Let’s be honest, life is hectic. Between work, home, kids (if you have them) and trying to have a social life, everything can blend together and it can become hard to stay organized. While work-life balance is important, work is a large contributor to our attitude, happiness and overall outlook on life. If you are one that wears many hats at work, here are five ways to relieve the stress of having what seems like one million things to do. Disclaimer: random tedious and sometimes unpleasant things are inevitably going to pop up, but turning these tips into habits will make it more bearable.
Have a to-do list
To-do lists seem like something you don’t really need, but once you make one it’s like night and day. Being able to see what you have to do for the day and check things off as you go helps dramatically with time management and decreases stress levels. Prioritizing tasks is an extremely important aspect of time management, and to-do lists help with visualizing what is most important and which task will take the longest to complete.
Block off time for each task
Personally, planners have always been my go-to. Paper planners with time slots such as Passion Planner, Plum Paper, and The Bullet Journal help with time management, are great for keeping track of meetings on-the-go and enable you to visualize where you will have time for random things that pop up throughout the day. If checking emails is a daunting task, block off three time slots in your day dedicated to sending and responding to emails.
Psychologists at Thrive Global have studied procrastination and the impact it has on our mental state. Procrastination increases stress levels which often lead to other issues such as lack of sleep, disengagement at work and at home and lack of appetite—and that’s only the beginning of the spiral effect. Using your to-do list to stay on top of daily tasks will increase productivity and ultimately lead to an abundance of benefits such as increased focus, deeper level of learning, more control over emotions, and increase overall happiness and well-being.
Organize your desk
Having a messy desk can cause unnecessary stress and make you feel like you aren’t being as productive as you should be, which can again have a spiral effect. Decluttering your desk will allow you to clear your mind and devote your full attention to the task at hand. A messy desk is another major contributor to stress, feeling exhausted and feeling like you’ve been unproductive. Paper-holders and small filing cabinets can be lifesavers.
Schedule one 10-minute, technology-free break during the day to regroup (and don’t let it stress you out)
Look, I totally understand being incredibly busy and feeling unproductive the second I put my phone down or stop typing, but this is sort of like meditation. Just turn your chair around, focus on your breathing, sip your coffee/tea/water, look out the window and allow yourself to regroup about halfway through the day. This will allow you to mentally catch up and you’ll probably end up giving yourself time to remember what it was you meant to put on your to-do list.
The main message here is to declutter your mind and allow yourself to focus and increase productivity. We all need a reminder every now and then to take a step back, clear our thoughts and recharge. The positive effects of giving yourself just 10 minutes to regroup and get organized are endless. So, get ready for next week by getting organized this weekend and TGIT, my friends!