Between pandemics, and elections and riots and crazy ice storms, there’s a lot to be stressed about these days, and it can be hard to get in a productive mood and stay focused.
I’ve been doing a series of videos on motivation, and how to pull yourself out of a funk if you’re just not feeling motivated. But sometimes, even the tips and tricks I’ve been sharing with you don’t work. Or something very unexpected comes up that derails all of the plans you’ve made, and it feels like you’ve hit a brick wall.
I had something like that happen to me this week – I have been trying to juggle a bunch of projects with deadlines so I can go out of town at the end of this month, and one of them came crashing down last night. As a result, my entire plan went out the window.
When something like that happens to me, I take it as a signal that it’s time to slow down to speed up.
What do I mean by that? Sometimes the busier we are, the harder it is to see what is really important.
Stress can become a vicious cycle. As the work piles up, we get more stressed and overwhelmed. And the more overwhelmed we get, the more difficult it is to focus, or to get anything done.
That may be exactly the right time to take a break, take a deep breath, and focus on just one thing. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I need to do right now?” It might be calling a client to let them know that the work will be late. Or it might be organizing all of the projects on your desk so that you can see what needs to be done. Or maybe it’s identifying someone who can help you get through your list and delegating some tasks to them. It might be deciding what to say “no” to.
Identifying just the one thing that is most important in the moment, it can free you from thinking about all of the other projects or tasks on your list.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a step back and focusing just on the one most important thing you can do today to move toward your goals.
Want more productivity hacks? Check out these videos:
- Are You Distracted at Work? Close Those Open Loops!
- Choosing the Right Time for Focused Work
- Are You the Source of Your Interruptions? [video]
- Sticking to Your Communications Policies [video]
- Stop Co-Worker Interruptions [video]
- Avoiding Unplanned Phone Calls [video]
- Handling Client Interruptions [video]
- Eliminate Interruptions: The Interruptions Log [video]
- Are You a Procrastinator? [video]
- How Do Habits Affect Your Productivity? [video]