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I've been feeling overwhelmed.  There are so many things that need to get done and so many things I need to learn.  Making product/selling/learning social media/bookeeping to name a few.  And that doesn't include the day job and chores around the house.  How does everyone manage the week/weekend and prioritize so everything gets done?


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Hi Angela,


I am on my way to work and I have experienced what you are feeling.  The first thing to do is to relax and breath.  Next write a list of what you want to accomplish and prioritize them.  You can't do them all at the same time but you can break these things down and will eventually start to get things done.  I make a daily list.  If I can't get to them that day I am not that hard on myself because yes I have a full time job and other obligations.  But it does feel good to start to check off the items on that list.  I will talk to you more about it when we have our soap making day.  I hope it helps.



Totally forgot to tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing and soaping with you and Roslyne. And chatting too.  It will be nice to talk about this and other things.

Angela, I totally forgot something too.  I meant to say I hate that you are feeling overwhelmed.  It happens to everyone unfortunately, and sometimes it comes on even when we have everything in the bag (so it seems)!! I hope the feeling slips away quickly for you.  Mary

I keep a old-fashioned planner.  It contains the large type of full-sized sheets of planner paper.  I keep a running list - 3 columns, one is "must-do," next is "need" to-do, and third is a "wish" list.  It really does help me as a business manager/owner to prioritize on paper, relieving my mind of what seems so overwhelming otherwise. 


On a daily basis I keep a small list.  Small lists are so manageable.  Cross the items off of your small list and you have accomplished mountains!


You know what else I do? I try to look at everything as small things.  An Indie's job is enourmous.  We may enjoy making soap, for example, but it becomes a "job" when we do not have time to get it all done.  My advice, treat your business from the start as a large business and do not let down.  But do not take life, and the chores, so seriously, that you forget to enjoy it.  Then it becomes a dread and nothing gets accomplished. 


Hugs to you Angela...I am right with you on the busyness!


Mary - from the Cincinnati area

Good advice Mary!   I like the 3 column list idea.  You are right, once something becomes a JOB or a chore, then it becomes a dread.  I've lived that life, and it is NOT fun.  While it may seem like others have it all together and are getting it all done...are they really?  Probably not.  While others may make it look easy and so well managed...is it really?  Again, probably not. Looks can be deceiving.  What seems to be isn't always as it is. Reality is what it is and the reality for us all is that we all have "still pending" on on lists.


I think all of us would like to think that we can do it all and do it all well, but the honest to goodness truth of it is that we DO get overwhelmed.  There are days where I'm on a roll and doing it all, one task at a time, sometimes even 2 at a time.  Then there are those days when nothing seems to be falling into place or getting accomplished.  I've left laundry undone to do another day because another task took more time and energy than expected.  I've had to face the reality that I am ONE woman and not a super hero that can do it all, be it all, handle it all ALONE. My mother in law taught me so much about this particular subject.  I was one of those women who thought that I needed to clean my house every day, cook great, time consumming meals every evening, stay one top of every task and stay on task, helping everyone that asked me for help, doing for everyone that needed some doing, never sitting down or relaxing. After all, I was a woman and needed to DO IT ALL.  One day, Mom (MIL) looked at me when I was fretting about getting the house cleaned before time to cook supper after running errands and taking care of everyone and everything else that was needing me that particular day and she calmly said,  "It'll keep!"  It dawned on me. So what if the house doesn't get dusted or the rug vacuumed as every single day of every single week!  It'll keep!  So what if my windows didn't sparkle and were spotless.  It'll keep!  So what if I reheat leftovers for dinner instead of a freshly prepared, new meal.  It'll keep!  So what if I don't jump at every request from every person that express a need.  Maybe that was not my assignment to fullfill.  It'll keep! 


So now, I do what I can do or must be done on any given day and the rest....well, It'll keep!  And when I do get overwhelmed, I sit down, take a breath and just be. Getting overwhelmed is a norrmal part of doing what we do and it will happen, but we need to realize that in the midst of the wave of overwhelm that we cannot function as well as we would like to and that will end in frustration. So it is just better to pull back and regroup, refresh and restore our inner peace before we take one more step. Otherwise the wave continues and seems to have no end.  That is my take on it all.



Mary: I love your simple column-based planning system. It really breaks things down to the basics, which always makes it easier to make progress. Thanks for sharing that!
I do love lists and the three column idea is great.  When I put everything on one list, I run out of paper! Thanks!
I run out of paper too, but then later, and it doesn't happen immediately, it looks so good when I tear out a completed page (list).  Thank you too for sharing, Angela. 

Thanks!  I did make a list yesterday and decided to takle the thing I was dreading the most, first.  Once that was out of the way the rest of the day was easier.  I think I've been putting off the tasks I don't like and then I don't feel good about whatever I am doing, because I know what still waits for me to get done.  I've decided to do at least one of those "dreaded" tasks first so I will feel as if I've really accomplished something big every day. 

Thank you for the input, I do appreciate it.  Sometimes I feel like the only one struggling.  Everyone else makes it look so easy!


Uhm, BIG UHM, you are not the only one that is challenged in this way.

OK, so first, let's see if we can change the words we use here. Let's not call it struggling. I'm not suggesting living outside your reality, in some kind of La-La land where everything is lovely.

BUT, and this is a big "but," I believe words are powerful triggers that can actually create the reality we live in. Once we label something, it becomes the label we give it.

So, let's look at it differently.

Instead of calling it a struggle, let's look at is as a daily opportunity to do 3 or 4 things that move me closer to my goal. What will those 3 or 4 things be?

You'll read a lot on the Internet about people doing this and that, that you want to do. Congratulate them, and get back to your list.

Three or four things a day: a blog post, a sales call, a conversation with a new packaging prospect, a website update, important filing, bookeeping ...

I love Mary's columns because you can put things there and make a big deal by scratching them off when you accomplish them. It's a super feeling to see stuff marked off -- it's a powerful visual cue that lets you know you are making progress. And some of these things can be done while you're listening to the super audio calls and webinars at the Private Indie site!

See if you can adjust your perspective daily to see opportunities and not struggles. If you do, you will go from one opportunity to another, instead of from one struggle to another.

Hope this helps some.


I like the phrsae "daily opportunity" because one of the things I try to do each day is wake up and choose to be grateful for whatever comes into my life. It is those "daily opportunities" that stretch me as a person and help me grow.  Thriteen years ago when I took a book out of my library and made soap, I never would have thought I'd be where I am today.  Even if my business never grows to where it can support me, I have come so far pushing myself to learn and grow as a person.  And that is what I am truly grateful for. 


I truly enjoy the webnairs and audio calls.  Thanks for the link. 

Hello Angela,


I find I am most succesful when I have a solid routine in place.  I also keep a very short to do list.  If I have a long list I become overwhelmed which can only lead to no good, such as Oreos.   On a short list, you feel succesful when you cross things off.  You can always make a new list when you finish the old one.

I only ship on Mondays and Thursdays unless there is a rush.  There are many other things thrown into the mix, but with these basic steps.


I unpack from whatever show I did that weekend and repack for the next weekend.  It may seem silly, but it is then DONE and it reflects a good picture of my inventory - also, there will be no late Friday night packing.

With my laptop in my studio/shipping area, I take a quick inventory and order any supplies.

That is it for Monday's, even Indies need some down tine.

Tuesdays - make soap, soap, and more soap

Wednesdays - AM, Clean and sanitize the studio - PM, make any Lotion, Butter, Balm etc.


That it is for my organization routine - On Thursdays and Fridays, anything can happen


Deb Scanlan

Grace Farm Organics



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