do, you wouldn't believe how long my list is piling up to be. And it's a lot of pressure because the tasks are important.

Like, I'm trying to prioritize, but so many need to be done at around the same time.

Stuff that's really draining. :(

I guess I'm looking for reassurance that I'll get these things done. I have always gotten things done in the past, I guess I'm just worried this time it'll be different. That I'll somehow not get things done on time.

I just feel like crying.

I feel like I'm going at this aimlessly even though I try so hard to keep my thoughts organized. The tasks feel daunting, and I'm not even entirely sure how to do many of them.

I feel like I won't remember everything, since everything feels so important.

I know most of this is my anxiety talking.

I just feel sort of paralyzed.

I need to get this anxiety under control so that I can get things done better. I feel like I'm drowning in it all.

sarahsweets
11-06-16, 08:11 AM
Aw Bella, I wish I had something better to say. I am in the same boat and I dont know how to get my butt in gear either. I make lists and ignore them. I try and prioritize them and get all screwed up. I use reminders on my phone and I dismiss them. I think the fear of them not working out in a positive way is whats keeping me frozen. I can help anyone do anything but when it comes to me I suck at taking my own advice. I am hoping someone else has something good to say that we can both use.

Little Missy
11-06-16, 08:25 AM
I'm no good at this either. Nothing is pressing at the moment but I have plenty of should do's...

Just do one thing to completion. I can usually manage one thing. Sometimes at the 3/4 mark to completion I turn it into the 'fluff it up' stage and pretend it is done. But usually at 3/4 it really is done, maybe just not to perfection but done enough.

BellaVita
11-06-16, 08:26 AM
Aw Bella, I wish I had something better to say. I am in the same boat and I dont know how to get my butt in gear either. I make lists and ignore them. I try and prioritize them and get all screwed up. I use reminders on my phone and I dismiss them. I think the fear of them not working out in a positive way is whats keeping me frozen. I can help anyone do anything but when it comes to me I suck at taking my own advice. I am hoping someone else has something good to say that we can both use.

Yes that fear of them not working out in a positive way is mine too.

Thanks for the understanding. Hope we can both not feel so anxious about this.

BellaVita
11-06-16, 08:28 AM
I'm no good at this either. Nothing is pressing at the moment but I have plenty of should do's...

Just do one thing to completion. I can usually manage one thing. Sometimes at the 3/4 mark to completion I turn it into the 'fluff it up' stage and pretend it is done. But usually at 3/4 it really is done, maybe just not to perfection but done enough.

I think that's a helpful way to see things.

Some of the things really do have to be done to completion, and in a very specific way, or it will get all messed up, and have bad outcomes.

But maybe for the things that don't require that I'll try to apply what you said. (Although most of the tasks are scary because they have to be done in that correct and specific way I spoke of :()

Little Missy
11-06-16, 08:32 AM
I think that's a helpful way to see things.

Some of the things really do have to be done to completion, and in a very specific way, or it will get all messed up, and have bad outcomes.

But maybe for the things that don't require that I'll try to apply what you said.

One Thing also works to completion! Just do one thing to completion and don't look at the rest of the list until you're ready for another One Thing. It may be days until you are ready for another.

I forgot how literally you take things. The fluff up is me not wanting to do any more.

One Thing. :)

stef
11-06-16, 08:38 AM
Bella just chip away at things as best you can; and then one little thing will work out which will encourage you; and when one of the entire things is done an immense weight will be lifted and you can handle the rest much more easily

Last month there was this huge client deadline at work and at the same time a big issue to clear up in the states and then well they both worked out and my usual list of things which was overwhelming me with the restnow seems very doable so just hang on it will get easier for you

Unmanagable
11-06-16, 09:36 AM
When I overwhelm myself in thoughts of fear regarding the unknown and/or potential dreaded outcomes of undesirable tasks, I try to remember that no matter how big of thing I need to digest, I can only healthily digest it one very well-chewed bite at a time.

I often take one thing from my to-do list and set aside the rest, so I don't have to keep looking at ALL of the things I still need to accomplish, and make a fresh to-do list for that day's task only.

That's where keeping a small pocket-sized tablet comes in handy for me. My dry erase boards have the whole list, while I can break each one down into more manageable bits in my notebook.

That way, I'm still able to mark stuff off by noting and completing steps of the bigger task and still feel like I accomplish something in my efforts vs. waiting to complete it in it's entirety before marking things off.

I will set a timer (I use the oven timer or my cell phone or an old school kitchen timer) for either 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes, depending on the current inner struggle and focus ability in the moment, and spend my energies only on that task for that time period. I typically have to break it down into steps to see the big picture, then proceed.

Without the timer, I can easily get lost in my thoughts and can spend hours on something that realistically only needs a few moments of my energies to move me along to the next most important step to get to completion.

