Your energy levels are low and it doesn’t seem to matter how organized you are, you just can’t seem to get everything done. You’re exhausted and while you know you should probably take a break, you just have too much to do.
So, you power through.
But lately you’ve been realizing that there’s no finish line. The to-do list is never ending and you’re overwhelmed when you think of everything you need to get done.
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High achievers (hello, that’s me too) waste a lot of time doing things that don’t actually need to be done. I know I’ve been guilty of this. You don’t need to scroll for hours trying to find the perfect planner. You don’t need to spend hours creating a perfectly laid out plan and then change it around every time your real life gets in its way. You don’t need to be doing more.
Actually, doing more is zapping your energy and productivity. Instead of adding more to your plate, consider eliminating everything you don’t really want to do. You can delete things or ask for help getting them done. But make it your goal to decrease the amount that you’re doing so you can focus on no more than 3 things. Yes, only 3. Choose the 3 buckets that you think are most important. Determine how much time and energy you want to give to each. And then take action on just those 3 things.
Notice how much more focused and productive you are when your time and energy aren’t spread across so many things.
Resources: How to Have More Energy After Work (blog post)
Thinking about things and wondering about how they might play out keep you playing safe. When you just think about things without actually deciding, you don’t have to feel discomfort. Because when you’re overthinking things you aren’t actually taking action.
Overthinking might look like obsessing about how much you have to do or how you just don’t have enough time. It might look like beating yourself up for what you did or didn’t do yesterday or last week. Or it might be comparing yourself to others and thinking that there are things you “should” be doing.
None of these are helpful. Decide today to stop overthinking things. Stop focusing on what you don’t have or what others are doing. Instead, put your energy into the one or two things you can do right now to move forward.
Resources: Why You Procrastinate So Much (blog post)
When you jump from one thing to another your brain has to work really hard to keep up. Instead of task switching, focus on one thing at a time. Decide how long you think the task will take you to complete. Then give yourself that amount of time to complete it. Stay focused on that one task until it’s finished. Then decide what your next task will be. Your brain will be so much more focused and you’ll have more energy to get things done with less time.
If you notice yourself getting uncomfortable and wanting to move to something else, get curious about why. You’re capable of doing this work. It’s possible that when this happens it’s a sign that you need a brain break. Give yourself a break and come back to it when you’re ready.
Resources: How to Make Decisions Without the Stress (blog post)
You likely have beliefs about time and productivity that aren’t helpful. Telling yourself that you don’t have enough time or that you have too much to do, for example, isn’t going to help you get more done.
But you also likely have beliefs about yourself that are holding you back from really showing up to your greatest potential. Telling yourself you’re not organized or you’re bad at scheduling or follow through isn’t going to help you create more of what you want.
Remember that your mind listens to you and believes what you tell it. Start noticing what you think about time. Notice what you’re telling yourself when it comes to being productive. If what you’re telling yourself isn’t helpful, work on letting those thoughts go and replacing them with thoughts that will help you do what you really want to do.
Resources: How to Feel Like You Have All the Time in the World (even if you don’t) (blog post)
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Choosing to say goodbye to these energy and productivity zapping habits will change not only how much you get done but how you feel too. Start simply by focusing on eliminating one of these today. Commit to creating new habits around that one thing and then when you’re ready, move on to the next one. I’d love to know which one you’re going to start with. Leave a comment below. Or if you’d like some extra help with this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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