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How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Start Being More Productive

Aug 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Have you ever started a new week, and you have already feel like you're running behind and overwhelmed?

Let’s talk about how you can start every Monday without feeling overwhelmed, but rather feeling motivated and ahead of what needs to be done. 

One word of caution, though: I would not recommend the “weekend warrior mentality,” where you just work through the weekend to try to catch up. It doesn't work, because our bodies and our minds need to rest and reset. But does that mean Saturdays and Sundays are off limits for anything work-related? That brings us to our first tip. 

#1 Use the weekend for “work lite.”

You don’t have to completely forget about work on the weekend, but do a few small tasks at your own pace. Maybe clean up your inbox, or get a headstart on a larger project so you don’t get “blank page syndrome” on Monday. Any small task that won’t take you the entire day is a good choice. 

Best of all, since it’s the weekend, you can work wherever inspires you and at your own pace. What I personally like to do is take my iPad down by the lake to work there. I tend to be really creative when I'm not pressured or I can stop work. A little bit of prep for the next week should not dominate your weekend, but it will make you feel ahead of the curve. 

#2 Create your own earlier deadlines. 

Many times we have deadlines and time limits and they create stress. But sometimes, a deadline creates the motivation to get things done. What I like to do is to create deadlines and time limits for myself, apart from the actual deadline. That way, I can complete a project ahead of schedule, and then I can go back, review it and improve upon it. This tactic prevents us from falling into rabbit holes where we just perfect maybe 5 percent of the project and then 95 percent is not complete to our liking. 

So, if we set the time limits for ourselves and we set our own deadlines, complete the project, review it and improve upon it, sometimes that is so much easier than getting it done at the last minute that it needs to be done. 

#3 Schedule Breaks.

This may sound counterproductive at first, but definitely schedule breaks. Our brain needs to reset itself. 

What does a break mean during the workday? You might get up, stretch, get a cup of coffee or glass of water in the breakroom and have a conversation with a colleague. Or, you might walk outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air. 

These short breaks from work help our minds to reset and not get bogged down. Not many people have the attention span and ability to work straight through for eight hours. Breaks in the day create the ability to refocus on a task and be actually more productive than we would be if we just honey-badgered through the whole day. 

Topics: productivity

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