Simplifying Overwhelm: A Guide to Streamlining Commitments and Note-Taking

Tara H

Hatched by Tara H

Jan 02, 2024

3 min read


Simplifying Overwhelm: A Guide to Streamlining Commitments and Note-Taking


In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to become overwhelmed with the multitude of commitments and responsibilities we have. Whether it's work, personal projects, or social obligations, the sheer number of tasks can leave us feeling stressed and unable to keep up. In this article, we explore two different areas where overwhelm often creeps in - commitments and note-taking - and discuss how simplifying these aspects can help alleviate the burden.

Commitments: Taking on Too Much

One of the primary reasons for feeling overwhelmed is biting off more than we can chew. Often driven by our optimism and belief in our abilities, we load our schedules with an overwhelming number of commitments. However, the reality is that we have limited time and energy, and our capacity to accomplish tasks in a day is often less than what we initially think.

To combat this overwhelm, it's crucial to simplify our commitments. This means taking a step back, reevaluating our priorities, and learning to say no to tasks that don't align with our goals or values. By streamlining our commitments, we can focus our time and energy on what truly matters to us and reduce the stress of trying to do it all.

Note-Taking: The Boxing Method

Another area where overwhelm can arise is in our note-taking practices. Traditional note-taking techniques, such as the Cornell method or outlining, have their merits but may not be suitable for everyone. Enter the boxing method - a relatively new concept that offers a visually appealing and efficient way to organize information.

The boxing method involves using boxes to visually separate different topics within our notes. By creating topical clusters of information and boxing them shut as new topics are introduced, we can easily review and comprehend the material. This method is particularly beneficial for visual learners and those dealing with smaller clusters of information that don't require extensive subcategories.

Connecting Commitments and Note-Taking: Simplification as a Solution

At first glance, it may seem that commitments and note-taking are unrelated. However, upon closer examination, we find that simplification is the common thread that can help alleviate overwhelm in both areas.

When we simplify our commitments, we create more space and time for ourselves. This newfound clarity and focus extend to our note-taking practices as well. By using the boxing method or any other simplified approach, we can streamline our note-taking process, making it more efficient and organized. As a result, we reduce the cognitive load associated with studying and reviewing information, thereby reducing overwhelm.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize ruthlessly: Take a hard look at your commitments and identify the ones that truly align with your goals and values. Learn to say no to tasks that don't serve your purpose, and be intentional about where you invest your time and energy.
  • 2. Experiment with note-taking methods: Explore different note-taking techniques, such as the boxing method, the Cornell method, or mind maps, to find one that resonates with your learning style. Simplify your note-taking process by focusing on the key points and organizing information in a way that is visually appealing and easy to review.
  • 3. Embrace minimalism: Apply the principles of minimalism to both your commitments and note-taking. Let go of the unnecessary and focus on what truly matters. By simplifying your life and decluttering your mind, you can create space for clarity, productivity, and overall well-being.


Overwhelm is a common experience in today's fast-paced world, but it doesn't have to dominate our lives. By simplifying our commitments and adopting efficient note-taking strategies, we can regain control and reduce the burden of overwhelm. Prioritizing ruthlessly, experimenting with note-taking methods, and embracing minimalism are actionable steps that can help us simplify and find balance in our lives. So, take a deep breath, simplify, and reclaim your peace of mind.

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