It is hard to be productive when we are feeling stress in our lives. We are living through unprecedented times right now. Many things are outside of our control, but getting a handle on what we can control is the best way to move forward through the stress. Whether it is taking time to process our feelings and emotions, or extra time to practice self-care, these few things can help bring a sense of predictability to an unpredictable time.
Consistent habits alleviate stress
On days that feel too overwhelming, maintaining consistent habits can help alleviate feelings of stress. When you follow a predictable routine in your day, it will help you be more productive, keep your priorities in focus and be of better service to others in your life. Routines and habits are comfortable to fall back on when we are feeling unsettled.
Set small goals to complete every day until they become productive, healthy habits. Soon these small tasks or goals will become second nature for you. When you have a set pattern of tasks, activities or habits, at some point they become instinctive. You just DO them without even thinking about them because you know the result will be worth it in the end.
Routines for a productive day
Here are six simple strategies to help you re-establish some routine in your life so that you can get more done, focus on your priorities AND have time for what matters most to you.
- Get enough sleep each night. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep to feel rested, rejuvenated and ready to be productive. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekend. Follow a familiar bedtime routine, limiting screen time, to things that relax you and help you wind down. You’ll enjoy the benefits of more energy and when you are well-rested, you’ll be more productive the following day.
- Plan out your week. Both at work and at home, end your week by reviewing what you accomplished and look ahead to the next week to see what the priorities will be. Make sure you have time allotted on your calendar for these priorities. Take time over the weekend to prepare. This will help you eliminate surprises and stress.
- Do what you can the night before. Make sure you have what you need to start the day off right: coffee, healthy meals, and a game plan for the next day. Place any other items you need for activities or errands by the door. These evening efforts will make your morning less hectic and provide a smoother launch into the day.
- Prioritize your day. Each morning, start off by planning and prioritizing what you need to accomplish that day. Alternatively, this could also be done at the end of the day so that you can and hit the ground running the next day. Focus on high-priority activities first. Eliminate distractions (email, phone, etc.) for periods of time so that you can really dig in, uninterrupted and make great progress on those priority tasks and projects. You’ll feel very accomplished!
- Tidy your physical space. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to tidy your workspace or your home. Put items back where they belong so you can find them the next time they’re needed.
- Schedule appointments with yourself. Block off time on your calendar to reset. Be sure to include self-care. If you don’t schedule time to do this, it won’t happen. Make this a weekly habit. Likewise, block off and protect chunks of time on your calendar for high priority activities. If you know there’s something you want to get done in a given day, make an appointment with yourself and then honor that time. Seeing the appointment visibly can also make it easier to say “no” to something or someone else that might serve as a barrier to your productivity on the priority.
Set small goals to complete every day until they become productive, healthy habits. Soon these will become second nature for you and you’ll find yourself less stressed and more productive.
If you’d like more strategies to take away the overwhelm and help you to be more productive in your day, schedule a free discovery call today to learn how Simply Placed can help!