Once the timer goes off, I reward myself in some small easily attainable and doable way, do some more deep breathing/alternate nostril breathing to ease even more of the anxiety, hydrate myself with an herbal infusion (hot tea-like) blend that also helps ease anxiety.

Then do it all over again throughout the day, giving myself intentional breaks all along the way to stay grounded until I complete my task, or at least a portion of it. Getting closer to completion still counts as progress, although I'm still really good at talking down to myself and feeling like a failure if I don't get it ALL done. It's a hard habit to break.

There are days I have to let myself cry the frustrations out to let that doubtful and remorseful energy go. I often have to walk away from it and then try later, and sometimes simply realize I need to ask for help and be okay in receiving it, no matter how difficult it is to ask for, or I just keep repeating the usual response of kicking myself in the a** after I miss the deadlines, etc. and, once again, suffer the consequences. The blows of disappointment never seem to hurt any less, regardless where they come from or how many times I've felt them.

Fuzzy12
11-06-16, 01:25 PM
Bella, one thing that sometimes helps me when I'm getting overwhelmed is to try stop thinking about the big picture. Sometimes the big picture is just too big. I guess someone might have said this already but just pick one thing. IT doesn't even have to be the most important (unless you've got a deadline today). In fact, I'd go for. Something fairly easy.

Also, anything that is neither easy, quick or absolutely pressing take it off your list. you can deal with later. Now.I'd. Go.for either easy and quick or.important.

anonymouslyadd
11-07-16, 11:39 PM
Using a timer and maybe setting up blocks of time to handle certain items might be the best advice on this thread.

I wish I had an easier answer for you, Bella.

:grouphug:

BellaVita
11-08-16, 06:36 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and advice everyone, it really helped calm me down and give me a push.

I started a task that is easy and I know the steps, just requires mental resources and time to do, got part of it done.

Then today I worked on something that's actually rather important and needs immediate results, did a decent job on that. Of course it's only a step in a thing that requires lots of steps, but my husband is needed to do the rest. Did what I was able.

Hoping for results.

Feeling on the edge of brain-fry, and it stinks because I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of what needs done. :( There's another Big Important Thing weighing on me right now but I just can't do it because I don't even know how. :(

Maybe I'm overwhelming myself, also I think I'm coming down with something, I think I'll take a break for several hours.

Do you guys think I'm gonna do okay? Am I gonna get these things done? My anxiety is eating away at me.

And then the fear I'll forget something that was very important and then further delay myself/cause unnecessary added tasks that complicate things.

Edit - realizing that what Fuzzy said is right, I'm just getting so overwhelmed thinking about the big picture.(all the many details of it) It seems insurmountable. Do I have what it takes to do all of it? There are so many things, but I do tend to keep so many details in my head at once. It all is like a thousand little details buzzing around in my brain mixed with anxiety.

TygerSan
11-09-16, 07:41 AM
Ugh. I hate when I get in that mindset. Overcoming the inertia to just start on anything is horrendously difficult, and there are certain things (like checking finances) that I literally panic over.

My deal for mysel with things like cleaning is to either set a timer for 15 minutes, or turn my music on for 10 songs, and work for that duration. That way, even if the room is cluttered and overwhelming, I can just putter around picking up random stuff till the playlist is over or the timer goes off. I never think that I'm making progress during the time, but after it's over, I can almost always tell the difference. Sometimes I even get into a groove and have to finish the task I'm on when the timer goes off. Other times I'm counting down the seconds till I get a break.

You will be okay. It will all work out. Breathe, focus on one thing, forestall the Avalanche of thoughts. (Easier said than done)

BellaVita
11-09-16, 04:34 PM
Thank you so much Tyger, that really gave me the push I needed to combat my anxiety and do this.

-------------------
I have fantastic news guys.......I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!

I completed a Big Important Thing - that is super important and needed to be finished ASAP. (It wasn't one of the tasks I mentioned earlier in thread - it's a big scary task that I didn't want to look at)

I worked for several hours, from the moment I woke up (early - couldn't sleep much I was thinking about this task) to just a few minutes ago. There were some technical issues with the platform I was using, that was very frustrating and took up time. But I didn't give up. I kept pushing on trying to find ways.

And finally I got the technical issues sorted.

And guess what guys??? I had to speak to 4 people over the phone!!!! Do you know how insanely hard that is for me? I can't believe I did it!

And there was lots of concentration involved for the information I had to provide, I am surprised I kept it together. I felt like my brain was on the edge of exploding.

I had put this off for so long.....this task seemed impossible to me, it was something I should have done a couple years ago.

But, I have ADHD and anxiety and other issues so I can't blame myself.

I have finished this. When I heard them tell me I completed it, I was so relieved. I just hope that the results will be good - they told me it worked but I won't feel like it's official until some time has passed. I still have the fear of "what if I did something wrong."

