How to stay productive despite feeling overwhelmed

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2018 by Jessica Salerno

Staring at your to-do list, you feel a growing sense of dread. You just have too much work to do. In addition to your regular responsibilities and putting out fires, you also need to think about long-term strategy. In these overwhelming moments, Alice Boyes suggests taking a deep breath and saying to yourself “Even though I have many things to do, I can only focus on the one thing I’m doing right now.” This will help you concentrate on the task at hand, and avoid wasting time because you don’t know what to do next.

If you don’t already, track your time to see how much you’re putting into various tasks. You might realize there are areas that don’t need that much attention, and improve your work flow as a result. “Your behavior will naturally shift in positive directions due to monitoring, so there’s no need to force it, at least initially,” Boyes says.

And consider revising your assumptions of other people’s expectations. At the end of the day you might realize you didn’t get anything crossed off your list because you spent all your time answering questions. Check in with your peers and ask about deadlines and how soon they need a response. You might be accustomed to responding within a day, but actually your answer isn’t needed for another week. Read more tips on how to stay productive here and comment below and tell us how you handle feeling overwhelmed at work.

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