How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Dealing With That Overwhelming Feeling

One of the hardest things to deal with when prepping is the feeling of overwhelm and dealing with the fact that there’s too much to do and not enough time.

And this is something that’s not just limited to prepping, but is pretty common in other parts of life as well. We experience that overwhelm daily, especially my lovely wife. How she manages to get everything done so effectively is a secret she could sell for a few thousand dollars, I think.

Her magic aside, one of the most effective ways I’ve found to get things done without facing a paralyzing overwhelm is by batching activities. Pick a slice of time and focus your efforts completely on one goal or topic.

For prepping, I find that a two or four week cycle works well, because it generally lines up with one or two pay periods. Put a list of your priorities together categorically. Ideally you want one list per category.

Then make sure you have a budget allocated. Then every pay check or once a month focuuuuus on as many items you can get done off that list. In the mean time, if there are things that you don’t need cash for, do those inbetween checks.

If you focus your efforts like this, you’ll end up getting way more done and more importantly, you’ll get things done comprehensively and completely.

How do you prefer to deal with overwhelm, whether in prepping or your daily life?

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5 Responses to Dealing With That Overwhelming Feeling

  1. Great post Rudy. That’s exactly how I approached things. It helped me to stay away from what I refer to as “Fear Based Prepping” which only leads to mistakes. Another thing I did to help me avoid being overwhelmed by what needed to be acquired was to add another category to my list for skills development. Being able to learn something new and develop new skills helped me feel like I was moving forward during those times when extra money wasn’t available for prepping.

  2. There’s a book called ‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Life’ that talks about the condensed version of ‘overwhelm’: A guy went to the doctor who wrote the book after several years of dealing with the constant pain of burns suffered in an accident. He wanted to know why people had not jumped in to save him – was he not important enough or valuable enough? Turns out that freezing when confronted by an accident or something of the sort is normal. It’s due to the brain trying to process the information it’s presented with, and having a hard time at it. The guy still had pain to deal with, but the feeling of not being worth saving was no longer an issue once he understood that people froze not because they didn’t want to help, but because they sort of couldn’t.

    Education helps. If you know first aid, for example, you’ve learned something of how to help. If you’ve learned about preparing for emergencies, like coming up with an escape plan for getting out of your house in a fire or dealing with an earthquake, when those things happen they won’t overwhelm. Visualizing what you’d do, coming up with Plan B (and Plan C), and thinking of workarounds helps.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will anybody’s plan of action to prepare be.

  3. i have been going thru this as well lately. i stopped buying things and organized my things and saw a few things that i missed and just bought them.
    for daily feelings i just set a timer for 15 minutes and do prepping stuff then work on something else. for more deeper feelings of being overwhelmed i sit outside and read or work in the garden- i know gardening is prepping but it is for everyone not just preppers if that makes sense

  4. When things get overwhelming around here between work, the grandkids, the property, and emotions (but usually work or being out of town causes it!) I find the best thing to do is sit outside with a class of tea and watch the clouds float by. Sometimes I need to just step out of “real life” and get the calmness back. Once I settle down I go out to the garden. That takes all the troubles away!

    Every week I make a list of chores to accomplish. I have a seperate list for long term goals. I always prioritize the list and really don’t care if I don’t get past two or three and make it all the way to 10. I always add easy items to the list. That way you do get a sense of success even if it’s something small like wiping down the lightswitches (less than 3 minutes total around here!). I like the idea of putting the list into categories and trying to hit something from each group. Good idea!

    Not having the spare money doesn’t mean you can’t get things done. There’s always another weed to pull, tree to trim, corner to clean, or walk to take.

  5. For purchases I divide items up into categories and then try to list them in order of most important. This list sometimes changes and is constantly being added to and deleted from. I list high cost items that need to be saved for in one section. Food items in another. Non food in a third. If I have to save for something I try to put a regular amount away for it until I can purchase it and remove it from my list. I try to purchase some food and non food items each payday. This usually helps me to stay focused and not stressed out.