There are a few more Big Important Things that I need to do, but they don't need to be done immediately. I feel overwhelmed thinking about that stuff, I feel it'll be even harder. But hopefully I'll get through it.

Okay, not time to worry myself.......

Need to take a deep breath. I'm proud of myself. I can't believe I did this.

midnightstar
11-09-16, 04:36 PM
I wish I was nearer to you Bella so I could come over and help you get your to-do list empty :grouphug:

Fuzzy12
11-09-16, 05:44 PM
Well done!! I'm sure you will do the other things well too.

dvdnvwls
11-09-16, 05:48 PM
Thank you so much Tyger, that really gave me the push I needed to combat my anxiety and do this.

-------------------
I have fantastic news guys.......I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!


Well done! :yes:

BellaVita
11-13-16, 10:04 PM
So that one Big Important Thing I had written a long post about finishing has some added good news: I was anxious and obsessing about whether or not it was "official", I just received a letter in the mail and it is indeed official, it has worked out. :)

Very happy and relieved.

I'm proud of myself for not giving up.

BellaVita
11-14-16, 04:09 PM
I have to make a phone call today. I've been nervous about it since last night, anxious.

I'm so bad at phone calls. I'm bad at speaking to people. I get embarrassed when I stumble over my words or when I can tell that what I'm saying doesn't make sense.

I wrote down a very long list of questions that I need to ask. I feel like the questions might be seen as silly, or something I should "just know." Like I tend to overkill on questions.

Anyway, please wish me luck.

midnightstar
11-14-16, 04:12 PM
I have to make a phone call today. I've been nervous about it since last night, anxious.

I'm so bad at phone calls. I'm bad at speaking to people. I get embarrassed when I stumble over my words or when I can tell that what I'm saying doesn't make sense.

I wrote down a very long list of questions that I need to ask. I feel like the questions might be seen as silly, or something I should "just know." Like I tend to overkill on questions.

Anyway, please wish me luck.

Good luck Bella :grouphug:

Little Missy
11-14-16, 04:17 PM
I have to make a phone call today. I've been nervous about it since last night, anxious.

I'm so bad at phone calls. I'm bad at speaking to people. I get embarrassed when I stumble over my words or when I can tell that what I'm saying doesn't make sense.

I wrote down a very long list of questions that I need to ask. I feel like the questions might be seen as silly, or something I should "just know." Like I tend to overkill on questions.

Anyway, please wish me luck.

Good for you. People on the phone seem to have this magical twist the conversation into no information at all but it seems like they gave you plenty. Gotta have The List!

Fuzzy12
11-14-16, 05:45 PM
I have to make a phone call today. I've been nervous about it since last night, anxious.

I'm so bad at phone calls. I'm bad at speaking to people. I get embarrassed when I stumble over my words or when I can tell that what I'm saying doesn't make sense.

I wrote down a very long list of questions that I need to ask. I feel like the questions might be seen as silly, or something I should "just know." Like I tend to overkill on questions.

Anyway, please wish me luck.

I do exactly the same. If I'm. Anxious about a call I make a long list of questions and by long I. Mean really long. And I ask s every question twice to be sure.

Just remember that the purpose of the call is to get your question answered. The purpose is not foe the other person to.like you or approve of you (I assume). Just get your questions answered and don't worry about the impression you make (I know easier said than done. I still worry anyway. ..)

Good luck!!

BellaVita
11-14-16, 07:39 PM
That took quite a long time - just finished talking to the last person.

Ended up having to talk to 3 or 4 people, had to end up calling multiple places.

First lady was really nice, but the last two were....snobby and a bit condescending. Especially one of the people talked down to me. Trying not to take it too personally, but I'm sensitive...some people just are miserable themselves so they feel like sharing their misery on others.

Not sure if I want to cry, shutdown, or be relieved.

I have to make another phone call tomorrow. :(

I've run out of brain power. I'm getting lost in the details. I don't really know what I'm doing.

What I've been doing lately....I've never made this amount of important phone calls like this ever in my life.

Am I gonna keep track of everything? What if I forget something important? I have multiple pages of information I now have written down. I'm doing the best I can. I can't stand phone jerks though, like, I'm already working hard on this, already doubting myself and anxious, already not sure what I'm doing, and they make me wish I didn't try to accomplish something at all. Like I should quit. Need to brush them off. Ugh.

Any tips on how to not take snobby phone people too personally, especially when they make little snide/condescending comments?

Little Missy
11-14-16, 07:42 PM
I do not, unfortunately. They hurt my feelings too or I become enraged which serves no purpose because they are usually in a foreign country or something. Rather hard to reach.

BellaVita
11-14-16, 09:13 PM
I posted a thread asking about how to deal with rude/snobby/condescending people, so that I don't end up derailing my own thread:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181412