Ever have one of those days (or weeks, who are we kidding) where it feels like you are drowning in your to-do list, despite your best effort at getting things done?
Yep. Been there, done that.
Turns out, there are several things you can do to pull yourself out of the deep end of despair.
1. Work in 30/45/90 minute blocks.
It has been said that breaking your schedule into specific blocks of time can actually help you be more productive.
Begin to pay attention to your natural bursts of energy and productivity. Do you work best in 30 minute chunks? What about 45 minutes? How about 90? Once you know what your natural inclination is, you can plan your schedule accordingly.
Set a timer. Do your thing. Take a 10 minute break. Rinse and repeat.
2. Go for a walk.
There are so many things right about going for a walk. First and foremost, it's important to get up and move your body when you sit at a desk all day long. Second, it can help to bring clarity around something you're struggling with, clear your head of the cobwebs, and spark inspiration.
Also, it just plain feels good.
3. Abide by the 1-Minute Rule.
Don't put off anything that can be done in one minute or less. We (myself included) tend to avoid doing things because we think they will take too long, or we don't have enough time to get all.the.things done. The problem is, once we let things pile up, it will take longer to get things back in order.
So, when the urge strikes to just put the dish in the sink, to leave a pile of mail to go through later, or to send an email to that client you've been putting off for a week...don't.
Do it. Cross it off your list. And feel happier.
4. Clean up!
I don't know about you, but clutter in my environment creates clutter in my head. Which is a very bad thing when it comes to trying to get things done. The more clutter, the less clarity.
Clutter can take many forms: piles of paper, an overcrowded inbox, 15 tabs open on your web browser, noise from social media...
Take a break. Clear the clutter. And get a little slice of clarity.
5. Pick your priorities.
If you're someone who has a to-do list of 20+ items to get through each day, you'll always feel like you can't accomplish anything. Unless you're superwoman, or padding your to-do list with things like wake-up, take a shower, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, etc.
Instead of going for the insurmountable, choose 3 things that absolutely have to get done today, this week, or this month. If you have extra time (or inspiration), pick another three. The point here is to make it as easy as possible to succeed.
Pick a time to review your to-do list (night before, first thing in the morning) and choose your top three priorities. Then, schedule in the time to get it done.