So, let me share some of the things that I’ve found most successful to help stay focused on what matters to you regardless of what else may be happening in the world.
- What Can You Control?
With a list in front of you, it’s time to look at what you can influence.For example:If you got too many pressing deadlines is something on my list like coursework, then I will make a list of all the tasks I need to start and work on them from the assignments which are first due.
If I’m feeling overwhelmed by non-work commitment, I work out what I should cancel and just cancel it
On the other hand, if it’s something I cannot control (like a pandemic), I give myself the permission to sit with it—to just be ok with the fact of not being ok.I go through my list, and I take action to change anything I can change It’s something that helps me feel a little more in control, though I accept this is something that can be different for everyone.
Feeling overwhelmed can lower productivity and stop you from doing things you need or would ordinarily want to do. One way to overcome that, I’ve found, is to set very achievable micro-goals for each working day.
So, if one of my goals for the day is to complete a lengthy report, I will break it down into sections and segments that might only be 30 minutes of work as opposed to a whole day of work. I can then visibly see progress towards this goal (and I’ll be honest, I do love ticking things off a to-do list).
I’m a huge fan of micro-goals, which have helped me consistently get through tasks quicker and break down what seems like overwhelming tasks into minimal jobs.
Prioritize Tasks and Goals
If you got too many micro-goals to complete in a day? You should prioritize them. Put them in order by the most important thing that day and if you need to change some deadlines around or need some help, then do it.
Personally, I give everything a priority score from 1 to 3, with 1 being the highest priority and I work on my 1s first. A wider scale of priority levels might work for you or even just 2 levels.
Take Some Time for Yourself
This is the thing I always find the most counterintuitive. When you’re busy, the last thing on your mind is probably taking time to just go and do something for yourself. But I find that getting away from my desk and walking for 30 minutes clears my mind, and I return more focussed and more able to be productive.
Other tactics can help you to become more productive too but certainly, a quick walk is a useful one for me. Meditation is proven to lower stress levels. It is something that can be done wherever you happen to be, guided by online help or one of the many meditation apps available.
Some people like to run. Some like to play games on their phones. Whatever your thing is—something that you enjoy and makes you feel better—take time out to enjoy it for yourself no matter what’s going on and how busy it seems you are.
can reduce your productivity and increase feelings of being overwhelmed in life. The reality for most of us is that concentrating (or trying to) on multiple things at once means we don’t really get to focus on any of them. We’re slower, more stressed, and tick less of our to-do lists. So, tackle one thing at a time.
But What If You Have to Multitask?
So, even though you may start multitasking, rather than trying to do multiple things at once, you should try to work in segments of as many or as few minutes as is practical for you.
Have an Accountability Buddy
Having an accountability buddy is helpful in reaching your goals. We encouraged one another on those days when you just weren’t feeling it.
I have similar relationships with people relating to work tasks. I’ve talked to lots of who struggle with productivity and procrastination, particularly since the pandemic started, we’ve been facing so many challenges. So, I have people who I regularly catch up with and talk about how much of my to-do list I’m getting through with, and they do the same with me.
Don’t Be Afraid to Share
If you are feeling overwhelmed in life? That’s normal and acceptable, particularly in times like these. Talk about it, share your feelings with a trusted person and at the end of the day, be kind to yourself.