How to deal with the stress that’s caused by being unproductive?
How do you cope in the moment when you feel it’s too late and you feel it’s too late and it all piles on top of you?
I love it when people send me great questions.
Yup it’s all good and well doing your planning and making sure you are organised for the work ahead. But every now and then things slip for whatever reason and you end up feeling
stressed out and overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff you need to deal with.
What can you do in the moment to move forward productively?
Plenty as far as I’m concerned.
First of all be kind to yourself. Accept that you’ll need to knuckle down but feeling guilty because you had a productivity ‘failure’ isn’t going to help. These things happen. Most important is to acknowledge you are feeling overwhelmed and that you plan on tackling it.
Then work through the following:
Take time out to get overview. It may seem counter intuitive but even when you have no time taking even 10 minutes to come up with a plan and gather your thoughts will help you move forward with focus.
If you are feeling really stressed take 10 minutes to go for a walk or listen to a single Headspace SOS session. This will help you feel more grounded and in a better mindset to do the work.
Prioritise. Prioritise. Prioritise.
Make a list of all the ‘Important and Urgent’ stuff on your to do list. Get to grips with these items. What needs to be done? Can anyone help you? How much time do you need?
Clear space to do the work. If you are up against a tight deadline then see what you can clear from your diary. Get better at saying no and / or asking for help. Be ruthless.
Make sure you have interruption free time. Turn off your phone. Close your email application. Go and work somewhere else if you need to escape interruptions in your usual place of work.
Schedule a Pomodoro. Commit to working for 25 minutes without stopping or interruptions.
Get on and do the work. You will be surprised at how much you can achieve in a single Pomodoro.
Repeat as necessary to totally focus and get control over the Urgent and Important tasks.
Once things calm down again take some time out to review your systems and the way you work to help prevent this from happening again. But if it does you’ll know what to do.