Slow things down and still finish your to-do list
24 September 2020
Competing deadlines and lengthy to-do lists can leave us feeling exhausted. By following these tips, you can find the time to enjoy life while still getting things done.
Cut down on the more chaotic elements of your day-to-day life while still maintaining the same level of productivity. Here are some smart ways to slow down.
Competing deadlines and lengthy to-do lists can leave us feeling exhausted and, in a rush to get things done, we risk not giving tasks (and the people around us) our full attention. By following these tips, you can find the time to enjoy life while still getting things done.
Channel a sense of calm
Chaos usually results in more chaos. Instead of leaping out of bed and running to your desk or eating lunch with one hand while typing with the other, take a few minutes to savour everyday experiences. Chew your food more slowly, take a coffee break while tuning into what’s going on around you and don’t reach for your phone the second you wake up. Instead, give yourself 10 minutes to lie there with your thoughts and ease into your day without a sense of urgency. To channel a sense of calm try practicing yoga in the morning.
Avoid digital distractions
The online world means many people can work from almost anywhere and, over the past few years, a host of digital platforms have popped up that are aimed at helping us communicate and collaborate with colleagues wherever they might be. While these tools can help you multitask, notifications from software like Slack and Skype can sometimes be a distraction. Give your concentration levels a boost by muting these for an hour each day and giving one task your full attention. Alert co-workers that you will be unavailable and promise to respond when you are back online. Instead try using technology such as headphones to listen to music to enhance productivity.
Break down each project into bite-sized chunks
Ever feel like you are working at breakneck speed but getting nowhere fast? Having a coherent plan in place can really boost your productivity. It doesn’t matter what you are working on – a home renovation, a work presentation, a personal project – rushing to get started without careful consideration can end up slowing you down in the long run. Take time to map out exactly what needs to be achieved and assign timelines to each step to keep you on track and give you the peace of mind that you aren’t falling behind.
Be kind to yourself
This piece of advice could also be called ‘take a realistic approach’. According to research, three out of five people fail to finish their to-do list, which can cause anxiety levels to go into overdrive. It’s no wonder, with 71% of respondents saying they have more than 120 tasks on their list. There’s no harm in making a note of everything you want to achieve, but dividing that list into daily, weekly and monthly goals will make it look a lot more manageable. In addition, avoid overwhelming yourself by allotting more than enough time to complete each task – it may help to mark those that matter the most (no more than three) and make them a priority.
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