How to Feel Productive When You Are Running in 18 Different Directions

by Shari Talbot

We’ve all been there. Juggling way too many plates at one time. How do you make sure they don’t all come crashing down at once and actually feel like you’re getting something done?

Increase Your Ability to Focus

Get Enough Sleep

It is so difficult to stay on task when you are exhausted all the time. Track your sleep patterns and compare them to how you feel each day. Some of us need 6.5 or 7 hours of sleep every night to feel productive while others need 8 or 9. Find your sweet spot and make sleep a priority. Top executives often point to a power nap as a productivity booster during their day.

Set SMART Goals

Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. If your goals are wishy-washy, they won’t keep you on track. However, if you know exactly what you are aiming for, you can tell if and when you have reached your target, and you can get there in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll be able to stay focused until the end.

Physical Activity

Exercise is proven to help concentration. Some people prefer to schedule fitness first thing in the morning. Others like to move their bodies throughout the day. Experiment and see how your focus improves when you exercise at different times.

Limit Your List

Say No

Don’t feel like you have to say yes to every new request. Weigh your decisions carefully. Is the new project something you are passionate about? there someone who could do a better job? It’s okay to say no occasionally, to keep yourself from being spread too thin.

Ask for Help

We live in a competitive society where being too busy can be a badge of honour. It can be difficult to ask for help, but it does get easier over time. Don’t forget to return the favour, offering help at times when you feel less pressure.

Outsource Where You Can

At home, try a meal delivery service when it’s tough to get dinner on the table. If you are struggling to fit it all in at work, try hiring a virtual assistant to take care of your social media accounts. Delegate the tasks you dislike or the ones that keep you from using your gifts and talents well. Save your time for the things you do best and enjoy the most.

Watch Out for Time Wasters

Turn 0ff Social Media

Social media is super-distracting. It is so easy plan a 2-minute post and find yourself down a 90-minute rabbit hole. If you use Facebook, Instagram or any other platform, as part of your business, limit their use to specific time periods throughout the day. Turn off your notifications while you work on other projects, so you don’t get sucked in.

Limit Your Information Consumption

Do you ever feel like you are drinking out of a firehose? The internet is both a blessing and a curse with abundant, available information. Business practices change constantly, so we often feel like we need to know it all and we need to learn it today. This simply isn’t true. Just because the information is there, doesn’t mean we need to consume it. Pick one thing you want to learn about this week or this month and then take the time to apply your knowledge before beginning to research again.

These days, it’s common to feel like you are running on a hamster wheel. When you consider your priorities and focus on those, you’ll get more done with less stress along the way.