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7 Steps to De-Stress Before Moving

7 Steps to De-Stress Before Moving

Have you ever moved… a big move from your mom’s basement or a little cross-country move to take a new direction with your career? Are you making that huge leap to living abroad?

Right now, I am in the middle of a move. It’s a little move for me, but a big move for my soon-to-be husband, as he has lived here for almost 20 years. As you might imagine, there is more than a little stress.

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Change is stressful.

Change, regardless of why you are doing it, is stressful. There is always a feeling of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. You feel as though your entire life is being turned upside down. There are a thousand little details that have to be planned, organized, and executed. There is a huge overwhelming feeling. This sense of fear and being overwhelmed comes from our natural desire for comfort and stability. Any time the things around us change and move us out of our comfort zone, it messes with our heads and our emotions.

Moving is a double-dose of stress; you are in the middle of stress and you are leaving your comfort zone behind. Yikes! Doesn’t it make you long for the days that you had a blanket and could take your comfort zone with you? Maybe we can’t do that, but we can make it through with some sense of sanity.

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While there is no way to remove all the stress, you can make things so much better by getting a plan together and staying organized. Set up your iPad/iPhone or a simple daily planner to keep you on track. Take the time you need to plan, whether this is 30 minutes or 2 hours. You will benefit tenfold by eliminating all the worry.   You can easily set aside half of your stress by not worrying about what you have forgotten.

Here are some quick tips that will help you stay organized.

Step 1: Write everything down. Get in the habit of writing down all of your thoughts, tasks, and plans. This will help you get out of your head and into action. Many times, we are so worried about getting stuff done that we actually can’t move.

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Step 2: Declutter, declutter, declutter.  You know those boxes that are still in the basement, unopened, from the last move? Just take them right out of your house now!  You can choose to drop them at your local charity or throw them out; either way, get rid of the stuff. You do not need to move clutter. Do you really even need all the stuff that you have? Have you thought about living with 100 items or less? Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but think about how much less stuff to move you would have.

Step 3: Keep a notebook: a central location for all of your lists, appointments, and phone numbers that you will need. There are often a lot of little details. Making sure they are all in one place will make a huge difference. Dare I say, break out the spreadsheet and use it to plan each step of your prep, move, and post-move to-do lists.

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Step 4: Designate. Whenever you can assign tasks to other family helpers, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A lot of the time, the resource that you are the shortest on is time. Let the teenager next door entertain the kids, or have the kids go to a friend’s or grandma’s house. It is surprising how much you can get done without the distraction.

Step 5: Always take care of yourself. It is very easy to say you have no time for the gym or to eat correctly, but you need these things to keep your energy high and to relieve stress. Connect with a support person: your best friend, your minister, or a life coach.

Whether moving is something you want to do or need to do, it is going to be stressful. You are going to have some good days and some bad, so take each day one at a time. Really focus on staying organized, taking things in bite size pieces, and taking care of yourself. With a little planning and organization, you will make it through with your sanity.

Good luck with your move!

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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