Productivity Without Stress: 12 Boosts to Keep You From Going Crazy
Finding productivity without stress might not seem possible, but it’s really the only way to work. You can get there. You just need to learn how to control your breathing, your body, and your mind.
In the following article, we will look at 12 tips that can help you have your cake and eat it, too (relatively speaking). Here are ways you can get your studying and other work done without feeling overwhelmed.
1. Do Not Take On Too Much
One of the worst things you can do when trying to up your productivity is over-schedule. You think your day is worthless, in other words, unless you have dozens of to-do items that you have to work through.
The problem with this line of thinking is that you can overwhelm yourself. You don’t know where to start. You don’t know what the highest priority items are, unsure of the things that could cause you to stumble.
A better idea? Schedule one or two important projects per day. Focus only on completing or moving the needle on those items.
2. Work Away From Distractions
Distractions are everywhere. They are there to call your attention away from what you should be doing. They do this with the promise of a more fulfilling time.
In reality, they end up making you feel worse. That’s because you’ve let all this time pass with nothing to show for it.
Schedule work in places where there aren’t any big distractions to steal your attention. That can be anything from a video game system to social media to a good book. Avoid, avoid, avoid!
3. Name Your Tasks
This is where SEO knowledge can come in handy. Think of how best to describe each task in a few simple words. From there, you can easily restart your work after breaks or over the course of several days.
You are essentially using a memory technique to “collect” the tasks that need to be accomplished for that day. Otherwise, your to-do list is going to get longer and messier to read.
As a result, your eyes will start to glaze over. You’ll have difficulty laying out priorities.
4. Get Organized
Once you’ve given each task a name, you can move more into the nuts and bolts. The nuts and bolts are specific actions you need to take to get from point A to point B.
Here’s how it works in theory. You “grab” the label for the project you’ll be working on. Move that into a separate space from your to-do list.
Now, start brainstorming each part of the whole. Every little item that will need to be addressed to finish, in other words. Once you have those tasks laid out, prioritize them in order of importance and get busy!
5. Let Inspiration Ride
So far, we’re encouraging you to get organized but what about when inspiration strikes? Our advice might seem a little hypocritical. It’s this.
You need to let it ride. Don’t worry about setting up your to-do list. Just let your productivity muse take over and make headway.
After the inspiration has worn off, reconvene with your to-do list. Lay out what you’ve accomplished and organize what still needs your attention for the day(s) ahead.
6. Slow Down Your Day
We don’t mean to work slower necessarily. We mean that when new tasks are coming at you unexpectedly as you’re dealing with a priority project, pause and proceed cautiously.
Address only the new things that require your immediate attention. Most things are not on an immediate turnaround, so they can be set aside to be addressed later.
Notice new tasks as they come your way, but don’t act on them right away. Just add them to your growing list, and then head back to the project at hand. Focus on one thing at a time as much as humanly possible.
7. Seek Help
To keep from getting too overwhelmed, delegate what you can. Trade tasks. Use shared resources to grow in your understanding.
It’s not always easy to ask for help. If that describes you, then maybe consider bartering a skill for a skill. You’ll do this for a person if they can handle something for you.
Seeking help doesn’t have to be one-sided. The moment you make it a mutually beneficial “ask,” it will get easier to do it when something else confounds you.
8. Make You A Priority
Working all the time is going to burn you out. Burnout breeds feelings of being overwhelmed. You cannot maintain the quality of your work unless you’re taking care of yourself in the process.
That means working out or making some type of effort to take care of your body. Make it a part of your to-do list, for goodness sake. If you don’t now, then you’re going to have problems later.
We recommend setting one fitness goal and one healthy eating goal. Also, make time for sleep! That’s how your body can rest and recover from the demands of the day.
9. Create Space
Find your happy place. Create a space where you are actually comfortable doing work. This should be a clean, organized location with plenty of space to branch out.
You also might consider keeping some healthy snacks, coffee, or other favorite beverages handy. That’s why so many people find Starbucks a fun place to work. It’s got it all!
The important thing is that you define what puts you in the best mindset to work. Then, create the environment that works best for your brain.
10. Set Timers
Working to a timer is a good way to “goose” your brain into focusing on what needs to get done. Use your phone, smartwatch, or specially focused timer to create work blocs.
How long should you work at a time? We would recommend either 25 minutes of work with a 5-minute break or 50 minutes of work with a 10-minute break.
Your brain will typically hold up pretty well for these work periods without getting too overwhelmed. Furthermore, the break time that you take won’t be so long that you fall out of productivity mode.
Use it wisely. Take some time for a short walk, a cup or two of water, a bathroom break. All these things will help your body deal with the demands that studying or working place on you.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re doing your efforts justice by skipping breaks. Taking that time will give your body and mind a much-needed stopping point so it can recharge for the next bloc.
12. Embrace Leisure Time
There is a big difference between breaks and leisure time. With breaks, you are not supposed to leave the productive mindset behind.
Breaks are brief and temporary. Leisure? That’s a different story.
Leisure time is time spent away from work. It’s time spent doing the things you love. The things that bring you joy.
How will you use leisure time? If you don’t know the answer, learn the answer. That’s the only way you’ll be able to have productivity without stress.
Managing Productivity Without Stress Can Be a Tough Job
Why is managing productivity without stress such a tough job? Because the demand to be productive too often gets confused with “staying busy.”
These are not the same things. “Staying busy” eats up time without necessarily getting anything accomplished. Being productive means getting stuff done.
Which are you? Follow the 12 steps we’ve shared here, and we’re confident you’ll be well on your way to a more productive life without pulling out your hair in the process.
[Featured Image by Pixabay]