Tag Archives: getting things done

How to handle getting back in the groove

We are back from vacation and I am looking at mounds upon piles upon loads of things that all have to get done RIGHT NOW. Everything is a priority when you get back in the groove of things. As I have started to work through the piles on my desk, the books in my “to read” stack, and all of the stuff in my various inboxes, my general inclination is quite simple:



I don’t think this is unique to those who suffer from depression, but that does make things worse. When you have a lot of things to do, with many different responsibilities that often compete with one another, it is very easy to go into shut-down mode and not be able to get off the ground.

How do you move forward? Here are a few things that work for me:

1. Recognize what’s going on and be honest about it.
2. Try to gather everything that has to get done into one place, one list, so that it is all there and there aren’t any loose ends niggling at your mind.
3. Try to prioritize as much as reasonably possible what has to get done when.
4. Work it down to manageable chunks of what you can actually DO.
5. Start on the list.
6. Breathe and remember that you are one person, not a god. You can only do what you are able to do.

That’s what comes to my mind. What’s in yours?

All of the Voices in My Head (getting organized)


I’m on an organization kick right now. Every once in a while I go through this. I spend a few days trying to wrap my brain around a new system for task management, etc., etc., etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve done this. Probably since before I was sick.

Now for me, being a complete geek, getting organized means finding some nice computer program to help me. I’ve tried Things and Omnifocus this time around. They would both work well, but I’m going with things.

The whole process, though, has really gotten me thinking about the process of managing information, and what that means for mental health. If you’re like me, there are a thousand things going through your brain at any given time. I run around putting out fires, trying to stay one step ahead of disaster in all of the spheres or realms that I operate. Church, home, school, opera, DOXOLOGY, Higher Things, and who knows what else. With each of these comes big tasks and little tasks. Projects and emails and phone calls and meetings and contacts and people and jobs…you get the idea.

I had a revelation a couple days ago that part of the reason why I go into mental shut down is that I am trying to remember and juggle all this stuff in my head. Whatever seems the most pressing at the moment is what gets the attention. What that usually means is that my own health and well-being ends up last, until I crash and have to recharge.

Furthermore, these lists and piles and STUFF literally keeps me up at night. I’m so afraid of forgetting something that I can concentrate on nothing.

I’m no expert, but this just doesn’t seem like a good pattern to me.

So what I’m trying to do is a few simple steps to help me keep my sanity. Here’s my list so far:

1. Deal with things as they come in. Do it now, schedule it later, give it to someone else, or delete it.

2. Don’t allow lingering projects to just hang out there. Resolve them as much as possible.

3. Actually plan for relaxation time. I wish this were not necessary, but it really really is.

4. Schedule time for prayer and meditation. If I don’t have that as a regular part of my routine, it simply never happens. If it is a choice, as often as not I will choose no.

That’s the start of my list. So far it’s been helpful, but it is a tough road.

What do you think? How do you keep the voices in your head from driving you mad?