A desk with a laptop, mug, and sticky notes
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How 100 Post-it Notes Can Help You Feel in Control of Your Life Again

Jessica Stillman
4 min readJun 28, 2022

If your brain often feels like scrambled eggs these days, then know you’re not alone. Also know that the cure might be something as simple as spending an afternoon surrounded by 100 Post-it Notes.

Blame it on the pandemic (and the headlines)

“Like a lot of people, I have found myself overscheduled this summer. I’m still doing less than summers of the pre-pandemic past, which often felt like one wedding sliding straight into another without end, but it still feels like too much,” confessed writer Anne Helen Peterson in a Substack newsletter bluntly titled “You’re Still Exhausted” last summer.

“I’ve let things go (we are essentially eating mixed vegetable grill every night, it’s great); I’ve canceled plans and been transparent about why. I’m trying to work less, or at least segment work more effectively. But I’m still tired,” she continues. And while she’s always been an introvert, this sense that life can so easily swamp her feels new.

“I think the real problem is that life is still exhausting because the pandemic was and remains exhausting in so many invisible ways — and we still haven’t given ourselves space to even begin to recover. Instead, we’re just softly boiling over, emptying and evaporating whatever stores of energy and patience and grace remain,” she concludes.

Judging by how often the piece was shared, Peterson hit a nerve. Modern life felt overwhelming for many of us before Covid. Then the pandemic scrambled our everyday lives and put a spotlight on the fragility of life and, as a result, our priorities for our limited time here on earth. And an absolute avalanche of upsetting news certainly hasn’t helped people feel in control either.

The result isn’t just a ton of resignations from unfulfilling and exploitative jobs. It’s also the sense that we’ve been through a feat of endurance and are wandering, exhausted, without a map.

How playing with Post-it Notes can help

So where do you find a map? Sorry, neither this column nor any other can give you one. The guide you need to feel both less lost and more joyful can only come from looking within. But what experts can…

Jessica Stillman

Top Inc.com columnist/ Editor/ Ghostwriter. Book lover. Travel fiend. Nap enthusiast. https://jessicastillman.com/