If you're anything like me (or, frankly, anyone I know), you've probably experienced overwhelm. Maybe you've had one of those mornings when you wake up thinking about work and feel like you can barely breathe because there's so much to get done.
Here's the deal: we're all busy, and we want to do great things. Being ambitious is wonderful, especially if you're doing something you love. However, with so many things going on at the same time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose your mind amid requests, demands, to-do lists, ideas, and deadlines.
Here are 6 simple tips to get back into flow:
1. List your priorities.
At the beginning of your week, get clear on what needs to get done. Be realistic with time. Then organize all subtasks into days. Personally, I write down three major things I'd like to get done each day. That way, I finish my day feeling accomplished, because I know what greater week-goal I am working towards.
2. Stop multi-tasking.
There is no such thing as multitasking especially when it comes to using your brainpower for two tasks simultaneously. Just because you can walk and talk at the same time, doesn’t mean you should write an email in a meeting. Focus on one thing at a time, check it off your list with a big pretty checkmark, and move on.
3. Limit your time on social media.
I know, you've heard it before and you might not wanna hear it again, but here is it. Social media outlets are huge time suckers and spending time comparing your life to other people’s does not add anything to your happiness. If you cannot do without, limit your time on Facebook to 10 minutes in the afternoon and make sure you use a timer.
4. Understand your flow.
When do you do what kind of work best? Personally, I know that I'm able to complete projects that require careful thought and attention in the morning. Anytime after 3pm, I'm best off communicating with others, brainstorming, and being socially active. Knowing how my natural energy flows allows me to align my tasks accordingly and build a schedule that makes intuitive sense. Productivity is guaranteed!
5. Manage your inbox efficiently.
When you open your email in the morning, go through and weave out random ads that are just creating clutter. Remember the good old times, when communication happened via snail-mail? You probably didn’t keep random flyers on your work desk, did you? You didn’t store your WestElm catalogue on your desk, either. Today, your computer is your work desk, so keep it focused and clean. Create folders in your inbox and sort through your email first thing in the morning. It will take you a few minutes, but will set you up for productivity all day.
6. Go screen-less after a certain hour in the evening. Unplug from screens at least an hour before you go to bed. I cannot tell you how many of my clients watch TV to go to sleep or hang out on the internet with their heads on their pillows, waiting to fall asleep. There is so much happening on our flickering screens that it's no wonder you have difficulty calming down and not feeling overwhelmed. In order to end overwhelm, we have to put boundaries on how much we bombard ourselves with external stimuli.
I hope that you make these changes work for you. If that means doing just one of these 6 tips, that’s totally cool! Start with that, and start setting yourself up for success.