Have you ever looked at your list of to-dos and wondered how it would all get done? Or, have you ever thought so much about what was coming up for you that you suddenly felt paralyzed with fear?
First, let me say that we have all be in this position, and it doesn’t feel great. It’s too much to do, too little time and not enough internal motivation to get anywhere.
Workload aside, you can always control how you respond to the mental overload.
Over the years, I’ve juggled multiple projects, social events and relationships, and what I’ve learned is that to get anything done — and done well — there are only four tricks you must know.
If you can master these four techniques and incorporate them into your daily grind, you’ll start to feel some relief.
1. See The Value
Have you ever sat around with your friends, daydreaming about what your life would some day look like? Or maybe, when you were little, did you imagine what you wanted to do when you grew up?
Well, there was probably a passion behind it; there was something that sparked delight inside of you when you saw yourself running a company, being a designer or doing whatever it was you dreamed of doing. That driving force and passion must be present in everything you do; it provides you with purpose.
It’s possible that many of us aren’t living out our passions, which could be why we don’t feel any urgency or desire to get things done. But, here’s the trick: Even if right now you aren’t doing what you ultimately want to do, if you see the value in it, you’ll want to do it well. No matter in what industry you work, you are working for a greater purpose.
Your company has a purpose. Maybe it’s to create amazing fashion; maybe it’s to promote new real estate; maybe it’s to assist someone who creates products that people need. No matter what you’re doing, there’s a purpose behind it.
TIP: To get into what you’re doing and motivate yourself on the job, step back for a moment and think about what it is that your company does for others. Think of your target consumer or audience and work with that picture in mind. Knowing that you are a part of something greater helps to kick-start momentum.
2. Cut Back
Working hard is important, but it doesn’t need to require long hours. To be productive, it can be helpful to work less but to be more focused during that time. Figure out how to do your work more efficiently.
TIP: To get through your day’s to-do list, trim it down from the get-go. Prioritize what is urgent from what isn’t; not everything is truly urgent. Really consider what has to be done. Do each task in order of importance, to ensure that the most pressing tasks are completed at the end of a day.
Before you leave the office, figure out what tomorrow’s top priority will be. This way, when you walk in and sit down in the morning, your list has already been drafted.
3. The Pomodoro Technique
Besides being a writer and a coach, I also edit books. Since a lot of what I edit is digital, I communicate with programmers and developers all day long. From working with these authors, I’ve learned about the pomodoro technique, which is helpful for time management.
It breaks down work into 25-minute intervals that are separated by five-minute breaks. These are the basic principles:
-Decide on the task.
-Set your timer to 25 minutes.
-Work on the task until time is up.
-Take a short break.
This technique helps to minimize distraction, which is the easiest way to kill productivity.
4. Get Some Sleep
To be on top of our lives and able to respond to events, we have to be well rested. I remember pulling all-nighters in college and I can say that rarely — if ever — did I produce anything spectacular. Even today, if I don’t get enough sleep, my mind doesn’t process information as effectively.
Again, there’s this idea that we have to work heavily to get things done, but if you’re working into the wee hours and only getting three or four hours of sleep per night, you’ll likely burn out and find yourself sick in bed — sooner rather than later.
TIP: Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep per night. Some people may not need that much, but just try it out for a week and see how different your days feel.
Photo via We Heart It